I have a client who is lucky enough to be married to a wonderful guy who cooks.
Frequently he has dinner waiting for her after a long workday.
Sometimes he does things related to dinner that annoy her.
Like butter the veggies.
Or put salad dressing on the salad.
So, what’s the big deal, you may be asking?
She doesn’t want butter.
She wants to put on her own salad dressing.
But isn’t she lucky to have this great partner who cooks for her? Why can’t she just go with the flow and eat whatever he cooks?
Well, here’s why she shouldn’t go with the flow, even though she is a lucky lady.
She gets to decide what she eats, and what she doesn’t eat.
She is learning to take charge of her life. Of her choices. Of her habits, and consequently, of her eating.
Why is it that so many of us have difficulty asking for what we need without feeling ungrateful, or finicky or overly fussy?
What happens is that we’re worried about hurting someone’s feelings. We want them to be happy, and especially be happy with us, and we try to control how they feel.
The problem with this is that it isn’t really possible to have any control over how someone else feels.
As the mother of two young women, I know this firsthand.
And I’m sure you do too.
But we all need to be able to speak up and get what we need. How can we do this without walking on eggshells all the time and obsessing and rehearsing all the potential outcomes before we speak?
We are walking a fine line between being authentic and honoring ourselves and trying to control another person’s reaction to us.
It’s ok to be nice when we’re asking for what we need.
So much more pleasant than dealing with a steamroller.
But we are not less than.
Our needs count.
Going with the flow all the time teaches us to bury our needs in order to keep the peace.
And then there’s anything BUT peace on the inside.
When you get your needs met, it allows you to feel good, grateful and satisfied.
So you will act generous, and giving and more pleasant to be around.
Aren’t you more attractive to be around when you’re getting what you need?
When people do something for you, often the drive to do this ‘thing’ comes from within them. Doing something nice for you makes them feel good.
So, in this whole cycle of all of us getting our needs met, the next time your significant other prepares a lovely meal for you, it’s really okay to say, ‘Honey, hold the butter.’