Do You Get What You Need

What do I mean by a Need?  It could be a raise, help from a colleague in writing a report, or someone not stealing your lunch from the fridge at work.  It could be more of your significant other’s time or help around the house from your kids.  Ya know something could be going better in your life if you just had something from someone else.

What is your typical go to strategy when you have a need?  I mean when you do not go in depth with a whole analysis of pros and cons, etc. just the first thing you usually do.  If you are like most of us humans, you may complain or criticize. Think about it, is that sometimes your first choice?

I have been teaching my six year old daughter this concept lately and it made me realize how this isn’t just what kids do.  She drops something while buckled in the car seat and immediately whines a, “Oh no I dropped my pencil and now my life is ruined because I can’t finish my picture” type woe is me.  Then I go through the whole dissertation of, “where is it? Is this really all that?, Quit whining.”  When what if she just asked for her need to be met.  A simple, “Mom, I dropped my pencil, it is right there can you please pick it up for me.”  Done – Need met!  How often do we complain to our boss or coworkers about what is wrong with our job, pay, schedule, how hard we work, how no one helps us ever, blah blah blah.  We could simply state what we need and ask for it.  “ I have to turn in this report that will benefit our whole department, I need help writing it, could you please take on this portion?” How often do we go home and complain to our spouse about how they never spend any time with us or how we are the only ones cleaning up around here.  Again, what if we just asked for what we need, “Hey, I need some quality time with you, could we spend this Saturday together?”

Then there is the Criticism strategy.  Everyone is just dying to do something for you after you criticize why they are not meeting your needs.  At work, you have had enough so you say, “You do not care about this company, the department, and your coworkers because you never stay late to help meet deadlines. If you care will you please do half this report today?”  Really? You are not winning friends and even if they help, are your true needs being met?  You are still angry and bitter and they will probably avoid helping you in the future.  Same goes for at home.  When you state, “Everyday you leave crumbs all over the counter, I am sick of cleaning up after you.”  Could easily be replaced with, “It would make me feel supported and that we are in this together as a team if you would clean up your crumbs after you make a sandwich, will you please do that?”  Again done.