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Published:March 6, 2024

Communicating our needs

How do you communicate your needs to your family, partner, colleagues, or employer? Often, we want others to read our minds and automatically know what we need. However, this is an unrealistic expectation. I frequently hear, “My partner should know me by now,” but the reality is that we don’t fully get to know someone. We are constantly changing; thus, our needs change as well. Communicating your needs should not be difficult. Have conversations when your needs are not being met. For example, if you are feeling overwhelmed in your relationship, have a conversation with your partner and communicate what you need from them to help. Allow your partner to ask questions for clarification without getting defensive, and answer them honestly.

Here are some tips for effective communication:

Active listeningEstablish boundaries
Compromise regularlyAsk questions
Check your feelingsShow respect
Observe non-verbal signsAvoid criticism
Open body languageAvoid making assumptions
Respond rather than reactBe aware of your tone
Do not interrupt unless absolutely necessary
  • Rosa Schuff - ACSW

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