Expressing Needs, Wants or Desires the Law of Delight Empowered Way

Taking responsibility for our feelings, needs, wants and desires, gives us back our power to choose ways that liberate us to be fully self-expressed, and fully embodied in the present moment so we can create the life of our dreams and delight ourselves fully in life!

Needs

Needs are universal to all humans. There are seven basic human needs we all share: Connection, Physical Well-Being, Honesty, Play, Peace, Autonomy, Meaning. The other words on the need list are subsets of the basic seven human needs.

Why do we need more than seven? If you are talking to a toddler about how your no does not meet his need for autonomy and he doesn’t understand, you might want to use a different word he might understand instead of autonomy. Needs are not specific to time, place or person. Saying, “I need you to clean your room,” does not fit a Universal communication for a need. If you cannot name and claim your needs, you cannot express your desires or dreams. Most people fail to understand that their dreams and desires are all connected to deeper unmet human needs. But once we understnd them, we have new ways to express our desires and dreams to the Universe, so they are met rapidly and without delay.

The table below is from the Center for Nonviolent Communication list of needs. As you look at the words notice how our needs are always based on a positive neutral energy, not using a negative emotional link.

With emotions you can have expanding emotions or constricting emotions. I prefer to use these terms rather than positive or negative, good or bad, because it tells me there is something that needs to shift to expand and grow (usually its my way of reacting) and if I can identify the need I am immediately moving out of the problem that causes me to be in fear, stressed or reactive, and into the solutions-creation phase, where I feel empowered, excited and focused on collaborating.

Focusing on the problem feels as if I’m being strangled, constricting my ability to solve it. I end up overthinking and spinning myself down into depression, fear, and indecisiveness, which constricts my ability to live well.

Focusing on the solution feels as if I’m being given the power to see options, to play different roles, to grow and to see opportunities. It delights me to create solutions and to help people live better lives.

CONNECTION
acceptance
affection
appreciation
belonging
cooperation
communication
closeness
community
companionship
compassion
consideration
consistency
empathy
inclusion
intimacy
love
mutuality
nurturing
respect/self-respect
safety
security
stability
support
to know and be known
to see and be seen
to understand and
be understood
trust
warmth

PHYSICAL WELL-BEING
air
food
movement/exercise
rest/sleep
sexual expression
safety
shelter
touch
water

HONESTY
authenticity
integrity
presence

PLAY
joy
humor
laughter
delight
creativity

PEACE
beauty
communion
ease
equality
harmony
inspiration
order

AUTONOMY
choice
freedom
independence
space
spontaneity

MEANING
awareness
celebration of life
challenge
clarity
competence
consciousness
contribution
creativity
discovery
efficacy
effectiveness
growth
hope
learning
mourning
participation
purpose
self-expression
stimulation
to matter
understanding

What is important about identifying needs? When we are in a place of feeling needy, we have an unmet need that isn’t being expressed. We feel desperate, lost, uncertain of ourselves. When we are aware of our needs, we feel better because what we reveal we can heal. What we can name, we can claim. What we can claim, we can take responsibility for getting those needs met.

If you can identify something that is bothering you, you can take ownership of it, and claim the responsibility of getting it met with interity. If you can identify the need that is causing the upset you will notice an immediate calming affect that discharges hyperarousal and reactivity. This is an important component of empathy in our relationship to ourselves and to others.

One thing that is emphasized in Law of Delight training is knowing the difference between needs and strategies for meeting needs. The other thing that is emphasized in our training is how we communicate, name and claim our needs.  Needs are typically one word and universal to all humans. Strategies involve the underlying actions to meet needs. I have a need for order is a clear expression of a need. I need you to pick up after yourself is an expression of a strategy. When we say “I need you” we are naming and blaming the person and not taking responsibility or ownership for getting our needs met.

The Universe LOVES to meet your needs! ALL of them. But if you are too immersed in manipulation to get your needs met, you lose your ability to deliberately create your reality. Learning to have conversations with the Universe and with others, deepens our ability to have compassionate, loving relationships.

If we expect a specific person to take some action to meet our needs, we are using strategies and manipulations.

When we are giving someone empathy it is important to stick with needs and not strategies or advice until they are fully heard. And then only go to strategies and advice when asked. Sticking to needs is a real challenge for most people, we have been trained by society to fix things. People don’t like “being fixed.” It implies there is something wrong with them.

Take FULL Responsibility for Your Emotions. (Learn to Express Your Needs Clearly)

1. Distinguishing between needs and strategies.

Expression of a Strategy

  1. I need you to show me some respect.
  2. I have a need for you to help.
  3. I want my son to listen.

Expression of a Need

  1. I would like some respect.
  2. I need support.
  3. I am needing to be heard.

2. Taking responsibility for our feelings.

Denial of responsibility

  1. You make me mad when you don’t show respect.
  2. I feel glad that you got the promotion.
  3. I feel sad when you don’t understand me.

Accepting responsibility

  1. I feel annoyed when you don’t address me as Sir, because I am wanting respect.
  2. When you got the promotion I was glad because I was hoping you would be recognized for all that you had done.
  3. When you look at me like that, I feel disappointment and I am guessing you are not getting what I am saying. Need: to be understood.

3. Using emotions to help identify needs.

Emotions/feelings

  1. I feel he’ll never finish his project. (concern)
  2. I feel inadequate as a parent.(shame)
  3. I feel rejected. (lonely)

Needs guesses

  1. efficiency, competence, awareness, effectiveness, purpose, compassion
  2. appreciation, acceptance, empathy, competence, understanding
  3. closeness, acceptance, love, belonging, companionship, trust, harmony
Needs Expressed in a Disconnecting Way Needs Expressed Clearly
I feel I should be more organized  When I have trouble finding my keys, I feel frustrated and would like to be organized.
You are not listening.
I feel intimidated
I feel you should do the dishes like you promised.
I feel like you seldom pick up after yourself.

Making Requests, not Demands

Letting the Universe (and others) know what we want, need and desire in life!

Requests

re•quest [ri-kwest] From Dictionary.com
noun
1. the act of asking for something to be given or done, especially as a favor or courtesy; solicitation or petition: At his request, they left.
2. an instance of this: There have been many requests for the product.
3. a written statement of petition: If you need supplies, send in a request.
4. something asked for: to obtain one’s request.
5. the state of being asked for; demand.
verb (used with object)
6. to ask for, especially politely or formally: He requested permission to speak.
7. to ask or beg; bid (usually followed by a clause or an infinitive): to request that he leave; to request to be excused.
8. to ask or beg (someone) to do something: He requested me to go.
Idioms
9. by request, in response or accession to a request: The orchestra played numbers by request.

Why is it important to make clear positive action-oriented requests?

If we are not clear about what we want, how can we expect anyone to understand what we want? Especially the Universe! For example, say I want fairness. In my opinion I work hard and my coworker doesn’t. We both get the same raise. I tell the supervisor about it and say I want fairness. The supervisor agrees and says he wants fairness too. What do you think the odds are that my supervisor and I have the same vision about  what fairness is?

In the book Nonviolent Communication, Marshall tells a humorous story about a woman who told her husband that she wants him to spend less time at work. The husband agrees and three weeks later tells the wife he has signed up for a golf tournament. The woman tells Marshall she wishes had been a bit clearer with her request. She wanted to request that he spend one night a week with the children!

If you aren’t clear to the Universe about what you want, you must be careful what you ask for, because you will get it!

An important component of a request is that it is received as a request instead of a demand.

The way we phrase our requests may  lead them to being heard as a demand. If there is any “should” word involved it will probably be perceived as a demand. I call it the “shoulding” all over ourselves effect! If you say to yourself or to others “I should work on my website”, its about the same energy as “try” energy. It’s weak, it’s not action oriented, and it is often perceived as passive-aggressive or procrastinating in energy. Using low value words in a request will render the request itself as either a power-trip, control mechanism, manipulation or passive-aggressive.

If the requester is an authority figure or has more power in the situation using the word “should” it will most likely create resistance, opposition and even strife within the relationship.

  1. A request may be heard as demand if:
    1. Use of should in the phrase is heard
    2. Supposed to do as I ask (meaning implied control/domination OVER the other person)
    3. Deserve language (as in martyrdom or entitled behavior)
    4. Punishment or blame for a no response (passive-aggressive or manipulation/domination)
    5. Justification (passive aggressive, victimizing or manipulation)
    6. If the requestor is in an authoritarian position
      1. Teacher
      2. Boss
      3. Parent
      4. Police Officer
  2. A request is a request if:
    1. No is an acceptable answer
    2. Empathize with the no, when a no is received
    3. Intent is to connect not get compliance

Keys to Making A Clear Request to The Universe or to Others.

1. Distinguishing between positive and negative (what we don’t want) requests.

These are samples to help you think about how you word your requests to yourself, to others, and to The Universe.

Negative

  1. I want you to stop smoking.
  2. I want you to stop talking so much.
  3. I don’t want you listening to the mp3 player while I am talking.

Positive

  1. I would like you to tell what needs are being met by smoking and discuss other ways of meeting those needs.
  2. I want you to sit quietly while I am studying.
  3. I would like to be heard. Would you take the earbuds out of your ears while I am talking?

2. Being specific versus being vague.

Vague

  1. I would like you to understand me.
  2. I want you to show some appreciation for me.
  3. I want you to show me that you love.

Specific

  1. I would like you to tell me what you heard me say.
  2. Tell me one thing you appreciate about me.
  3. I want you to kiss me before you leave the house?

3. Requesting feedback.

Disconnecting

  1. Can you tell me what I said?
  2. Same as above
  3. Would you tell me what you think about what I just said?

Connecting

  1. Would you tell me what you heard me say?
  2. How do you feel having heard me say that?
  3. Do you think my idea I just suggested will work, if not why?
Vague or Negative Requests Specific, Positive Action Requests
Would you be more organized?
I would like to be listened to.
I would like to be talked to in a respectful way.
I would like the dishes to be cleaned.
I would like for people to pick up after themselves

Communicating with Honesty

Expressing yourself without alienating others

Defining Honesty

hon⋅es⋅ty [on-uh-stee] From Dictionary.com
noun, plural hon⋅es⋅ties.

1. the quality or fact of being honest; uprightness and fairness.
2. truthfulness, sincerity, or frankness.
3. freedom from deceit or fraud.
4. Obsolete , chastity.

Honesty is to say what you are feeling (emotion), the observation that stimulated the emotion, what you are wanting (needs), and if you have a request. Honesty refers to being fully self-expressed about what’s alive in you.

Honesty is a complement of empathy and is critical for self-empathy, self-love and empowering yourself to being fully delighted with life.

Using honesty enables The Law of Delight to work faster. We don’t focus on hiding from our emotions or feelings, we are all about getting to the heart of them to understand what our deeper needs and heart’s desires truly are.

Demonstrating empathy acknowledges what the other person is observing, feeling, needing and requesting. Because of how powerful empathy is at creating connection sometimes empathy is given priority over honesty. And many Law of Attraction teachers I find teaching people to ignore their emotions and self-talk and don’t teach people healthy strategies to digging deeper to get to their heart of what they truly long for.

I find honesty is just as important as empathy. And unfortunately, due to my need for honesty, at times I had been brutally honest without empathy and destroyed many relationships. We must be able to practice boundary setting, discernment and balance both empathy and honesty.

Without the honesty the other party may not understand what is going on for us. When we are communicating the Law of Delight way of life we are either speaking honesty or demonstrating empathy through our listening. Because a huge component in Law of Delight living is deepening and having better more connected relationships with one another.

Before expressing honesty, I find it wise to evaluate if the other party is ready to hear what I have to say.

If you are in the middle of a heated argument you are not likely to be listened to with an open heart. If you are upset and the other party is not the stimulus for the upset and they know how to demonstrate empathy, you have a shot at being heard. Unless they are skilled at Compassionate Communication, you are very unlikely to receive empathy.

If we decide to express honestly and the person we are talking to is not familiar with compassionate communication most likely the first time honesty is expressed he or she will hear criticisms and judgments and they won’t be delighted with the conversation. So it is best to frame the conversation with the request, “I would like to be able to honestly express what is alive within me now, is now a good time?”

Since this is the majority of communication most people hear, I am actually more surprised when they don’t hear criticisms and judgments when I speak compassionately. Often I will get someone in my training who is not familiar with the communications tools I train and I am very surprised that he or she can demonstrate empathy after I have expressed what is alive in me.

Compassionate Honesty vs Judgments, Criticisms and Evaluations

An Expression with Evaluation or Judgment Compassionate Honesty
You are always late. That’s rude, when will you show up on time.
You make me so angry when you are disrespectful.
Living with you is like living with a brick wall, I don’t know what you are feeling.
You were lazy and left the dishes you promised to do in the sink.
I’m tired of living with a slob.

 

The Rest of Today’s Lesson are in the following links: