Step 3: Expressing your need
Simply state what happened – objectively and without judgement!
Express your feelings – say what upsets you!
Express your needs – say what is essential for you!
Everybody of us is different. And this is why everybody has got different needs and wants. And that is okay! But whenever we meet other people, we need to tell them what it is that is important for us – that means, what we personally need.
What and How?
Just like before, it is crucial that we don’t point with our fingers at our opponents. Again, compare sentence A with sentence B:
A: “You never give me time!”
B: “I really need a lot of time for myself these days.”
Again, sentence B is a lot better – as we “tone it down” and open the room for common empathy. This is not easy! We are always faster at finding flaws with our “opponents” rather than being aware of our own needs. But this is very important – otherwise the two of you won’t be able to find a good compromise at the end.
Example: Expressing needs
“You’ve won 10 matches in a row now, and it makes me feel insecure about myself. I’m in dire need to experience some success. Therefore, I urgently need you to let me win the next one.”
Useful vocabulary and phrases
Instead of a long list of adjectives, here are some needs that people in friendships might have. (You can ask yourself, which of these are most important to you.)
Friendship needs and skills
- Receiving and giving compliments
- Sharing time and emotions
- Cheering someone up when they are down
- Standing up for each other
- Helping each other when in need
- Being able to admit one’s mistakes
- Telling the truth to each other
- Respecting each other’s needs and wants
- Listening to each other without interrupting one another
- Not gossiping about each other
- Being thoughtful
Revision: want / need + personal pronoun + to-infinitive
In phrases like this, the construction “want / need + personal pronoun + to-infinitive” can be very helpful, such as in:
- I need you to be there for me.
- I want us to always tell each other the truth.
- You want me to spend more time with you, is that what you want to say?
What are the needs your person wants to express? How does he or she do it? Again, come up with a few sentences, and add them up to the ones of the previous steps.