I have a hard time asking for what I need in relationships.  I am a helper at heart and get energy from supporting other people.  Unfortunately, the support I provide can become too much.  Often, I give until I’m depleted.  I frequently forget to prioritize my needs and end up resentful towards others.

I often wonder, “Why do I feel like I give more than I receive in most relationships?  Why don’t people invest in me the way I invest in them?” 

I’ve read more books on setting healthy boundaries than I care to admit out loud.  I have also participated in several coaching sessions where I’ve practiced the right way to say “no.”  None of it helped me.

When someone I care about needs something, there is no amount of “no prose” that will save me.

If I have time, I will typically say “yes.”

Most recently, I found myself resentful in a relationship because I overextended myself.  This relationship was already in a negative balance and I gave even more.  I recognized once again I needed to do some serious work on my end.

Instead of sifting through the usual literature I consume, I decided to try a different approach.

I created a top 5 list of what I expect in relationships.  This list was therapeutic to create.  Reflecting on my own core values in relationships helped me define what I need.

Here is my list:

  1. I am a priority in your life. I am not your backup plan when other plans fall through.
  2. I can communicate my thoughts and feelings with you. We may disagree, but you will respect my view- point.  I will respect your viewpoint too.
  3. I know where I stand with you. When someone says something negative about me, I know you have my back.  If I hurt your feelings, I want you to be direct and honest with me so we can work through it.
  4. You know when my birthday is. You don’t ask me how I want to be celebrated.  You know me well enough that you just do something for me.
  5. I value my time. When you make a commitment to me, you honor it.  While things certainly come up, 80% of the time you do what you’ve promised.

While no relationship can honor your core values 100% of the time, people who violate your values regularly deserve a conversation.  This helps the other person understand what’s important to you in relationships and they deserve to understand your expectations (we’ll talk about this on the blog next week).

This week, I want you to focus on creating your top 5 expectations in relationships.

Want a free workbook guide to help you do this?  Subscribe to my e-mail list and I’ll send you a free copy of my guide.

You may have several core values that are important to you, but I encourage you to dig deep and prioritize the most important values.  If you want to share this exercise with me, I’d love to read yours! E-mail me at LieslHays@lieslhays.com

Creating standards together,