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:
- I am a priority in your life. I am not your backup plan when other plans fall through.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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,