30 by 31

30 by 31: Feelings & Needs

I decided to share two lessons in one because they are so interrelated. They could be titled ” Taking Care of Yourself and Being Okay With it.” Cause honestly, these two are the hardest lessons sometimes for me to continue to enact in day to day life. Let me explain.

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I grew up being a people pleaser. I was consumed with making everyone around me very happy. As a child, I was greatly rewarded for this behavior. As I get older and moved into adulthood, I saw that this same behavior was a detriment to me. It caused me to diminish my talents in order to fit it.It made me not speak up for my needs and wants like others around me did. This had become a way for me to survive in certain environments by not ruffling feathers.  Yet, it was something that I was out growing.

Thankfully, I picked up a booked that was all about the concept of Non-violent Communication (NVC) and it gave me concrete ways to say what I was feeling. It also reminded me that it was totally acceptable for me to get my needs met directly or to tell someone how I was feeling.

In my marriage I learned to say how I was feeling, rather than “fine” (ladies you know what I am talking about!). Some times it felt so hard because it was new, but you know what was harder? Keeping all that emotion in about a situation that needed to be let out. The past year I have stood up for myself and said how I felt in many important relationships.  Talk about freedom and relief.

Being up front about my needs is totally related to the above lesson.  I am an introvert and many times I need quiet time after being with people for long stretches. For the past few weeks we have been living with in laws while we find an apartment. I told my husband that I needed some quiet time to regroup. For the past few days I haven’t interacted too much with my family, but I have no guilt about it because I am getting recharged. I don’t have to apologize for the fact that I need solitude to balance out social situations. No point in meeting your needs if you are going to feel guilty about doing it. This past year has been full of emails, calls, conversations where I put myself first. And it has made me no less giving or caring for others. In fact, I found more compassion the more compassionate I care for my own needs.

30 by 31 Lesson #9: Say what you are feeling. Being direct and honest saves time and so much energy. 

30 by 31 Lesson #10: Never apologize for meeting you needs. 

What is 30 by 31 all about? I turn 31 next month, and want to reflect on my first year as a thirtysomething. Follow my journey here as I post each day with another 30 by 31 lesson.

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