i’m learning that the follow-up piece to being assertive about my needs and asking for what i want is acknowledging when i get it.
in the past i had gotten so annoyed about people not giving me what i want (magically predicting my needs without having to explicitly/directly tell them). i felt passed over, ignored, not valued. then bitter. then felt entitled to the bitterness. then a martyr.
assertiveness is a major revelation in my life. i’ve learned that this bitter martyr feeling can be educational. it can inform conversations that need to happen. the conversations should happen once i’m calm, not in the heat of rage. state my needs, give the other person a chance to react and give feedback. and then give it some space. that’s for me, not for them. making my needs known in my important relationships is a gift to myself.
i was having a hard time with my dad, my bitter martyr came out hard because i felt he wasn’t showing enough interest in me during this trip. though i was nervous to do it, last week i expressed my feelings even though i understood that he didn’t mean to hurt me. today in a phone conversation he expressed some concern about my aunt and asked how i was coping. we talked for a while about that, and he was supportive. it was nice! and the bitterness melts.
though i can expect and visualize and dream about how things should be, and then be disappointed when it doesn’t match, i must acknowledge when i’ve gotten what i wanted in a slightly different way.
i’m thankful for that today.