Expressing My Needs

One of the biggest things I have always struggled with in terms of mental health is not asking for/stating what I need. I, like all human beings, can be selfish, but I don’t like to. I am easily prone to guilt and pressure. The end result is I rarely am honest about what I need in terms of my own mental health.

This is probably often the most reflected in my need for my own space. I don’t like telling people no if they invite me to come visit them (family) or invite me out (friends). This means one of two things happens. One I agree, end up stressing myself to an extreme before and after the event in question. Or most likely I agree then lie and back out. The reality is it would simply be much better for me to honestly and straight forward say, “No, I am sorry, I just don’t feel like I can right at the moment”. The sad reality is people won’t always respond well to that honesty, but they certainly won’t respond well to lies, excuses, or a negative attitude. I end up doing more harm than good in terms of my relationships with others and stress level when I choose these paths. Not only that but my desires and needs do deserve to be paid attention to. If I need time, I need time. People that care for me should be able to understand that.

This is of course just one example, but it is the one most common with me. Because I have a tendency to be so social and outgoing I think it’s hard for others to realize I cannot always maintain this. I will go days where even just simple conversations are difficult for me. Being able to be honest about that is something I need to work on.

Just like being honest with my husband that sometimes I can’t make decisions, even seemingly easy ones. That sometimes I can’t talk on the phone and I just need to text with family. That I need people around me to leave me in silence.

I have no intention to go from one negative extreme to the other. However, learning to be more honest and simply acknowledge what my needs are is something important for me.

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