CommunicationThe Vulnerability Challenge

#TheVulnerabilityChallenge: Asking for what you need when what you need isn’t understood (Day 15)

asking for what you need
Hayley Stanton
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Hayley Stanton

Director & Coach at Quiet Connections
Hayley shares her personal stories of feeling shy, socially anxious, ‘not good enough’ and fearfully avoiding the good things in life. Growing her confidence through coaching, gradually stretching her comfort zone and connecting with others, she now uses everything she has learned to help other people grow their confidence in her role as a coach. Hayley is passionate about connecting people with similar stories and creating safe, supportive spaces to make friends and try new things. Hayley dreams of a time when all of the strengths, skills and goodness in ‘quiet’ is recognised and appreciated as readily as being bold, gregarious, and comfortable in the spotlight is right now.
Hayley Stanton
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#TheVulnerabilityChallenge Day 15

When you don’t ask for what you need because you don’t want to inconvenience someone

Asking for what you need really isn’t easy, and even more so when you feel that what you need isn’t fully understood by other people.

One particular example for me is my need for an uncluttered environment. The way that some people have responded has had me doubting if this is a genuine need or if I’m a super perfectionist. But, that’s not the case: I can survive in a cluttered environment. But, eventually, I become really stressed and frustrated and not my best self at all.

I think why I find it so difficult to ask for what I need in this is because it’s not something I can control on my own and I need other people to change their behaviours to make that different. I’ve always tended to put other people’s needs before my own. I don’t like to do anything that inconveniences people. And asking anyone to change any of their behaviours is really inconveniencing them in my mind.

So quite often I will avoid asking for what I need until it gets to a point where it’s really impacting on my mental health, and it can impact on my productivity too, especially if it’s in my working environment. I’ve become used to taking up as little space as I possibly can and allowing other people to have a lot more space than I do. It’s something that I’m still trying to break out of; choosing to take up more space and be more assertive about what I need.

The times when this challenge has been most apparent has been when I’m sharing a house with other people. I’ve found it really difficult because I wonder what right I have to ask for someone else to change. Because surely, someone else has as much right to be messy as I have to be tidy? I think it’s really difficult sometimes for people to recognise that the space has such an impact. And when people have changed their behaviours, it’s usually because I’ve tried to fully explain what things are like for me. Quite often, people still don’t get it, but they may be willing to accept that I’m different to them and it’s a genuine need. And it is; I’ve come to realise that sense of calm is really important for me. I need to feel calm to function at my best in life.

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