Confidence is an extremely attractive quality. Confidence is not about our accomplishments, the title we hold or where we live. Real confidence is self-love and it comes from within us. It is being kind, compassionate and loving with oneself. It is knowing that we will be okay no matter what. It is self-assuredness based on self-awareness. It is expressing who we are authentically and unapologetically. Confident people are at ease and show their uniqueness. They respectfully express their views without fear of criticism, even if those views differ from what is popular. This kind of authentic confidence is different from arrogance or feeling superior. Your comfort level with yourself is extremely attractive to others. When we are confident, we carry ourselves with ease and presence. People are drawn to ease and presence.
On the other hand, neediness is emotional immaturity or co-dependence that can suck the life out of your relationship. It can start with your needs not being met.
When we are not fulfilled in our relationship, we tend to become critical of our partner and lash out in various ways. The thing is this: you can’t blame your partner for not providing something you did not ask him to provide. He cannot read your mind no matter how long you’ve been together. No one likes needless drama, passive aggressive behavior and criticism. Clearly expressing your needs is critical to your well-being and the health of your relationship. When you don’t let negative emotions fester, you are managing your feelings proactively in a healthy way.
It is from a place of confidence that we must express our needs to our partner. Often, there exists the false belief that if we express our emotional needs, we will be viewed as “weak” or “burdensome.” Expressing your emotional needs in a healthy and positive way is advocating for your relationship. When you don’t express your needs to your partner, small issues become magnified and over time, turn into resentment or worse.
What’s good for you is good for the relationship and what’s good for your partner is also good for the relationship. Learn to express your needs in a respectful and positive way. It is critical to the success of your relationship. In turn, when your partner expresses his needs, listen attentively and with an open mind. Don’t take it personally, as an attack. Two people may very well have very different needs and tendencies. It is completely natural to have conversations about how you feel and where you stand on issues.
Here’s an example of how to express your needs that will garner positive results:
“I really love when you share your feelings with me and show more affection. It makes me feel close to you. I think our relationship can get even stronger if we continue to practice expressing our feelings openly without worrying about judgment and criticism. I'd love to practice this way of being with each other. I think it will only benefit us and make us grow closer. How do you feel about this?”
Let’s break this down. You are not criticizing. Rather, you’re expressing a need in a positive context. You’re letting your partner know that you like this behavior and more of this behavior will benefit the relationship (and him) positively.
Who in the world can deny your needs if you express them this way? Start thinking and operating this way. Express your needs in a positive, thoughtful and timely manner. Above all, do not let negative feelings fester.
Expressing our needs is simple but not necessarily easy. It takes practice. Showing vulnerability isn’t natural for most of us. Think about the way you were raised. Were you really able to express your feelings with your parents? Did your parents openly express their feelings with one other? Or did they shove hard issues under the carpet?
Vulnerability isn’t easy but it’s so worth it. When you share your inner most feelings, fears and thoughts, you’re on your way to being fully seen, heard and loved. There’s no more a beautiful state than being accepted, loved and celebrated for who you are.
Make it a point daily to practice this way of operating in your relationship. Not only will you strengthen the union but your needs will be met. It’s a win-win.
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