Melissa Allen


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Why do I have to tell her/him what I need? If they love me, they should “know”

So there is a hell of a lot to get done. The to do list is unrelenting. Lots of big stuff happening and lots of feelings about it. Shouldn’t your partner/friend/colleague “just know” how you feel. “Isn’t it obvious!?” “Wouldn’t they feel the same way if it was them?”

Today we are talking about:
Why do I have to tell her/him what I need? If they love me, they should “know

So I get it. It would be so fabulous to have such a symbiotic relationship with another human that they knew our thoughts at the same time we had them. If they knew our needs just as we felt them.
That could be helpful, but why should they instinctively know anything unless we tell them?


Sadly the only way we can have that level of attunement and instinctive “knowing” would be if we were in relationship with a carbon copy of ourselves.
Even though that would make many moments in life simpler as there would be only one opinion on each topic, it would also make life more boring. There wouldn’t be too much to talk about because we already knew the same things and felt the same way about it!

There are a few key concepts for healthy relationships:
1) Healthy relating involves two well differentiated humans. This means being able to hold in mind the concept that “there are two people in the relationship.” While this sounds obvious, when it is really acknowledged, it means being able to tolerate that there is always an  “other” to consider and that the other may have different feelings and needs to me.
It is about being able to tolerate that differences can occur and those differences aren’t threatening.

2) Once we are holding in mind step 1 above, then the second step is being motivated to get curious about that other person’s feelings and needs. Not assuming what they think, feel or need NOR assuming that they need, feel or think the same as ourselves. Instead, the task is to actually seek out information from them. Open up a dialogue and thrash it out together.


Once we really appreciate that we are two separate humans in relationship.
Once we give up the hope that this “other” will have some mythical crystal ball where they “will just know” what i feel, think, need.”
Once we actively seek out information about what each other think, feel and need in each context.

Whether it’s with a partner, a child, a colleague or a friend – All our relationships become simpler.

I encourage you to keep on sending me your questions – things that you ponder: tools you want in your toolkit to make life and relationships smoother. You keep asking and each Wednesday, I will answer.

Warmly on Wednesday,

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