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Asking For What You Need

Last evening, as I sat reading some blogs, Pablo came up to me and started whacking me with his paw. What did he want? A little game of ball.
For a dog who almost never barks, he certainly has a way of letting us know what he needs. Sometimes it’s a little treat of cheese when we’re having a snack, sometimes it’s a game of ball, or he wants his water bowl refilled, another toy from his ‘toy cupboard’ and sometimes it’s just a ‘head massage’. And he’s so charming about it all, that he usually gets his way.

Pablo asking Jose to play ball with him

As I reflected on this aspect of Pablo’s behavior, I thought of my own journey in asking for what I need. I used to have a huge problem asking people for what I need. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m happy to be the giver but not so comfortable being the one who receives. I think it’s a deep insecurity – a fear of being rejected, that  stopped me from asking for what I need. But I’m gradually learning that it isn’t fair to expect our loved ones to guess what we need. It’s important for us to expressly say things like: ‘I’m really tired, can you help me with this…’ or ‘I need a hug’…..or ‘I’m worried about something and would like to discuss it with you….’ or ‘I’m not sure of this and would like your opinion……’
In fact, I’ve learnt that asking to have your valid needs met is part of any healthy relationship.
Pablo asking for a snack! 

You can’t ask for what you want unless you know what it is. A lot of people don’t know what they want or they want much less than they deserve. First you have figure out what you want. Second, you have to decide that you deserve it. Third, you have to believe you can get it. And, fourth, you have to have the guts to ask for it. ~  Barbara De Angelis

Do you ask for what you need or do you expect your loved ones to guess?

May you be inspired – everyday!


  1. G Angela G Angela July 21, 2011

    corinne ! very well said, not easy to ask what we need, and as most of the time, I am happy to give, I require courage to ask, in order to be healthy ! reflecting on this …

  2. melissatandoc melissatandoc July 21, 2011

    Corinne…I need a hug… okay, from you know who… hahaha… and it gets better by the day. Being with kids most of the times I usually hint what they want… as a nurse, it’s called anticipating the needs of the patient… hmmm… but it sn’t easy. I would love my friends and family to tell me what they need. Most of the times, it’s a listening ear… some form of intimacy… 

    I make my needs known too (all of them are known to God)…

    loved this ;)… 

  3. Jenni Jenni July 21, 2011

    I can be hard for various reasons to ask someone for help. Rejection does play a big part and so does the old “I will just have to go back and redo it anyway.” I offer my help, I guess I expect people to be as a kind and considerate as me…they aren’t and never will be. I hope you have learned to ask for what you need, I will take your words to heart and work on asking for what I need.

  4. Brenda Moguez Brenda Moguez July 21, 2011

    Oh how I wish they could read my mind.  I don’t always say what I need.  I know  and accept because I  have a creative streak I am not always ‘understood’ an it’s hard to explain, so I work at not being terribly needy..  I so enjoy reading your posts,it’s like a creative soul hug that lingers long after I leave the page. 

  5. Lainascorner Lainascorner July 21, 2011

    Nice post Corinne! I love the pictures too! Thank your for sharing.

  6. Paula Renaye Paula Renaye July 21, 2011

    Very well said! It is hard for givers to understand that we are stopping the flow of energy when we don’t allow others to give to us. We know how great we feel, so really, it is being selfish when we deny others to feel that goodness by giving to us!

  7. sharbori sharbori July 21, 2011

    hi, lovely and poignant post.  I have seen not being able to seek for help also comes from a long habit of believing that ” i am my only resource” and hence seeking others resources are not legitimate or shameful or not valid. what do you think?

  8. Debra Elramey Debra Elramey July 20, 2011

    The wisdom of dogs…may we learn to make known our needs as
    freely and uninhibitedly as they.  

  9. Alpana Jaiswal Alpana Jaiswal July 20, 2011

    Corinne,I have always been a giver in all my relationships,and even asking sometimes didn’t help.And at times asking meant me lowering myself down to a level which made me feel cheap…

  10. Pat Pat July 20, 2011

    I used to be afraid to ask as well – fear of rejection!  Then I learned that the feelings of rejection and the feelings of not having our needs met, hurt about the same…so why not take the risk and ask.  That way we are authentic and know we at least did our part to stay in our power.

  11. Larry Larry July 20, 2011

    I wonder if that would work. Lie on my back, feet and arms in the air, wimpering … at worst all i’d get is a tummy tickle at best i may be asked ‘What is it you need darling’. But i suppose i’ve learnt that people aren’t mind readers, and you owe it to yourself and them, to never hide either what you’re feeling, or what you need. When we do ask for something, within reason, our friends, our family will always try and give us that what we need. A saying i’ve used many a time, is if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

  12. Bec Owen Bec Owen July 20, 2011

    I agree that fear of rejection often stops us from asking for what we want and need…been there, done that! (Not much fun, either, LOL)

    Thank you Corinne, for sharing this!

  13. elizabeth young elizabeth young July 20, 2011

    I suffer from the same affliction as you Corinne (as you can probably tell), it’s wonderful to give help but very difficult to receive. I have improved but reminders are good because they show us the need to improve. Also wonderful to see your home, your husband and your dog! Beautiful Corinne.

  14. Dangerous Linda Dangerous Linda July 20, 2011

    I agree wholeheartedly, Corinne.  In fact, I recently took a friend to task who was quoting: “He who gives when he is asked has waited too long.” ~Sunshine Magazine.  In my opinion, it is very destructive to relationships to expect people to read our minds as a test for their affection!

    Thank you for sharing pics of your beautiful family! xoxox 

  15. Sarah-Jane Klemis Sarah-Jane Klemis July 20, 2011

     It’s an interesting post and I love how animals, without all the complexities of life can make a point far easier than we can.  I think animals and children can teach us far more than we ever realised we needed to know.

  16. Colleen Colleen July 20, 2011

    Oh Corinne, wonderful topic.  I also am far more comfortable helping than asking.  And yet when you really think about it, that is a form of pride, isn’t it?   To not be able to ask or graciously accept help or support from another person.  I have a friend who asks for help beautifully and with perfect confidence and not a touch of the negative about it, I admire her greatly and would love to learn that trait. 🙂

    Have a lovely day!

  17. Rimly Bezbarua Rimly Bezbarua July 20, 2011

    I am still so hesitant about asking people. I would rather give. You are right. It is a deep sense of fear of rejection, whereas in giving there is no such worry. Thank you Corrine for sharing this gem..

  18. roy durham roy durham July 20, 2011

    in any relationship healthy communication is the key to a lasting  relationship.
    guessing what the other person wants or  need  you be wrong 50% of the time

  19. Michelle Shaeffer Michelle Shaeffer July 20, 2011

    I’m working on this one…  I tend to be much better at the giving side than the accepting side.  But you’re right — in a healthy relationship we’ve got to communicate our needs.

  20. OtienoHongo OtienoHongo July 20, 2011

    Most of the time I don’t ask as I imagine I will be a bother or it is akin to showing weakness….only to regret later!

  21. Sulekha Rawat Sulekha Rawat July 20, 2011

    I am getting addicted to your everyday gyaan. Loved this post too, I have written a poem on Roxy and Emilio on my blog, inspired by one sister’s rant. Do check it out

  22. Jim McIntosh Jim McIntosh July 20, 2011

    The nicest thing my wife can say is “I need a hug.” So much is in those words.

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