A complaint is an unspoken request.
We share our needs with others and hope they are met. We may ask someone to help clean the house or complete the project on time.
When we ask multiple times and the need is still not met it is natural to complain and feel powerless – asking again for the fourth time isn’t changing anything and yet saying nothing isn’t helping either.
What is not being said that needs to be heard?
Level 1 ~ Initial Request: When you express a need for first time, not only share what you want done, but say how having it done would make you feel and why it is important to you.
- “Sharing household duties makes me feel we have an equal partnership and that we care for each other.”
Level 2 ~ Follow-Up Request: When you ask multiple times and the need is still not being met, there is a deeper feeling that needs to be heard and respected – how you feel when the need is not met.
- “I feel sad / uncomfortable / overwhelmed because…
- ..my need for equality in household duties is not being met.”
- ..I don’t feel like I am being heard and valued.”
- ..I don’t feel like I am being respected.”
Tip ~ Pause
Express your feelings calmly, with brevity and then pause. Allow what you said to sink in and create space for others to respond.
It takes courage to be this transparent. It is an act of vulnerability. Yet by expressing the deeper feelings behind our needs we empower our requests, and compel others to meet them.
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