Working in two cities make me get the opportunity to spend time with my godchildren. Two weeks ago, I was with them and happened to be around while they were preparing to go to school. This usually is not the norm I usually leave the house very early to catch a train before they wake up.
I had actually looked at my diary for the week and had thought it would be nice to participate in their bath time and do school runs with them as I love to be part of their lives as much as possible.
But when the day came, I had an article I was working on and so ended up not bathing them. However, while they were being dressed for school, I walked into their room.
My godson, who is the more emotionally expressive of the twins just announced, “:Aunty Grace is taking us to school”.
Wow, I had no choice in the matter and since it was actually something I was thinking of doing, I accompanied their mum for the school runs and everyone was happy .
On my way to work later, I was reflecting on the incident and wondering why sometimes , as adults , we do not act like my godson when it comes to stating our desires and expectations , especially to our partners, spouses and friends. We wrongly assume that they should know automatically.
Somehow we feel that if they truly loved us, they should know what we want and when they do not meet our expectations, we are disappointed. Interestingly, we can even justify our not communicating our needs by saying that doing so will remove the romantic connotation when it is done!
One of the greatest causes of conflicts in relationships is assumptions. Imagine if my godson assumed I would take him to school and never spoke. I probably would have since I had it in mind but the reality in most relationships is that it doesn’t always happen this way.
One person is expecting to be treated a certain way and never really says and when nothing happens, is upset at the other person for not knowing exactly what to do. In short, sometimes, our love tank becomes depleted unnecessarily while we are blaming our partners. I am sometimes guilty of this and I think, the women folk generally are the main culprits in most relationships.
If we must avoid some unnecessary conflicts, we must learn to state our expectations. In a healthy relationship, doing this will help partners show love to each other in a way that is meaningful to each party.
So let’s say you have a headache and you tell your partner and he empathizes with you then and never checks up again on you to see how you are doing (after all, he knows you have had some medication) and that leaves you feeling unloved because you expected he would check on you and he didn’t check. The chances that you will get another headache some months down the line and have a repeat of the incident that has depleted some of your love tank is very high, hence the need to talk about it. There is nothing wrong in letting them know that it would have warmed your heart more if they had asked later how you were doing.
I remember a friend several years ago complaining about a perceived insensitivity of her husband. What did he do? Well according to her, in a period where she was making several journeys. she could be on a journey of over 3 hours without a word from him. Usually at the beginning of such journeys, she would call her husband to inform him that the journey was about to commence. However her husband would not check on her till she arrived at her destination and made a call to say she had arrived safely. But we had a mutual friend whose husband would call my friend during her journey periodically to check how far she had gone. Of course, that was something that made her feel loved but her husband did not know. It was not a mortal sin but a potential cause of conflict because of a wrong perception that he did not care.
And I could go on with several other examples but I am sure this is something we can all relate to. We may put it down to differences in love language but this sometimes is influenced by the way we were brought up all which usually is different from that of our partners or spouses .
So there is nothing wrong in stating what we desire rather than getting hurt because we assumed our partners would do something. It may not have crossed their mind in that way and in a healthy relationship, a partner will not accuse or judge you for expressing your desires and feelings and would most probably learn from you. This would serve as a learning curve in the relationship, making it become a safe haven where everyone feels loved.
So like my godson, let’s learn to say things, especially the little things that matter to us . Expecting our loved ones to know exactly what we want without communicating it to them is not fair and puts an unnecessary strain on our relationships. Our partners, friends, work colleagues are not mind readers, and playing the mind reading game has always proved to be detrimental to relationships.
There are still some professional Mind Readers we can visit for a fee if we want our minds read but as long as our loved ones do not belong to that profession, let us stop holding them to ransom in the mind reading game, which we all fail woefully at.
Leaving those failures behind, we can all learn to start stating our expectations with a much greater chance they will be met.
“Ask and you may not be given” .
Ps : It may be a good idea if you have not done this already,you can . Take the 5 Love Languages Quiz Test