Do you find it hard to express your needs openly? Here are 11 reasons why

We all have needs, but not all can express themselves. Know why you struggle to express your needs to your partner.
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Reasons we struggle to express our needs. Image courtesy: Freepik
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 20 Dec 2022, 12:30 pm IST
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Many people are vocal about their needs. Be it the choice of food, clothes, emotions or idea of intimacy, many know when and how to share their opinion. But there are also some who would just listen to their partner and not talk about their own needs. You might feel like the words are stuck in your throat. There could be many reasons why you struggle to express your needs. Many a times the reason may be rooted in your childhood days and your upbringing. Read on to know the reasons why you find it difficult to express your needs in a relationship.

An Instagram post by therapist and relationship expert Dr Elizabeth Fedrick around this interesting subject, drew our attention. It notes that during our most formative years, some of us are often told to figure out how to protect ourselves and be highly self-sufficient.

As a result of these experiences, we realise early on that the best chance at survival is to learn how to be independent. And so, we don’t give much emphasis on how to be interdependent, which is mutually taking care of each other. That involves expressing our needs too.

Fedrick reminds readers that one’s own needs matter and that every person is worthly of having these needs met.

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There are reasons why you find it hard to express yourself. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Here’s why you may find it hard to express your needs in a relationship

1. Your wants and needs were dismissed during childhood

Childhood is very important as years later, it affects your adult life. If your wants were not taken care of when you were a kid, when you grow up, it becomes difficult for you to express what you desire.

2. Fear that it might upset your partner and turn into an argument

Everyone has needs, and if your partner can share them with you, so can you. Holding back when it comes to sharing your needs just because it might lead to an argument or upset your partner is not a wise thing to do.

3. The belief that having needs makes you needy or weak

Just because someone is sharing their needs with you doesn’t mean they are weak or needy. So, stop believing that, and express freely.

4. You weren’t taught how to appropriately express your needs

This also goes back to your childhood. If you weren’t taught how to be open and express your needs, as an adult you will find it hard to do the same.

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You weren’t taught how to appropriately express your needs. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Convincing yourself over time that we don’t need anyone else

It’s good to be independent but convincing yourself that you don’t need anyone else will further stop you from expressing your needs.

6. You struggle to identify what we actually do need

Sometimes it’s a task to identify our needs, so it automatically becomes difficult to express it.

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7. Fear of disappointment, rejection or feeling let down

Even if you know what you want, there are times when you don’t express it, as you fear that it will be turned down. You don’t want to experience rejection or disappointment.

8. Not wanting to be a burden or inconvenience to others

You think that you are independent enough to do your own thing, and you don’t want to be a burden to others by voicing your needs.

9. Negative beliefs that we aren’t worthy of having our needs met

As Fedrick pointed out, you are worthy of having your needs met, so you shouldn’t have negative thoughts about it.

10. Your partner doesn’t know how to or isn’t willing to show up for you consistently

If you are in a relationship with someone who doesn’t know how to or isn’t willing to show up for you consistently, you might find it hard to express your needs.

11. You believe it’s your job or duty to take care of people

You believe that it is your job to take care of everyone else around you and don’t realise that it is okay to also be taken care of.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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