Communicating Without Need
When we say the words, “I love you,” our hope is that the sentiment will be returned. When we’re upset and try to express our emotions to another our desire is for that person to accept that they’ve caused us pain and to make it better – to heal the wound. We long to be heard and understood.
The problem many of us face, is the reality of our egos. Many times, when we communicate, we’re saying first, “I need you to hear my pain so that you understand that you’ve caused it. Or I disagree with you, and I expect you to see my point of view because I believe that I’m right.” We go into our communication with an expected outcome and if we don’t receive it, our egos feel wounded and the pain grows.
When I wrote the dream – To say what I feel without need or expectation – I knew it would be one of the toughest dreams to achieve. It didn’t take money, time, or anything material to come to me. Instead, to make this dream come true, I would have to place my ego aside; not an easy task.
I’ve always had the gift of communication. I can eloquently express my emotions, thoughts, and in a fight I’m a tough opponent. I can easily make someone see my point. When the other person refuses to see my side, an anger roars. I push harder, forcing my view, and at times I can make someone feel small. This can be helpful in business when I’m trying to get my way and the term Dragon Lady has been used, but the emotional place I have to go inside to become this person isn’t pleasant.
When we enter into communication with need or expectation, we have already decided the outcome. We’re no longer looking to see the other side, but instead focused on our needs. This was what I wished to change in my life. I no longer wanted the anger it took to force someone to see my side. I also, didn’t want to back down from the things that were hard to face: conflicts, emotions, expressions of love, or even different viewpoints.
I realized that my dream had come true of saying what I need without need or expectation when I began catching myself thinking about the outcome before I entered into a conversation. Instead of allowing my ego to storm ahead, waging war, or expressing its needs, I stopped and waited. I began to step away and ask myself why I needed to say what I felt. What I’ve found, is though I don’t always get the outcome I originally desired, I have found peace in stating my feelings.
For instance, I needed to tell someone that I felt they were being unfair in a charge for a service rendered. I cared deeply for this person and it was a hard conversation to have. The charges were placed without my knowledge and I was expected to accept them. I knew if I didn’t speak up for what I felt was fair, I would feel resentment. I also knew that I didn’t wish to fight and when the other person’s feeling arose, I was able to step back realize that whatever the outcome, I would know that I spoke my thoughts from a place of peace. In the end, we came to a compromise.
I believe, that if the world began to really listen to one another without placing the outcome or need before the other person there would be more understanding and acceptance. For how can we really listen to someone else when we’re busy defending, planning our attack, or allowing our egos to dominate?