Ask for What you Want – The End of Therapy

It is my suspicion that if more people were able to ask for what they want in life, there would be fewer people in psychotherapy offices. True, when they don’t get it, they would need someone to vent to.

I found a passage in “The Alchemist,” this week, a treasured book written by Paulo Coehlo. When I saw it and how I came about it was quite moving for me.

“I had to test your courage,” the stranger said. “Courage is the quality most essential to understanding the Language of the World.” The boy was surprised. The stranger was speaking of things that very few people knew about. “You must not let up, even after having coming so far…”

For most women and even men, courage is what it would take to ask for what they want in life. Many women are raised to take second best, to take handouts, get whatever is given to them from men. They should be delighted that they have gotten any attention at all. Men (and now women in the corporate world) are attracted to books such as “The Art of Negotiation,” or “How to Win  Friends and Influence People.” So we learn that you have to manipulate people in order to get what you want. Therefore asking becomes a dirty word. In therapy, people often feel scared when we discuss this subject. Someone may not like them.

It is true, that when you take the rug away for people to walk on, people WON’T like you anymore. It is easy to fall into a pattern of power and control. No, not everyone is taking advantage of the one who is afraid to ask but there are plenty more out there just waiting. You have to shift your mindset, so that you don’t attract anyone who would do this. It is not unusual that when people have decided to give up an addiction, their friends walk away and the new people who come into their life are clean and decent. They are no longer asking them if they want to get high. When you are serious about a mind shift, the world you see suddenly shifts too.

Women think it will make them a bitch. This is because they have seen other women called this. Only men are allowed to be strong and assertive. This is considered a masculine trait. When women do this, they are ridiculed. Society begins to look for dirt on them to bring them down. When I give women permission to do this in my office, they begin to cry sometimes. Crying is beautiful to me because I know that they get the risks involved. I am so amazed when they come back and tell me what they have accomplished. I see them breathing in a different way, a sigh of relief. One woman said loudly “I am not going to let them treat me that way again!” and I knew she meant it. I wanted to shout Hallelujah because I could see how much she really got it. She went on to talk about how it isn’t fair. And it’s not.

Many people who don’t do this have been abused on some level. Whether it has been sexual, physical or emotional, they have been beaten down and still feel as if everything is their fault. They feel undeserving of getting what they want.

Relationships with men, women, family, friends, and children all need to have boundaries set if they are going to be successful and honest. If there is going to be happiness in the long run. Maybe it will only be happiness on the one person’s part (as I have discussed in reference to being with a person who has Narcissism) or happiness within as you realize you are never going to be treated this way again – by anyone. But happiness is something you will see one way or another.

Sometimes people are too afraid to ask for what they want upfront. They know that they will never be able to get it out. We have emails now and this can be helpful so that you can write it, review it, and edit it. It is of course more powerful out loud but in the beginning, take gentle steps. You have tried for many years, in different relationships and seem to keep making the same mistakes. There is only one reason for this. You don’t know how to garner respect from another. When you don’t ask for what you want, you end up miserable. The relationship fails and often we blame the other person on a passive aggressive level for the expectations “they” never “realized” that you had.

Have the courage to step up. It is a risk but it will take you to another level of awareness and you will end up having that which you desire. Have the courage to realize that if you don’t get it from the person you asked it from, you will get it in the future when you begin to live out your potential as a human being in relationship to others.

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