Emotional Fitness

Harness the power of emotion to deepen your love with your partner, become more successful at work, and more

10 Ways to Get Your Emotional Needs Met

Tips to heal your love-life

Many people don't know how to ask for what they need in their relationship. The trick is to talk about your own feelings. Here are ten non–confrontational methods that will help you get your emotional desires met.
 
1. If you want your partner to change, get good at making observations. Watch how your partner behaves and be prepared to point that behavior out to your mate in a loving and constructive manner. Blasting someone is not empathetic - it's unkind.
 
2. Talk about the real behaviors that are affecting your relationship. These need to be delivered without opinions. Discuss what specific behaviors you see that you don’t feel good about. (Example: The other day when I was talking you interrupted me.)
 
3. Look at how you are feeling. Are you angry, do you feel cheated or let down? If so you need to tell your partner without belittling him or her. If you present your feelings honestly, a person who loves you will naturally do his or her best to make things right.
 
4. Ask for what you need. Do you want change, understanding or compatibility? Whatever your need asking for it directly will greatly improve your chances of getting it. If your partner doesn't know what you need or if you expect him or her to read your mind no changes can happen.
 
5. Make a single request. By asking your partner for one specific change you greatly increase the provability of getting your needs met. It's best to state your request in gentle terms like, "In the future would you be willing to…"
 
6. Actively address the issue or let it go. Stockpiling (continuing to bring up old topics) will not help to heal your issue. State your needs, have a discussion and then make an agreement that you have either gotten what you needed and are willing to move on or agree that you will readdress the problem at another time in the near future.
 
7. Become more realistic in your expectations. Lowering your expectations is not the same as making them realistic, and you can still have your dreams. It's healthier to have preferences rather than expectations, that way you won't feel as disappointed if your preference isn't met.

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8. Tell your partner what you want, not what you don’t want. Be honest, be clear and be kind. By letting your partner know exactly what you want it will make his or her job much easier.
 
9. Truly value the contribution your partner has made to your life. If someone feels valued he or she will do the best they can to keep your opinion of them high. Reminding your mate that you know your life is better because he or she is in it is very motivational and very loving.
 
10. Equity versus quality. Balance is key to maintaining an emotionally fit relationship. Even though things may not be exactly as you would like them, feeling that life with your mate is balanced will help you to maintain a loving environment.

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Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist, columnist, and radio host. His latest book is The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.

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