Handing Out My 'Instruction Manual'

It's often difficult to connect with people around us. My own personal needs are often incompatible with the other's. When my colleagues are on vacation I can't take time off. My kids want to just play games whereas I think about their future. And my partner's real desires might be a complete mystery to me. Also I need to take care of myself, what about MY needs and joys?... These incompatible desires can make me feel quite alone. As if I try to care about others but nobody seems to care about me.

The truth is that we live in a harsh world - but it's usually not that harsh. Is my 'reading' of the others intentions and feelings not too simple? Am I not ignoring the small gestures and acts that people think of me, be they successful or not? And am I myself good enough in giving the people around me my 'instruction manual' - do I let them know in a kind way how they can support me?

That's probably a good starting point: If I don't want to appear needy, want to 'be strong', then I avoid to share my needs altogether. Or I present them in a demanding - basically unacceptable - tone...

There is a middle way: to talk about my needs from a position of transparency and kindness. Not weak, and not demanding either. It's an invitation to support me. Invitations don't have to be accepted, but it's best when they are accepted voluntarily.

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