Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thoughful Requests

What is a "Thoughtful Request?" Asking your spouse or someone else to do something for you, with a willingness to withdraw it if there is a reluctance.

Here's some simple guidelines to turn a Selfish Demand into a Thoughtful Request:

1. Make your request safe and enjoyable
- what this means is the way it is presented - in a safe and enjoyable manner. No demands, no disrespect and no anger. A bonus would be a smile on your face when your introduce the problem. :)

2. Explain what you want and ask how the other person feels about doing it - This takes the focus not just on what you want but also on how the other person feels. It's being considerate and thoughtful - especially important in a marriage situation. Alot of times people will be so much more willing to do it because of your concern for them, but this is not always the case. So what do you do if the other person still doesn't want to fulfill your request?

3. If the other person has a problem with your request, withdraw it in its present form and brainstorm alternatives that would be mutually acceptable.
Now the truth of the matter if you are a controlling, demanding person you will not follow this step but if you want to change then this step is crucial. What a controlling, demanding person must understand for success is that they do not have a right to make demands. So they assume that their wedding vows gave them this right but we have already talked about how our demands destroy love.

4. Keep brainstorming until you find a solution that you both can agree on.
Most of the time you spouse or any one else that cares about you wants to help. Sometimes it's the timing that is difficult or sometimes it is creating new habits but it does take time and effort to reverse some of the ways we react to each other.

If you have been in the habit of make demands you will need to ask your spouse or others to remind you of what you are doing if you really want to work on this. If you have been in the habit of making demands you probably will continue that habit unless someone can point it out in a loving manner.

Some questions to ask yourself
  • Can you identify selfish demands in your relationships?
  • Could someone bring that to your attention and if so would there be consequences for that?
  • Is it important to you that you make decisions that take others feelings into account, especially your spouse?
  • Are you will to eliminate selfish demands and replace them with thoughtful requests?
If you are really serious about this you could make a worksheet titled "Selfish Demands" so whenever one of you feels the other made a demand you write it down then have a second sheet with "Thoughtful Requests" on it where you could write down the thoughtful requests that have been made.

When you learn how to make thoughtful requests you will probably see you will receive more from each other than you did when you were making selfish demands and the atmosphere of your relationship will be so much better.

Next Post: Disrespectful Judgements: Who wants to live with a critic???

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