I Want, I Want, I Want!

I am not teaching interpersonal effectiveness right now but it seems to me another quick review might be helpful. Why is that? Well, I put more demands on people than I used to. I am no longer independent and I lean heavily on the people in my life. It might be a plan to try to keep those people around for a while! How to do that can be an issue.

DBT talks about priorities and demands. Priorities are what you want to do. They are important to you. Demands are the things other people want you to do. Other people consider it important for you to do those things.

Right now, I am just chuck full of priorities and, honey, I make demands! I want to go to work. I want to go to my activities. I want to see my friends. I want. I want. I want!

To quote someone I know, how does it feel to want? Not very good!

Problems come about when my priorities butt heads other people’s priorities. For example, it would be nice if spouses’ priorities matched our priorities, but let’s face it: sometimes they just don’t get it!

Did I mention I am a social creature? Think I did. As social as I am, my husband is that reclusive. Go to exercise classes? No. You have exercise DVDs here. As much as I say it is not the same, he does not get it. Because there is no way my husband will ever see getting together with ‘the girls’ in exercise class is a priority, I skirted around that fight. The people who take me to my classes also see the social aspects of group exercise as a priority. Aligned with people who share my interests and priorities, I have reduced some of the ‘problems’ with my demands.

When I am working with someone who does not share my priorities, I have to be pretty sensitive to him. Tolerance for my demands may fluctuate. If I am putting demands on someone who has had a hard day and just wants to relax? Look out. I may not get what I want if the energy level is low. Same goes with emotional state.

My priorities and demands are not going to go over well if I am putting demands on someone who is frustrated or angry or depressed.

Then there is a little thing some people call ‘tit for tat’. Only problem is, it is not just a one to one ratio. The research says if you want to say something critical, for example, you better have given that person 6, six, that was 6 positives. That is the ratio that balances things out and will allow the criticism to be heard. Save the relationship from going down the tubes.

Same deal. If I am going to people with demands to satisfy my priorities, it would work better if they could recall half a dozen times or so that I took care of them. The people I throw demands upon need support, too.

There is a lot more. Too much for one page. We can take this up later. I have to go recognize a priority and satisfy a demand of the beastie baby. Walk time!

Next: How’s Your Balance?

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