Do you know what your needs are? Many of us lose track of our needs because we have put so much energy into taking care of others’ needs. Identifying your needs is critical because it is the first step to getting your needs met.
Answer these questions:
Answering these questions will help you identify what you are missing. Once you recognize your unmet needs, you have to take responsibility in responding to them. You are responsible to communicate your needs to others and ask for what you need, even if it makes you feel vulnerable; however, you cannot demand that other people fulfill your needs because it only increases their resistance to you.
The pitfall here is in expecting that people will meet your needs when you express them. They might and they might not. They might not be capable. They might not be able to. They might not want to. They might prioritize their own needs over yours. They might disagree with your needs. Or, they might make an effort to meet them.
Ultimately, getting your needs met is your own responsibility. If you have a need and someone else can’t or won’t fill it, figure out what to do about it. If your spouse doesn’t meet all your needs, find ways to fulfill those unmet needs in other ways (as long as it isn’t destructive or immoral). No relationship can give you everything. Do you enjoy activities your spouse doesn’t? Do them with someone else. The same thing goes for your other family members. They can’t do everything for you or with you. Depending on one friend to be everything you need also doesn’t work. What about your dreams and goals?
Consider taking a small step today to pursue something that you have neglected and given up. And don’t forget that you have needs that only God can meet. We often blame others for not taking care of us when the truth is that we have abandoned ourselves.
By Karla Downing
Give me the ability to recognize and identify my own needs and also to figure out how to get them met in ways that are good for me and for my relationships.
"Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ" (NIV).
“For each one should carry his own load” (NIV).
Two things can be true at the same time. We need things from other people, but we are ultimately responsible for meeting our own needs. We cannot expect other people to do for us what we should do for ourselves.
If you have any questions you would like to ask Karla, please feel free to e-mail her. Portions of your e-mail and Karla's response to you may be used anonymously in future materials. By e-mailing her, you are giving your implied permission.