Speak Up!


I was pouring over love, life, and end-of-year career goals with a dear friend (red wine was certainly involved) and she made an anecdotal comment about interactions with her boyfriend of the last six months. She plainly said, "I've learned that I simply need to be direct and ask for the things that I would like to see and he is typically very responsive and receptive." Imagine that; being direct and asking for what you want, or dare we say deserve, from relationships. A simple yet brilliant concept that is entirely underrated in life.

My writing often centers around the topic of dating and relationships, so you might be thinking this isn't applicable to single ladies. I will now take this concept a bit further and use it as a more universal approach to an assortment of relationships in life. My brother sent out an e-mail to my sister and I earlier this week and it was so typical “simple man” that I literally laughed out loud while reading it. After addressing the correspondence to "Barbie & Skipper," he inquired what each of us would like for Christmas adding, "Please don't say 'oh nothing' because then nobody wins."

The holidays are a time of gift giving as a token of appreciation for the people that have played a significant role in our lives throughout the course of the past year. It is also a time to look forward to the year ahead, while identifying goals and aspirations to then be used as benchmarks as we attempt to navigate the road of life. I rarely speak with specific direction toward the more intimate relationships in my life, yet I admittedly have no problem making specific requests of my work subordinates and colleagues so they can clearly understand what I will need in order for our relationship to be successful.

I must confess that I am pretty darn sure that certain non-work relationships would grow tremendously if I did take such initiative in being more direct. Now, I'm not recommending that we place demands on people and stand by a line with our arms crossed in defiance. No, not at all. I am simply reminding all of us that being a clear communicator is critical to the success of any relationship and sometimes the more intimate ones are easily overlooked in this department.

I responded to my brother's e-mail with a blend of holiday gift ideas ranging from Taylor Swift concert tickets and backstage passes to portable speakers for my iPod. My brother told me that he probably can't come up with the Taylor Swift passes, but hey, at least I asked! Keep in mind that asking for what you want is as important as realizing that sometimes the response to your request is a gentle "no."

Images courtesy of Vezalife.blogspot.com, Damselsinsuccess.com

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