I’ve never been too keen on asking for things or being able to say what I want. I despise ordering and would rather drink a bad cup of tea than admit its not quite right. But it’s years of living like that which has got me stuck in a rut.
I’ve left many restaurants having not eaten the food I really wanted, I’ve left many shops without things I really wanted to buy.
We all do it, we pretend we are happy with someone else’s choices, whether its about the choice of restaurant or the film they’ve picked. Whilst it’s important in life to compromise and balance (as always) is key, if you’re forever keeping quiet about your own needs, you’ll always miss out.
Unfortunately keeping quiet about your own needs can also affect your mental health. This was something that was stressed to me early on when I was having CBT sessions (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), where my amazing therapist would often remind me that people can’t read my mind. Himself doesn’t automatically know that certain films will trigger an anxiety attack, friends won’t automatically know when I’ve had a bad day and am struggling to order.
Unless I open up and say it.
Of course it’s hard sometimes to stand up for what you want, you feel selfish and guilty – I understand. I used to feel awful for asking Himself to take me somewhere or for planning girls nights in restaurants I wanted, but the more I did it the more I could see.
Your friends and family want to support you and they want you to be happy. So if that means alternating venues for gals night or changing up who drives, compromise means everyone wins.
So be brave and give it a try. You can ask for things you want and still be polite, so next time your office friend makes you a terrible brew, just politely say thanks and remind them that you would normally take one sugar not two!
Most people just want to do the right thing and they might genuinely not realise that they are affecting you, especially those who don’t know much about your mental health/worries. People may not realise that certain films trigger anxiety attacks or that for some just listening to the news is enough to upset them never mind watching it!
I’m trying more and more to speak up for what I want. Which means lots of pancakes served for breakfast, snuggly nature walks and all the carbs on gals night!
Don’t be embarrassed to like the things you do, they are the things that make you you. Sometimes you might feel silly for it, but trust me – you’re not. I’ve spent far too long, not doing things I wanted too because I felt silly or embarrassed.
I guess the final and perhaps most important point to make is, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re too nervous to order, but really want those fries with extra bacon bits or your costa latte served with soya milk then give your friend a nudge. I know I’d happily help any of my friends if they were struggling and I know they would do the same for me.