A dear friend asked me for perspective on handling a situation when two people have conflicting emotional needs. This is something that I have struggled to learn over time, and I know many other caring people have a hard time balancing this as well. What I wrote for my friend felt clear and helpful, so I felt compelled to share and pass this along to you.
May it help you resolve situations with those you love while honoring and respecting yourself in the process.
“My experience has taught me, through much trial and error, that we can’t put our needs aside for others on account of their wellbeing. Putting others needs before our own essentially declares to everyone that you hold others at a higher value than yourself. As a good friend, partner, or family member, we all know and recognize that there are times in which we must temporarily pause our own needs to support others. How can you reconcile these two conflicting things? By communicating from a place of authentic truth, while honoring your personal needs and position, and sharing that message in a way that is thoughtful and supportive to the other party. Knowing that you cannot control how someone receives this information is key; knowing that you shouldn’t settle for scraps and half of what you need to feel fulfilled is also key. Knowing that your needs (because these are needs, not wants) deserve to be met means you are willing to release connections that do not support what is essential for your wellbeing. Holding on to situations that do not work, and likely never will, is a mindset of scarcity. When you are full within yourself and trust that you are enough, it is easier to express your truth, because you know that honoring your heart and soul is of utmost importance. Furthermore, you trust that you will be okay, should the situation unfold differently than you desire. There is always a new sunrise after a sunset.
So, my practical advise would be to express your perspective and position without imposing your will. You are sharing yourself and allowing the other person to meet you halfway. If they love you, they will step forward because they want you to be fulfilled and happy as much as you’d want the same for them. If they are unable and unwilling to at least acknowledge you, reconsider their place in your life, as they likely don’t value you as highly as you value them. No one should experience that type of disparity in love and friendship.
As with anything, timing is also important. Use your best judgment and intuition to decide when broaching the subject would be best. Sometimes, there is no “right time.” What’s most important, is that you don’t talk yourself out of advocating for your own heart. It’s your life to live as you see fit. You decide how you get to live it and who you take along for the ride. Be selective and only choose the best because it is what you deserve. I hope that helps. ❤️”