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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
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May 2009

What is wrong with asking for what you want? Some people feel by doing so that you are being pushy or selfish or greedy. Others feel that if our loved ones really cared about us, we would not have to ask. Our loved ones should be able to know what we want and provide it for us. By asking we are proving that our loved ones do not really care.

So, this is why those thoughts make our lives more difficult. First, no one can read our minds, no matter how much they love us. Perhaps you would like more affection in your relationship, but your partner doesn’t know this because you haven’t told him. He may be perfectly content with the level of affection. He is going to assume that you are perfectly happy because you haven’t said anything. Or, even sadder, he may want more affection in the relationship, too, but since neither of you say anything, you both remain unhappy.

If you want something and ask for it, you are not selfish or pushy. You are assertive. Now, this does not mean that you can demand it. That is aggressive communication, but instead ask for it. Let your partner know what you want, what would make you happy. Instead of being selfish, instead you may be content.

Imagine a situation where both partners respectfully ask for what makes them happy. Imagine two contented people who strive to make themselves happy and help to support their partner finding happiness, too. Hmm, doesn’t sound selfish to me.

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