With Valentine’s Day upon us, I’m reminded that although it only takes the click of a mouse to ‘friend’ another via social media, friending yourself is a much more difficult task. It means getting clear about what you want and having the courage to express those wants to others. This is not something we have typically been taught growing up. In our culture, focusing on what YOU want can actually be thought of as selfish. Let’s pause and re-think this because getting clear about what you want is actually the foundation of how you create solid relationships, romantic or otherwise.
Careful now, I didn’t say “only think of yourself.” I said the first step is getting clear about what you want, so that you can engage effectively and communicate honestly with others. This is a gift to you and a gift to those you are in a relationship with.
What are your expectations for this day? If you’re single, how will you celebrate yourself today? How will you celebrate the various forms of love in your life – your family, your friends, your four-legged friends?
If you’re in a relationship, have you had the courage to share your wants with your significant other? Or are you hoping that your partner has mental telepathy and is already aware of what you desire? One common mistake people make is thinking that telling their partner what they want (eg: champagne color roses instead of yellow ones) vs. their partner knowing on their own, then the gift is not as special. I say throw your partner a bone! Allow them to win. After all, you’re on the same team AND you’ll get what you want.
Lastly, remember that just because you ask for something, it doesn’t mean that someone else has to give it to you. Many of us fear that someone might say no or reject us, so we don’t say anything at all. This is one way to ensure that we don’t get what we’re seeking. So if you find yourself repeatedly disappointed, ask if you know what it is that would make you happy? Have you had the courage to ask for it? Yes, I mean out loud.
Here are a few questions to get clear and FRIEND YOURSELF
Think of a time you felt valued and appreciated.
- What was it that made this experience so special and did you let your partner know it made you feel this way?
- What is it that you want most and haven’t had the courage to ask for?
- What’s one thing you can do to put yourself first today?