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Not Conditioned To Take a Stand for Your Needs? Here’s What You Can Do

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Do you find it difficult to put forth your needs in front of others because you fear hurting others or simply want to avoid conflicts? Are you a person who believes in doing things yourself instead of seeking help from others? 

Well, you’re not alone because this is pretty common with people. They avoid asking for help at the workplace when stuck with something. This is so because maybe they have had prior experience of not getting a good response in return from their peers. 

Or they prefer keeping things at home in an organized way themselves because they know their partners won’t do it. Also, they accompany their partners for drinks and soccer matches, although they do not enjoy those sessions much. The same thing applies to their sex life. They simply put up with their partners and aren’t able to tell them that their being together can be a lot better for both. 

This is where operant conditioning comes into the picture, a concept given by the American psychologist B.F. Skinner. 

B.F. Skinner Biography – The Father of Operant Conditioning

B.F. Skinner, who is also known as the father of operant conditioning, gave the theory of reinforcement. 

As per this theory, you are likely to repeat a behavior in the future if such a behavior is rewarded or results in positive outcomes. This was an important contribution to the field of behaviorism established by John B Watson, the founder of behaviorism. 

Now, in the above cases, many of us are simply not able to express our needs because of our conditioning. Yes, since childhood, you may have had experiences where asking your teacher or loved one for help did not result in a positive outcome. In fact, you either felt guilty or met with resistance. 

As a result, you learned to either do things yourself, that is never ask for help. Or did not do the task at all. 

One more possibility could be that simply did not express your needs to avoid conflicts. That you are being too nice an individual and do not want to bring into notice the wrongdoing of someone simply because you want to hurt him/her. 

The fact is that all of us hate pointing out the incorrect things of someone we love. However, in the wake of this love and being nice, we suppress our needs constantly which can have severe consequences. 

For instance, it can make us behave in a passive-aggressive way. Or we may lash out in anger at someone for some reason unknown. Or we may gulp down alcohol or munch on donuts to satisfy ourselves. 

So, What Can You Do to Express Your Needs? 

There’s a three-step approach that you can adopt to express your needs to others and take a stand for them. This approach is based on the game Mad Libs, a fill-in-the-blank game but with a twist.  

This approach involves the following three steps to express your needs without the fear of hurting others. 

  1. Appreciate the other person
  2. Expressing your need in a sentence 
  3. Ask for the other person’s acceptance or acknowledgment

Let’s take some examples here to show you how it’s done. 

Say you want your employee to give you weekly reporting of what the work he is doing for you

  1. Dear ________,  I really appreciate the results that you have achieved for us within months. You are an ___________ when it comes to your field of work. I’ll be needing someone who could also give a weekly reporting of work being done in the previous week. Would you do it for us? 

Let’s say you want to say to your partner that you enjoy a cozy date instead of going to a place full of people and filled with the noise of loud music. 

  1. Dear _________, I really enjoy our meetings at these pubs with amazing music and food. But, I really want to try out something new with you like _________. What do you have to say about it? 

Not Conditioned To Take a Stand for Your Needs? Here’s What You Can Do

Do you find it difficult to put forth your needs in front of others because you fear hurting others or simply want to avoid conflicts? Are you a person who believes in doing things yourself instead of seeking help from others? 

Well, you’re not alone because this is pretty common with people. They avoid asking for help at the workplace when stuck with something. This is so because maybe they have had prior experience of not getting a good response in return from their peers. 

Or they prefer keeping things at home in an organized way themselves because they know their partners won’t do it. Also, they accompany their partners for drinks and soccer matches, although they do not enjoy those sessions much. The same thing applies to their sex life. They simply put up with their partners and aren’t able to tell them that their being together can be a lot better for both. 

This is where operant conditioning comes into the picture, a concept given by the American psychologist B.F. Skinner. 

B.F. Skinner Biography – The Father of Operant Conditioning

B.F. Skinner, who is also known as the father of operant conditioning, gave the theory of reinforcement. 

As per this theory, you are likely to repeat a behavior in the future if such a behavior is rewarded or results in positive outcomes. This was an important contribution to the field of behaviorism established by John B Watson, the founder of behaviorism. 

Now, in the above cases, many of us are simply not able to express our needs because of our conditioning. Yes, since childhood, you may have had experiences where asking your teacher or loved one for help did not result in a positive outcome. In fact, you either felt guilty or met with resistance. 

As a result, you learned to either do things yourself, that is never ask for help. Or did not do the task at all. 

One more possibility could be that simply did not express your needs to avoid conflicts. That you are being too nice an individual and do not want to bring into notice the wrongdoing of someone simply because you want to hurt him/her. 

The fact is that all of us hate pointing out the incorrect things of someone we love. However, in the wake of this love and being nice, we suppress our needs constantly which can have severe consequences. 

For instance, it can make us behave in a passive-aggressive way. Or we may lash out in anger at someone for some reason unknown. Or we may gulp down alcohol or munch on donuts to satisfy ourselves. 

So, What Can You Do to Express Your Needs? 

There’s a three-step approach that you can adopt to express your needs to others and take a stand for them. This approach is based on the game Mad Libs, a fill-in-the-blank game but with a twist.  

This approach involves the following three steps to express your needs without the fear of hurting others. 

  1. Appreciate the other person
  2. Expressing your need in a sentence 
  3. Ask for the other person’s acceptance or acknowledgment

Let’s take some examples here to show you how it’s done. 

Say you want your employee to give you weekly reporting of what the work he is doing for you

  1. Dear ________,  I really appreciate the results that you have achieved for us within months. You are an ___________ when it comes to your field of work. I’ll be needing someone who could also give a weekly reporting of work being done in the previous week. Would you do it for us? 

Let’s say you want to say to your partner that you enjoy a cozy date instead of going to a place full of people and filled with the noise of loud music. 

  1. Dear _________, I really enjoy our meetings at these pubs with amazing music and food. But, I really want to try out something new with you like _________. What do you have to say about it? 

 

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