Howdy, I was speaking to a relative about communication the other day. She had never communicated what she wanted or needed but harbored much anger toward those who weren't meeting her needs. I tried to give her insight into the idea that no one can be held responsible for anyone else's lack of action. We are all responsible for ourselves and communicating our own needs. Yet, through our culture of blame it is much easier to see fault in someone not just "knowing" what you need instead of owning the fact that you have to do the work to communicate (as many times as you have to in order to be heard) what it is you need… even if that means risking not getting your needs met. See, speaking your truth doesn't mean it will be accepted by others… but you cannot get anywhere without trying, without risking, without speaking. You most certainly have less of a chance of getting what you need if you never actually admit to having needs.
The fear, however, is so great that we hide behind the idea that people should know this or should have know that. We actually believe that other people should be mind readers even though we don't do a good job of understanding what someone else wants. We get angry with each other and literally resent people for not knowing what they were never told. We argue over things being common sense or not, when the reality is, did they know? Were they told? Nothing is really obvious when it comes down to it. If it isn't explicitly communicated you cannot expect it to be understood (even then you may need to do some work around it). We spend so little time communicating our needs that we don't truly know how to. Our fear of not being heard or our fear or judgement that we aren't deserving, mixed with our resentment for not getting our needs met create a scary combination. It is a wonder how any relationship survives (in my opinion). How many times have you expected someone to treat you one way or another only to have them do something else? How did you respond?
We are a culture that blames. We blame the government, the weather, God (if you have one or more), fast food, alcohol, other people, TV, guns, etc. I don't believe I have ever turned on the TV or listened to the radio to hear our media discuss how each person contributes to their own personal issues, let alone the world's joys and pains. I don't believe I have ever overheard a conversation where someone was saying, "I must take a long hard look at myself and what I am bringing to this situation that is perpetuating it." I have heard that they did this, or they did that or they need to stop doing these things and everything would be ok. It is no wonder why we oftentimes feel powerless over our lives. It is no wonder why we go to war or have road rage. It is no wonder why our world is in such turmoil. We are all pointing the finger at someone/something else, rarely seeing where we can start to make a shift in the world.
How can you take ownership for yourself today?