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Struggling To Communicate My Needs

I have always struggled to communicate my needs. Growing up, I never really felt that my needs were important or that they matter. It’s something that has definitely followed me into adulthood. I’m working on trying to be better about communicating my needs, but it’s very much still a work in progress.

Honestly, I think a lot of it stems from being a bit of a people pleaser. I never want to speak up and tell someone I’d really appreciate it if they’d do x, y, or z. I get stuck in my head going over what I’d like to communicate, but I can never seem to get the words out.

I’m terrified of my needs causing a fight or disagreement so I just choose to stay silent. Silence like that was what helped me survive. It’s what I know. I spent most of my life closing into myself trying not to be seen or heard.

People in my life really have to push me to communicate my needs. But, it takes a lot of gentle pushing. I don’t hide my emotions very well. As much as I’d love to try and hide what I’m feeling, it’s impossible because my face just tells all.

After the um-teenth “what’s wrong?” or “what are you thinking about?” I’ll eventually open up. But, that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. I’m usually fighting through tears trying to get the words out. I wish it didn’t make me so uncomfortable, but it does when it’s something that’s really important to me. It doesn’t happen with minor things so much, but the bigger things that matter I am terrified to open up about.

Is it because I don’t like being vulnerable? That’s probably part of it. The other part is being afraid of an argument by communicating my needs due to past experience. Sometimes even when I know I won’t be met with disagreement or a hard time, I will keep it to myself because I don’t want to “guilt” people into doing things because otherwise I might be upset. All of these thoughts in my head make me just not want to speak up.

I recently had an instance where I didn’t communicate my needs until I was already upset about needs I didn’t express to the person. We were able to talk about it later and they told me it’s important to share my needs to them. When I voiced all of my concerns and reasons why I didn’t want to share, they told me they care about me and that if it’s something that’s important to me, of course they’ll try to meet those wants and needs because they respect me.

It’s okay to have wants and needs and to express them to other people. You don’t have to feel like your wants and needs don’t matter. It might be hard to express them because past experiences made you feel like it’s not safe to do so, but there are people who will respect you and your wishes. I have so many of those people in my life and yet I still struggle with it, but thankfully they’re patient with me and understanding.


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