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asking for what we want/need
March 6, 2007
10:54 am
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2alone
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I'm dating a new guy and things are going well. He's a "normal" healthy guy - which is very different for me - as I seem to attract narcissists va/ea men. Anyway- he has no problem asking me to do things for him that would make him happy eg) give him a back rub. I can't seem to do it. It is almost as if I feel needy or unworthy to ask for my needs to be met. He asked me last night why I don't speak up because he'd be happy to meet my needs - and it got me thinking - why can't I speak up for myself? Why do I assume that I shouldn't ask or he should be able to read my mind? Is anyone else like this?

March 6, 2007
11:10 am
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smarterone
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Whats the matter with you, thats why you are on this site. We do, do do for others and neglect ourselves, something that is hard to learn. If you can take care of it now, im 56, and everyone is so used to me not asking or wanting (so they think) anything, they dont!!!! Go and ask...take baby steps, a back rub, dinner, manicure, a car, a house...HA

March 6, 2007
11:35 am
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My guess is that we somehow feel we don't deserve that, or that we always were told not to be selfish. I think I was "shushed" when I was small and it was humiliating, so I never wanted to draw attention to myself by being demanding or needy.

OK -- ALSO, if one does not EXPECT anything, there is much less chance of being disappointed.

I know this real story about a mother whose newly married daughter invited over for her first big family dinner. And she made chicken wings!! She was so proud of herself and was especially thoughtful because she knew this was her mother's favorite dish. When in reality, the mother had always taken the chicken wings for herself to eat so that the rest of her family would get the bigger and better parts of the chicken.

Imagine her daughter never knowing this!

March 6, 2007
7:07 pm
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sleepless in uk
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wow....this really struck a chord with me...I can never ever be upfront about what I would like...or what I need, or what has hurt me.

It makes such a lot of sense, so why cant we do it?

I think Smarter and Brynnie really hit the nail on the head....and i love that woman with the chicken wings...course I love her..i AM her!!!!

March 6, 2007
7:10 pm
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thedogsmom
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2 alone,
I read what you wrote and thought YES ...I feel the same way..I can't believe you feel the same way! I too have trouble asking for ANYTHING from ANYONE! I feel like it is an IMPOSITION and that it seems needy or I'm actually not really sure why??

then I read Smarterones response!
and cracked up. too funny.. oh..ok I guess that is another problem of codependents. ha ha

Brynnie- I think for me it's not that I don't feel I deserve it. I do--I just don't want to BOTHER anybody.
or...maybe it's more of a self defense thing....like you stated - IF you don't ask--you can't be rejected. BUT as my sister the OPTIMIST says-- If you don't ask or try.... you also won't get anywhere!!
Good points. I'm going to start asking. I deserve it!!
TDM

March 6, 2007
7:22 pm
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thedogsmom
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smarter one- I'll think of you next time I go to my moms house- and I'll make more effort to help her out. My mom is this wonderful codependent lady who does EVERYTHING for EVERYBODY and NEVER asks for anything. She's always saying that she doesn't want or need presents or gifts or ANYTHING. She has trouble asking for any kind of help- even a ride to the airport although she's always the quickest to offer. She's conviced us that she doesn't need or want for anything. But SHE does! Just like everybody else. WE forget she is 70 years old. I'm going to make an effort to be a better daughter cause of you smarterone! Next time I won't make her ask..I'll just do!.
thanks.

March 6, 2007
8:07 pm
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revelation
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Oh 2alone, this struck a cord with me too...who can blame you for feeling that its going to come across as needy....narcissists will brainwash you into thinking that if you ask for ANYTHING you are being needy. But this guy doesn't sounds like an "N" he sounds normal HALLELUIA!! I know how difficult it is to believe that all men aren't narcissist when you have been with one, who I'll bet at first seemed "normal" too.

Look, you've just got to "feel the fear and do it anyway" here...you've got to dip your toe in the water here and see what happens...just listen to yourself, when you feel that old "Oh I shouldn't ask" feeling coming on, just try to stop and have a chat with yourself. Why shouldn't you ask? You are both equally valid human beings and you deserve to have your needs met as much as he does hun!

Rev.

March 6, 2007
8:51 pm
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spritualgirl
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2alone,
I can so relate to what you said about not asking for what you want/need. I remember telling my 1st girlfriend that I don't need /need anything. I came by this pretty naturally because thats what was modeled by my mom. I was married to a man for 13 years and had two children and did everything without asking for help or anything. I drank a lot then. The good news is I've worked at letting go of not needing anything and today can ask for help or a backrub and feel like I am worthy of asking. I know today I deserve love and everything else that I believe everyone deserves.... you included. So so take those steps and ask for what you want it will feel great.
Happy asking....
SG

March 7, 2007
10:35 am
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2alone
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Thanks for all the good replies. And I know that my co-dep and my most recent relationships (yes more than one) with narcissists is making it "feel" wrong to ask for help. I will take the leap and just try - the worst that can happen is that he'll say no - the best - he might actually do it!

The chicken wing story is so typical of how I was raised - except my mother would tell me that she would give me the better chicken piece. She loves being a martyr. lol.

I will start thinking of myself as much as I do of him. It will be interesting expirament.

March 7, 2007
10:38 am
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soprano2
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2alone--

I am sure that it will feel pretty weird at first, getting your needs met.

But you could probably get used to it.

Good luck to you, and keep me updated. I was offered the same thing in a guy that asked me out on a date (I am still married so I said no to the date, but it has gotten me thinking.....)

😉

s2

March 8, 2007
6:22 pm
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Just a couple of points.

About backrubs: I think unless you're paying a masseuse, backrubs tend to maybe be an invitation to sex. In which case, it might as well be YOU who is on the receiving end of the backrub 🙂

And, I have a sister who really has trouble receiving a gift. She says she doesn't "need" another thing she won't use it lots of reasons. But she has ALWAYS come to my house with stuff to give me (which I really don't want or need) and I always accept and say thank you. Not sure how relevant this is, except it IS about NOT saying NO to what we don't want or need.....

anyone follow that?

March 10, 2007
11:25 am
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