I’m pretty prideful about the fact I ask for what I need.
Specifically, clearly & in the moment.
For some reason it’s always been pretty clear to me if I don’t ask I won’t receive.
I can’t read your mind or intuitively know what you want—why on earth would I assumed you’d be able to do that for me?
(I’ve also learned asking isn’t a guarantee I’ll get what I seek, but if I don’t ask it’s practically a guarantee I wont.)
So I ask.
You’ll never wonder what’s on my mind.
Long day of work and feeling insecure about content I’ve created?
“Tell me I rock & my words are amazing! Say something like: You’re too close to see how good it is!”
All gussied up for a presentation and feeling a little awkwardtastic?
“Tell me I look bad-ass and yet completely like myself. Remind me I feel wonky because I rarely get dressed up”
Working 24/7 but still bringing home the bacon in the form of…tiny bacons?
“Tell me it’s not always about the money. Remind me it’s about the people we meet and help along the way.”
- I clearly ask for what I need.
- I offer examples the other person might use/say back to me.
- I receive/listen.
- I’m utterly content.
The only problem I encounter is my lack of brevity.
My ability to capture what I want in words may be commendable, but the
longass circuitous way I go about it is not.
I lose people as I ramble.
This became clear to me recently as I searched for the laundry tag in a newly purchased piece of clothing.
laundry, cleaning, food prep = adulting?
I located the tag, skimmed it, and quickly knew how to care for my leggings.
It dawned on me I wasn’t the same way and, if I couldn’t ‘laundry tag’ my emotional wants, perhaps I didn’t grasp them well enough.
Perhaps *I* should invest time distilling them to their most basic essence—for me.
And this is what I came up with:
- Lots of laughter
- Being acknowledged and heard
- Alone time to recharge
It was challenging to catalog my most basic emotional desires in a terse enough fashion they’d metaphorically fit on a hang-tag.
It forced me to prioritize.
I began with a veritable laundry list (to beat a metaphor to death) and eliminated from there.
What did I learn from this exercise?
- Be clear and concise—in all facets of life. The exercise was a reminder if I don’t know exactly what I want or need no one else will either. I become frustrated with people not offering me what I need, yet it hadn’t occurred to me I wasn’t telling them in words they could understand. Non-verbose ones, anyway.
- Be bold and brazen. It’s easy with the laundry tag exercise to think “I’d want that and I’d put it on my tag, but in reality it wont happen. I’ll leave it off.” You may be right, but not articulating/asking for what you need guarantees you wont receive.
- It’s a mini-vision board. Ive begun visualizing my ‘tag’ hanging on the insides of my clothing (I’m crazy that way). Through doing this I’m consistently sending the world/my people cues as to what I desire from them. It has already begun flowing back to me.
- Don’t settle for what’s offered...when you’ve not asked for what you desire! In this exercise we’re addressing emotional needs, yet the concept is applicable throughout our lives. ASK. Clearly state what you want. Don’t settle for only what’s offered to you.
- Read other people’s labels. When we are empathetic we feel connected. When Ive launched women’s groups I’ve consistently heard lamented a general feeling of disconnect. We’re all in this together. Make the time to read the tags of the important people in your life.
I learned lots about myself through doing this exercise.
I forced myself to identify what contributes to my emotional wellness (when trimming my list I’d weigh with regards to importance to me, eliminate the lesser & continue) and realized I’d not really known before after-all.
Even with all my verbose rambling.
- If you created a self-care laundry tag—what would it say?
- Please tell me you, too, have ceased reading real laundry tags and cram everything in the washer at once?
sarah@creatingbettertomorrow saysAugust 1, 2016 at 4:50 am
Allow mom to spend time outside alone, followed by workout daily, lots of laughs, and rinse with encouragement each night
love this idea….I’m glad I’m not dry clean only 😉
Bea saysAugust 1, 2016 at 4:53 am
Come to think of it I might be just like you are. Lots of words zero clarity.
Lola saysAugust 1, 2016 at 5:18 am
Treat gently, keep out of hot water, massage often
michelle saysAugust 1, 2016 at 5:22 am
You consistently lift me up and give me wonderful things to think about. You are amazing, my friend. Thanks for this.
Susie @ Suzlyfe saysAugust 1, 2016 at 5:26 am
Another stand out post. I love this idea. I am very straightforward in so many ways, but I need to laundry tag myself. Right now, I’m getting pulled in too many directions. It is time to make some decisions about my “care.”
Leanne saysAugust 1, 2016 at 5:27 am
I definitely cram everything in the washing machine – no separating whites, colours or anything! I’m not sure what my tag would read – probably “handle with care” 🙂
Allie saysAugust 1, 2016 at 5:50 am
I had a huge a-ha moment about this very thing with my husband this weekend. Something I took for granted that he understood, he actually had no clue about! I definitely need to be more direct and clear about what I need and what, specifically from him, since I feel like I do that with other interactions…which is odd.
As for the laundry? I cram it all in there and almost everything goes in the dryer as well. It works for me. 🙂
Coco saysAugust 1, 2016 at 5:53 am
Rinse with sweat daily. Lay flat in sunshine. Tumble dry with laughter.
Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home saysAugust 1, 2016 at 6:11 am
You know what’s interesting about being so upfront? People call me out on it ALL THE TIME. In a polite manner, naturally. “You’re so straightforward” “You always tell it like it is”. Makes me feel like apologizing.
Say what you mean, mean what you say. That is my motto.
Estelle saysAugust 1, 2016 at 6:23 am
Basically, I want to uplift the vibration of women on this planet through my writing and my stories. That’s all:)
Annmarie Licatese saysAugust 1, 2016 at 6:37 am
What an amazing exercise, Carla. I am going to apply this to my life ASAP. Let’s just say my laundry tag has been left to guess for and that only leads to poorly cared for clothing 😉
messymimi saysAugust 1, 2016 at 7:04 am
Agreeing about needing laughter and alone time to recharge. Other than that, i want to be useful, to pour out into the lives of others. It may take a while to figure out how to say that concisely.
Sarah Kay Hoffman saysAugust 1, 2016 at 7:07 am
Yes, yes, yes….”I lose people as I ramble.” Love this post!
Paula Kiger saysAugust 1, 2016 at 7:35 am
LOVE this and have added to my writing prompts for the future. And of COURSE I cram everything in together — you say that as though we’re supposed to separate it all or something! 🙂
pia saysAugust 1, 2016 at 7:56 am
I could be the loudest person in the world about causes, for others, and more but when it comes to things I need, I went all “uh.”
In the past few years, I have learned you can’t get what you need or want unless you ask and/or clearly state.
I think that it’s one of the hardest or hardest lessons to learn for many women and possibly men!
Carol Cassara saysAugust 1, 2016 at 7:58 am
I agree! Ask for what you want! And btw, I adore you! You make me laugh! And I adore you more!
Haralee saysAugust 1, 2016 at 8:07 am
Great exercise and very thoughtful. I like your laundry tag. Wouldn’t it be fun if people did have them and as you meet someone you could read their tag? I would certainly stay away from those that have lots of care, I don’t care for the drama.
I do sort my laundry and read care labels but I will sometimes overstuff the washer but I will line dry.
Elle saysAugust 1, 2016 at 9:04 am
Good analogy… and just like laundry tags on items I am thinking about purchasing… if the care instructions are too complicated or ‘expensive’ I don’t bring it home… as with people if their ‘care tags’ are not to my liking, I don’t acquire them either.
As for my own care instructions they would look something like:
REQUIRES ample time and room alone to recharge
NEEDS abundance of fresh air and food and water
WILL NOT tolerate rudeness or cruelty
Joy Brown saysAugust 1, 2016 at 9:20 am
LOVED this!! At a loss at what my tag would say…suppose it would depend on the day! And yes, I throw everything together into the washer! 🙂
Corinne Rodrigues saysAugust 1, 2016 at 10:21 am
What a super idea for a prompt, Carla.
I’m a throw everything kind of girl. I’m going to be thinking on what my ‘laundry tag’ should read.
emmaclaire saysAugust 1, 2016 at 11:10 am
I separate my laundry, though all my clothing has been told that, if I make a mistake and wash them in a way other than their instructions, they’re on their own! Kinda like my houseplants 🙂
My tag would probably read:
Wash with affirmation
Rinse with regular solitude
Tumble happy with laughter
Adjusted Reality saysAugust 1, 2016 at 11:35 am
Oooh, good one! Mine would read: Immerse in salt water and keep away from electronics for a week every few months. Occasionally soak in whiskey and feed tacos after bike rides for best results.
Glenda saysAugust 1, 2016 at 12:37 pm
At a point in my life, I gave up asking for what I needed because I figured it wouldn’t come. I’ve changed the thought process. I realized the negativity is what brought on the declines. Now I ask for what I need, and if it can’t be delivered, I find a way to make it work. I learned that often what looks like a dead-end is really just a detour.
Beth Havey saysAugust 1, 2016 at 3:33 pm
“Basically tough fabric, but delicate on some days, so show care and love. Keep in sunlight and moonlight, enhances overall durability.
LOVE THIS, Beth
Pam saysAugust 1, 2016 at 4:56 pm
Be clear and concise??!! What the Hell is that??? And that is the shortest blog response I’ve ever posted.
cheryl saysAugust 1, 2016 at 8:01 pm
Everything goes in…I just finished a load of chonies (underwear), workout clothes, a couple towels and t-shirts/shorts, socks. Cold water.
Mine would say:
Hang outside to dry
Wrinkles are part of the garment-do not iron
Roxanne Jones saysAugust 1, 2016 at 8:32 pm
Love this concept. I’d probably write my laundry tag as a haiku–talk about brevity! And it would have to do with honesty/truth-telling, kindness and humor. But it’s approaching bedtime and my creative juices need the rehydration that only sleep can provide…
Farrah saysAugust 1, 2016 at 10:20 pm
Love this post! I’m getting better at asking for what I need/want, but I also have a super longass/verbose way of approaching it (sigh).
I’m not sure what my tag would say something about requiring sunshine, fresh + healthy food, alone time, and positivity, with no tolerance for inconsideration/selfishness!
…Going to have to admit that I never read laundry tags, but if the thing looks delicate or I reallyreally like it, I’ll wash it by hand. :O
P.S. I love and need that adulting shirt in my life. <3 So awesome, haha. 😀
Cat @ Reader/Eater saysAugust 2, 2016 at 5:27 am
Ok, so as per “Rising Strong” by Brene Brown, I’ve been trying to set boundaries and asking for what I need. I really suck at this. Normally, I just say “Yes” to everything, and end up burning myself out, without asking anything in return.
I’m getting better.
I think my tag would say:
Needs to learn, cook, move with my bits, move all alone.
Jess @hellotofit saysAugust 2, 2016 at 12:36 pm
I’m learning to be more clear and concise in my relationship! (Felt new and awkward to say “marriage” haha). I’m notoriously good about bottling things up and not talking about what I need, and it takes me a while to get the words out. Work in progress!
Jody - Fit at 58 saysAugust 2, 2016 at 2:35 pm
Simply, I am your shirt in the picture! 🙂