What do you need?
This is one of the most intimate questions we may ask ourselves or others.
It is a much different question than what are your plans for the future or questions to reflect on the past, which are mental exercises based on the past or the future.
If someone asks me, “what do you need?” the question brings me to the present moment – similar to when I take a few deep breaths.
Such a question puts our focus on actual needs rather than the means of obtaining them. It is easy to talk about plans for looking for a new job (a mean) rather than talking about our deep need for feeling appreciated and validated.
Sometimes, it is not easy to express our needs, especially if we had a traumatic experience in the past. What if we are judged or ridiculed? What if it makes us feel vulnerable and come across as weak?
It is easier to talk about our physical needs: I need a strong coffee. I need a good sleep. I am hungry.
It is much more difficult to talk about our emotional and spiritual needs: I need to feel validated. I need to feel secure. I need to feel connected. I need encouragement. I need to be heard.
Asking the right question is the first step in having meaningful and deep communication. The next step is a willingness to be present and to listen.
The first candidate to ask such a question is always start with ourselves.
Copyright @2022 by Shervin Hojat