Friday, June 10, 2011

Targeting Success: 8 Needs and 9 Skills for Every Relationship

Lena Baron
June 10, 2011
GRADE: 30/30
“great applications”
Targeting Success:
8 Needs & 9 Important Skills for Every Relationship

Recording my Needs and Skills ended up being very worthwhile and valuable in my every day life. My daily life consists of balancing my responsibilities to my children, my husband, my schoolwork, and myself.  During the two weeks that I consciously paid attention to my thoughts, feelings, and actions regarding these particular skills and needs my eyes were opened to both my strengths as well as my weaknesses. The value came from the changes that occurred, and continue to occur because of my new outlook on who I am, what I need, and how I can positively meet my needs as well as the needs of the people within my sphere of responsibility and influence.  
First, I focused on the eight needs that must be met if people are to feel happy, satisfied, and fulfilled. In order to help me internalize and completely relate to these individual needs I actually created a list of the things that needed to happen in my daily life in order for me to feel at peace and content. I came up with things like spending uninterrupted time with my husband, taking time for my hobbies, feeling warm fuzzies from my kids, etc. After compiling my personal list, I compared my interpretation of “my needs” to the list of “everyone’s needs” and found that my personal list fit very well with the other list. For example, I was able to visualize and record the results for a close real-love relationship by monitoring whether I spent uninterrupted time with my husband or not.
I found it helpful to have a checklist to refer to throughout the day and into the week of what I could do to help myself feel at peace. If I felt off balance, I could refer to my list and decide what need was being neglected or what was being over-done. I found that during my recording week, I felt very safe and secure, yet my self esteem took a few blows. I found that I thrive on the validation of others. I felt a sense of balance when my love tank was full because of the heartfelt praise or loving words and actions of others, especially my husband, children, and/or my family of origin. I felt completely off balance when I felt little validation or worse, if I felt a lack of respect.
At the close of my first recording week, I experienced one day that gave me a great example of what it felt like to experience the lack of all of my needs being met. My husband and I were given a speaking assignment in our church meeting. I had taken the time to prepare and I felt that the actual presentation of my thoughts and preparation actually went better than I had expected. I spoke clear and slow and my heart was into what I was presenting. However, throughout my talk I took notice of a woman who was asleep, later I saw a couple whom I admire whispering together with unpleasant looks on their faces. Within the same moments, I observed more then one woman with tears in their eyes as if their hearts had been touched by my words. I also received verbal compliments after the close of the meeting. I should have felt just fine about my talk, but I didn’t. I found myself feeling as if I didn’t belong, I felt incompetent, and disrespected. My self-picture and esteem were distorted, and I felt insecure in all aspects of my life. It took a few rounds of positive self-talk as well as outside validation from my husband, and close family and friends to calm my troubled soul and reestablish my sense of balance. The key being, the fact that I was able to reach out and find the help that I needed in order to find my balance. This was a fascinating process.  Overall, I concluded at the end of the week that I have a healthy balance within the eight needs that everyone needs to have fulfilled in order to feel happy, satisfied, and fulfilled.
The second week of recording I focused on the skills that everyone needs in order to feel happy, satisfied, and fulfilled. I quickly found that these are the skills that are required to help a person maintain the balance most often outside of themselves. These are the skills that once mastered create a balance within a person’s family, work, and marriage relationships. I found that during the moments or days when my needs weren’t being met I was far less able to practice these healthy behavioral skills.
This is the area that I require more effort and practice. Unfortunately, I feel far from over-learning these skills. However, I have found it helpful to refer to this list of skills throughout my day as a mother, wife, and a student. I find myself referring to it in my mind throughout different interactions with my husband, and mostly with my children. When under stress or when facing a deadline it is often easier to rush a child through their question or conversation, by saying something like, “just get to the point! What do you want?” rather then taking the time to listen, validate, and meet their needs. This lesson learned, alone, has strengthened my family relationships because of this assignment.
At the conclusion of this recording week, I discovered that I am consciously making the effort to calm down and am succeeding most of the time. I am also finding my “soft voice” more often. On the other hand, I have a real problem with insulting (rolling my eyes), and going on the defensive. 
We learn in the book, as well as in this assignment that it is not always healthy to solve an issue right away, or to “never go to bed angry.” Because I was making an effort to observe my actions and behavioral skills I was able to recognize a perfect example of the benefits of taking time to calm down before resolving an issue.
My husband and I took our three young sons fishing. Upon our arrival to a privately owned pond in the middle of a beautiful valley, we found ourselves fishing within the same space as a herd of Texas Long-Horn cows. As a protective mother, I found myself very overwhelmed by my circumstances. I not only had to make sure that my three year old stayed out of the pond, but I felt the need to watch the three-foot horns protruding from these 500-pound animals grazing near by. Needless to say, my needs and skills were under a great test. Unfortunately, I failed miserably on most accounts. Our fishing trip ended with a frazzled, defensive, and critical wife and mother. My husband and I rarely bicker, let alone argue. Well, we found ourselves bickering and on the edge of seeking blame for the issues when all of the sudden we both fell silent. Instinctively, and hopefully out of a little practiced skill, we both knew that we needed to take a break and calm down. This worked wonders! A couple of hours later we found ourselves in a quiet conversation where we were able to calmly and without malice talk through the issue and ultimately come to an apology on both sides and fuller love buckets as well.
At the close of this recording period where I have taken note of both my needs as well as my behavioral skills. I have found that though I have much to work on, I have made changes in my behavior and I continue to work towards mastering these invaluable skills by also ensuring that my needs are met, which leads to a healthy balance between my family, my schoolwork, my marriage, and myself. 

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