Recently, I was chatting with a really good friend of mine, and she recounted something her partner said to her – “You never ask me for anything, you never ask me for what you need.”
Now if you were a feminist, this should come across as a compliment.
She is a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need a man for anything, blah, blah, blah.
But as any menstruating female has experienced magnified, and as I experience every month, on particular days, I feel like a ball of insecurities, and neediness.
I want, I need, I crave. I might be a strong, independent female the rest of the time, happily going about my business, doing yoga, living life…
But on those days, I want to be cuddled, I want to be called pretty, I want to be taken care of, I want to be loved, I want a hug, I want to be treasured.
But do I ask my partner or a loved one for a hug? Do I ask my good friend for a compliment? Do I ask anyone for what I need at this moment? No! A hundred times no.
I cannot, I will not, I refuse to ask for what I need in relationships.
I can go up to any stranger on the street, and talk to them about random nonsense. I can ask for what I need in a store, or at work. But when it comes to my relationships, especially romantic, I cannot. I whine, I complain, I wheedle, I am passive-aggressive. But I have never straight out said, ‘I’m feeling needy. I want love. Love me, hold me, cuddle me, touch me, be with me, compliment me, etc.’
Why is it so freaking difficult to do that? Even writing this post and writing those words out, makes me feel like a big loser – I feel like I’m letting the whole feminist movement down with this little statement. I feel like I am letting down my mother who wanted us to become strong, independent, educated females, just because she never had the circumstance to do so. I feel miserable and pathetic saying those words out loud.
So I never do say them and I end up fighting with my partner because they don’t give me what I need, and they aren’t ‘smart’ enough to figure it out without me saying so. Or I end up becoming even more of a mess, because I’m not getting what I need.
I become self-deprecating, and I go into that black hole of depression where I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not enough – I shouldn’t even be allowed to exist.
I have heard this exact statement of not being able to ask for what they need from lots of other females in my acquaintance – maybe I’m just attracting those kind of girls into my life, or maybe this is a common phenomenon. If it is, I want to write about it and maybe offer a few solutions.
Being kind and loving to myself (loving self-talk) –
I have started pretending that I am that loving partner to myself, and I say what I would someone else to say to me. ‘You are amazing, Boom. You are beautiful. You are kind. You gave up your seat to that woman, not many people would do that. You are strong. You are able to do a headstand unassisted – your core is so strong. You have nice skin – it’s very soft and touchable.’ Etc… As you can see, it sounds ridiculous. It sounds even more so when you are talking to yourself on a crowded street, but the effects are not so ridiculous. I actually feel better, and more loved when I do this. After all, who loves me more than I love myself??
Long, hot bubble baths –
This is a major one, especially for a frugalista like me. This is possibly the most indulgent thing I could do for myself, so when I want to feel loved – I take a long bubble bath. It is a way for me remind myself that I am loved, I am treasured, I am alive.
Self-massage (Abhyanga) –
This is an ayurvedic practice that I absolutely love. Spend 10-15 minutes using a grounding organic heavy oil like sesame, or almond, or coconut, and massage tons of it into your body gently, over time. This is truly the best way to show love to yourself. If you do it well, all of the oil will be absorbed into your skin and you will feel a thousand times better about life.
Meditation (being mindful and present) –
If you are being needy, then you are definitely not being mindful or present in the moment. David from Raptitude explained this better than I ever could. Check out his post on this topic.
Yin Yoga –
The act of slowing down and holding restorative yoga poses for 5 minutes at a time is really soothing to me. I feel grateful and alive when I do Yin yoga. I definitely don’t do enough of Yin yoga.
Reiki Healing –
I have recently had the experience of Reiki healing and the warmth and security that I felt emanating from those healing hands is inexplicable. It can’t be written about – it has to be experienced. Please try it at least once.
Foot and Body Massage –
Being a Virgo, and a Vata, I am a major giver. I have a hard time pampering myself. A massage is exactly what a person like me needs – gentle, loving, healing touches by a person I trust. I have written about Annette before – she’s my masseuse and I absolutely adore her.
These are just a few of the things I do to get back to center and love myself. Are there any others that you swear by? Let me know in the comments below.
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