Asking for What I Need

I witnessed an awkward exchange on the plane last week.

A woman coming on the plane, to woman sitting in the aisle seat.

“Do you mind sitting in the window?”

The response – “Actually, sometimes I feel a little sick.  I don’t really want to move.”

And then, looking at her ticket – “Actually I’ve got 7C [the aisle]”

Confusion and apologies followed.

It’s so much easier to see the obvious in others’ lives – it would have been better? more straightforward? if she had just stated her needs plainly: “It looks like I’ve got the aisle seat” instead of dancing around the issue.

Sometimes, when I finally get around to the (revolutionary, for me) act of stating my needs they are so pent up that the come out in awkward, resentful missives.

But I’m practicing. Often the hard part is figuring out what I need in the moment, so I can be comfortable, healthy and present for the people around me. I still have a hard time returning food in a restaurant. But with my family and loved ones and colleagues, I’m taking some slow steps to state the obvious when I really care about the outcome.

I’ve got the aisle seat!

2 thoughts on “Asking for What I Need

  1. I love it. I do agree that it’s so much easier to evaluate what other people say or do than what we ourselves do. I am always so pleased when I ask for what I need, though sometimes still ashamed of needing anything at all other than the status quo, especially here in Mexico, where people seem to accept so much.

  2. I can’t imagine how it feels to ask for what you need in an environment when everyone has so little. Humbling to even realize what our true needs are I guess. Your story of having to share your room touched me deeply.

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