Wiconi Counseling Center
* Wiconi: Lakota word meaning "Life"

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Speaking our Needs Clearly

Discussion topic. I was at a big family dinner tonight celebrating the in-laws' 50th. I was sitting next to my 4-year old grandson when our meals were delivered. He checked mine over and the following conversation occurred:

Grandson [eyeing my ham]: I sure love ham

Me: [acknowledgment of his love of ham]

Repeat 4 times

Me: I wonder if you have something else you would rather say about my ham.

Grandson [thinking]: nope. I just love ham.

Me: Are you hoping I'll give you a bite?

Grandson [face lighting up]: yes!

Me: Then let's try again.

Grandson: can I have a piece of your ham?

A few minutes later, grandson [without hesitation]: can I have another piece of your ham?

Me [while giving him some more ham]: perfect clarity!

I think this is a natural stage of development. Transitioning from infancy when our needs were met when we cried out to learning how to put our needs, wishes, and desires into words.

Sometimes, though, we never leave this stage. How often are we as adults comfortable in speaking our needs and wants with clarity? What stops us? What would change in our lives if we practiced clarity in this area?