Instead of Threatening and Demanding, Answer These Questions

WHAT HAPPENED? Make this factual – e.g. He spoke to his ex-girlfriend last week.

WHAT FEELINGS DO I HAVE ABOUT THIS? – This is not thoughts, but feelings (look up a feelings list if you want to get a clear list of feelings) e.g. I feel insecure and suspicious.

WHAT ARE MY NEEDS THAT ARE NOT BEING MET? – My needs for – security, safety, and closeness are not being met.

CLEAR REQUEST – I need to have more clarity about your commitment to our relationship to feel safer. I also need to feel your love more. One of the ways I receive love is through physical touch, I’d love some more hugs.

Threatening and demanding are NOT ways to get your needs met in the long term. When we threaten and demand, the other person goes into defence mode, their nervous system is activated and energetically they are pushing back the energy you just threw at them. It is NOT likely to end well.

What is a threat?

  • If you talk to your ex-girlfriend again, we are over!
  • If you don’t do your share of the housework, I’ll stop doing any housework!

What is a demand?

  • You have to help me with the shopping – now.
  • You need to stop giving her so much of your time.

Rather than threatening or demanding we need to get clear on what need is not being met and WHY this is important to us.

Doing the inner work might look like journaling the questions above:

  1. What happened? (factually)
  2. What feelings do I have about this?
  3. What of my needs are not being met?
  4. Clear request.

If you are used to demanding and threatening as a way to get your needs met, you probably learnt this from an adult as you were growing up. Think about this. Who was it in your home you learnt this behaviour from? Now think about where THEY learnt it from. Probably from one of their parents. It is a behaviour that is passed down from generation to generation until someone changes it.

If this has been passed down in your family, know it CAN stop with you. Healing yourself heals the family patterns. To start to change these patterns takes time and focus (it has for me, and I’m still learning!!), but it can be done.