The challenges of sharing needs with others is complicated. Sharing your needs with others is not easy for some. Imagine if you had a computer screen on your chest that had it clearly typed out what your current highest need is. What would it say? Unfortunately, the truth is we don’t have the monitor that can clearly express a need we are having. We have to express it by our words.
How difficult is it to share our needs with others? For the Melancholy in Control, you may be less inclined to share because your need to appear competent and in control will take precedence. Or perhaps you are a Supine in Affection who has a fear of rejection which may be controlling you from expressing your need for love. Maybe your a Choleric in Inclusion and will only express your need when it will accomplish a goal you have. Are some needs more difficult to share than others? A Melancholy in Affection will most likely only share with the deepest relationships which are very few.
On the flip side, how hard is it for us to see another’s need and respond to it? It takes an other-centeredness that takes time and the Lord’s work in you to obtain. Going from “me, myself and I” to you can be a long bumpy journey. But learning to set aside our own needs and pour out love on others is exactly what Jesus tells us to do.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interest but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4
For some the challenge of sharing their needs with others is simply being able to communicate it. Perhaps, you don’t have a handle on what your needs are exactly and therefore, you don’t have the words to use. Understanding your temperament is a good first start in being able to articulate your needs to others in your life so they aren’t left guessing.
The Trouble with Unexpressed Needs
When needs are not expressed, others are often left with the clues you may or may not give in your body language, moods and behaviors. But letting others try to figure out what we need can lead to problems. There are three primary ways a person may use to respond to another person when they aren’t sure of what their need is. We guess, ignore or avoid.
Guessing is making assumptions and jumping to conclusions based on what you see without having all the facts. Let’s say you see a friend at a social function who is sitting off by herself. You automatically assume that maybe she’s upset about something which may be why she’s off by herself and not engaging in conversation with others. How do we know this is true? We don’t. This guessing game is a conscience response without all the knowledge you need to make the wisest and loving choice. A lack of understanding a person’s true need can lead to misunderstanding, confusion and missed opportunities.
Ignoring a person in need is another response that is an automatic response from your subconscious. Often it is from some tendency we have within our own temperaments, that will bend toward the weakness side. We allow it to reign over us controlling what we do and say. Perhaps we see that same friend and instead of assumptions coming to mind, we ignore the data our eyes are showing us and are choosing to not engage. Instead, we are going to a large group of women already in conversation and becoming the center of attention to get our need met. A Saguine in Inclusion would fall into this sinful trap.
The third response you may see is the avoidance response. We see the friend but we are feeling our energy depleted and don’t want to engage because that would further deplete our already low fuel tank. The Phlegmatic temperament in all areas can make expressing our needs or reaching out to others for their needs very challenging.
Needs Can Be Met and Expressed with an intimate Connection with God
The good news is we have a God of the impossible who is able to help us meet others needs and at the same time satisfy all of our own needs. It’s all done through his son, Jesus who came to show us the way to reconcile ourselves back to God and be in the restored right relationship with Him that he always intended.
The more we are connected to the Holy Spirit within us, the better we will be able to be able to reach out and meet others needs. It helps to have knowledge of how God has created us all so fearfully and wonderfully. Knowing all the temperament needs and ultimately knowing the specific temperament needs of those you interact with the most will be a positive life changer. If your ready to learn more about your own temperament or are struggling with a relationship within your family, I would be honored to teach you about how God wired you and your loved ones. I offer individual, marriage and family counseling and have classes on temperament. Prayerfully consider and contact me to get something in the works.