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Say what you mean, not what you think he wants to hear: Part 2

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Changing a behavior is one thing, but changing part of your personality is quite another, and frankly, next to impossible. What can you do to make adjustments if you are the pleaser in your relationship, so you will have a better chance at getting what you want, not what you think your partner wants? Or wants from you. Or thinks he wants based on what he thinks you want.

See how confusing it gets?

The bottom line is this: since you cannot change your personality (and, really, why would you want to? You are fabulous!), try changing your behavior. It takes practice, but you can do it. For example, instead of answering a question with the answer you think your partner wants to hear, just flat out tell him what your real feeling is; your real desire.

Here is an example of how to say what you mean and get what you want:

Him: Hey sweetheart, do you want to watch a movie tonight?

You: Sure! What are you in the mood for?

Him: Hmm…How about Super Troopers?

You: Gee…Well…Although that testosterone-laden, cop-stache shtick was very amusing the first 13 times we watched it, I have really been wanting to see the latest Julia Roberts film that just came out on DVD.

Him: (snorts) Really?

You: Really. I have an idea. Let’s watch my movie tonight, and then we can watch Super Troopers tomorrow night.

Him: How about the reverse? Super Troopers tonight and your movie tomorrow. When I’m out with the guys.

You: Honey, it really means a lot to me if you watch it with me. I enjoy your company and it’s not the same when I watch a movie alone. Besides, with whom will I share the popcorn? (bat eyelashes for dramatic effect)

Him: (surprised) It means a lot to you to spend time with me? Wow. I am really moved by that. Of course I’ll watch it with you. I’ll even pick up a bottle of wine to go with the popcorn, how does that sound?

See how easy that was? You not only achieved the outcome you desired – getting to watch the movie of your choice – but you also conveyed to your man how important it is for you to spend time together. Good move.

There is nothing wrong with being a pleaser in a relationship unless it hinders your relationship. If you are never getting what you want simply because you are afraid to ask or declare it, or spell it out every now and then, then you are selling yourself and your partner short. Or, as my very wise boyfriend so eloquently puts it, because we may have discussed this once or twice, “When you appease your partner, you miss the opportunity to show your partner who you really are. In essence you deny the experience for yourself, as well.”

Tell him how you really feel. Tell him what you really mean. You may be surprised at the outcome. And, you may spare yourself the unpleasant experience of enduring a movie that you have already seen 27 times.

Did you miss Part 1 of this article? Click here to read it.

Check out my Single Parenting column.

For more musings on life, visit my blog: My High-Maintenance Life

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