3. Most of the time you feel strong and centered enough to express your needs calmly when you're unhappy about something your partner says or does. You ask for what you want using what couples researchers John and Julie Gottman call the “softened start-up,” expressing appreciation for your partner and sharing your feelings before you make your request. “I really love getting texts from you during the day and I know you’re tired after work, but when you just watch TV until we fall asleep I miss you. I’d like us to set aside some couple time.”
4. You tell your partner what you’d like from him, but you don’t tell him exactly what to do. You trust him to respond to you in his own way. “When you go out with your friends after work without letting me know, I end up waiting around instead of making my own plans. I’d like you to give me a heads-up.” It’s his job to suggest a solution.
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5. You see expressing your needs as a win-win. When you’re longing for more affection, or better communication, expressing your needs appropriately is good for you -- and good for both of you. The things that are important to each partner aren’t always easy to fit together, but they are essential puzzle pieces in the jigsaw that is your overall relationship.
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Worried you’re stuck in the Bad Needy place? Start by acting as if you were Good Needy. Soon enough you will be.