Nothing destroys a relationship between two people, or in any situation that involves others, is the feeling we get from requests that we interpret as meaning “I want what I want”. The underlying translation of requests made in this form is always felt as a declaration.
The selfishness of this underlying tone feels frightening and strange. Its direct effect on others is to simply push them away. Why? Because the person feeling this tone of “I want what I want” feels hopeless that their voice, thoughts, or feelings will not be heard. Yet I have seen different people take this approach in many different settings.
Why might people be so forceful in trying to get what they want? They simply may be frustrated. They may have dreamed of something occurring that they will not let others take away from them. They may feel that they are weak and that this is the only way to assert themselves. They may feel that they have been taken advantage of in the past and this will no longer happen to them.
Whatever the reason, what people who demand that they get what they want don’t realize, is that it puts the other person or organizational leaders in a difficult spot. As thoughtful as the other person or leader might be, any response short of simply saying yes is seen as defiant, unthoughtful, and confrontational. The more emotional and strong the “I want what I want” is, the more defiant, unreasonable and irrational the response from others is seen when they want to simply learn more, explain other possibilities or why something could not be done to make them happy.
“I want what I want” requests never go very well. They always generate hard feelings on both sides. They sometimes damage long-term, good relationships. In larger group settings, they force people to choose that then divides and dissolves the cohesiveness of a group. People who act out using the “I want what I want” are simply viewed as an irritant to be avoided.
It’s good to have not only your own points of view as well things you would like to see happen. The better choice is to share them, in the spirit of give and take and compromise, understanding that building on our relationships with others, organizations, and institutions is in our best interest for them to not only survive but grow and thrive.
Sometimes you will get your way but you need to accept the fact that sometimes you won’t. I have a seen where a certain person, organization or environment can never provide you with what YOU want. When this happens, then you need to move on to a situation that is more aligned with your points of view and desires.
We sometimes will get what we want in a day and other times it will take a lifetime. No issue is ever so critical that we should risk destroying our relationships simply to get “I want what I want” today.
No issue. Ever.
Unless you are sure that moving on, is the better choice, for you long-term. (Think job, boyfriend or girlfriend as examples.)