As caregivers it is our job to anticipate the needs of others. We are paying attention to all that is being said, and trying to get a read on all the unspoken clues of what is going on with our patients and clients. Additionally we encourage our patients to speak up, and let us know what’s really going on. We tell them, “We can’t fully help you if we don’t know the full story/your pain level/how you are feeling?”
So because we encourage this of our patients, we naturally are masters at making our own needs known as well, right? Eh, not so much.
How often are you SHOCKED that your friend, family member, partner did not pick up on your “nuanced” attempt at asking for something? Were you clear? Did you flat out ask for what you actually wanted or did you HOPE they would read between the lines. For many people it is not a part of their day to day to have to read between the lines, as it is in our fields. Our ability to do so can save someone’s life. But that is not a muscle that every profession has to use on the regular. Don’t punish them for this, help them know how to be there for you.
Part of practicing self care is making your needs known, and not expecting others to simply know what you need all the time. You know how I feel about this martyring trap that already exists in the field, so don’t help perpetuate this idea by continuing to silently suffer.
In all honesty, you may be very pleasantly surprised how relieved and receptive your people will be, when they know how to be there for you. So, speak up!
Take care of YOU.