Naming Needs

During a Zoom meeting, a community group I’m close with had a conversation about interdependence. As part of that discussion, we asked a two-part question. Our relationship to the question might be complex. We asked,

“What do you need right now, and what is your relationship to having those needs?”

We were inviting each other to get specific and detailed about what we need and how we could use help. A number of cultural elements come together to cause a strange twinge of guilt or shame in having needs and especially asking for help with our needs. But I think some part of us is longing to be liberated from all of that.

So it was very freeing for us to get specific.

And this lended itself quite naturally to having those needs met.

As a result of this conversation, someone is getting a ride to surgery, someone is getting their printer fixed, someone is getting invited over for dinner, and multiple people will be thought about and checked-in-with. The community was easily able to rise to those occasions because we don’t feel that same twinge of guilt or shame when we have opportunities to help others.

And I hope this bolsters our ability to ask.

We can just name our needs.

Renee Roederer

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