How to Ask For What You Need [The Stress Less Show - Episode 35]

Read the blog post version of this episode here!

>> Carlee: Do you have trouble asking for what you need? You'll find out how in this episode of The Stress Less Show. Hi I'm Carlee Myers, a stress management expert. One thing I hear day in and day out is that we feel like we've tried everything when it comes to stress management. We may have tried the mainstream approaches to managing our stress but have we really gotten to the root. Each episode, I bring on experts and leaders to not just put a Band-Aid on your stress but to actually get to that root I was talking about. This month, we're focusing on something that I think has gotten more popular over time, but still needs a little bit of addressing and that's mental health. Specifically today I'm bringing I brought on an expert to talk about how to ask for what we need. A lot of our problems seem to stem from this inability to ask. So, welcome to the show, Majet Maria.

>> Maria: Hi. Thank you for having me.

>> Carlee: Absolutely. So. Maria Reyes, MS is a pre-licensed Professional Counselor with a Master of Science degree in community and trauma counseling from Jefferson University. So you know what she's talking about. She owns Resilient Mind Works in Northern Liberties Philadelphia where she processes your past so you can live in the present and plan a fulfilling future. She is an international volunteer having done medical missions in the Philippines twice, helped rebuild in Puerto Rico in 2018, and working with women and children in Nepal, Ghana, Peru, and soon India. She is also an adjunct professor at Jefferson University and teaches yoga to kids. Oh my goodness, I like.... This is so so so much and I'm so excited to have you on the show. So tell it... can you tell us more about your experience and how you got here?

>> Maria: Yes of course. So for me before I became a trauma counselor, I was a paramedic first. And as a paramedic, I've endured some post-traumatic stress disorder and I was also physically assaulted by my co-workers, but it didn't stop me from doing what I loved which was emergency medical services. So I continued working as a paramedic and for 10 years - it took me 10 years and a semester in grad school before I decided to work on myself and seek counseling. Through those 10 years, I was very angry, impatient, irritable, just confused about this feeling of resentment and I was very reactive to things and people and I also felt very depressed and anxious about everything in life. And I didn't know what to do. And I didn't know who to ask for help, but I was just internalizing all this feelings and issues that I'm having until I went to grad school for community and trauma counseling. And I realized Holy Moly! I need to process this trauma that I have endured. And that's when I decided that I need to speak to a therapist. And process all the adversities that I've gone through even in childhood up to my adult life and as a new mom and a partner. So yeah that's how I ended up loving counseling. I needed it first.

>> Carlee: Oh I love that. It's so funny. You're reminding me of an experience I had. A few years ago, I was reading a book. And. I was as I was reading through I was flipping through it, I couldn't put it down. But I was like. At the same time, I was like I feel personally attacked. This resonates a little too much. I got to work on myself. And it's so similar where we both were like, Okay, we got to... We had to do it for ourselves so that we could move forward and be able to help other people. I think that's really great. So let's talk about asking for what we need and asking for what we want. Like when before we hopped on the show, we talked a little bit about how this seems to be a common theme for a lot of your clients.

>> Maria: Yeah. So the thing is with most of us, especially for helpers. So I work with a lot of first responders, coming from a first responders field, and a lot of women and also entrepreneurs and medical professionals. So we're helpers. We're always taking care of others, always doing for others. But then for us, we are not asking for what we need and we feel like neglecting ourselves is a badge of honor. And then we resent people for because they're not giving us what we need from them. But then again we're not asking. So we have to know how to ask. But first we have to know what we need. And then know how to ask. And then the hardest part is letting go of the outcome.

>> Carlee: So what do you what do you recommend? I mean how do we, how do we find that clarity? How do we know what we want? I mean, this is something I know I personally for a long time was like I don't want to. I don't even want to know. I don't wanna know. I mean I don't want to deal with it.

>> Maria: Yeah I know. I think the best part for us to start from is to be clear on what we want, to number one be clear. How do we become clear? We have to live our lives with intentions right, but we can't if we're not clear. So we need to know what we want. If we don't pause and take a moment to breathe and reflect then we don't get clear on what we want. So the first thing we need to do is to be able to pause. Have a moment with yourself and reflect on what you need. And with practicing our breath work and also meditation. That's another great way of being clear, and journaling is a great way of also finding out what we truly need from others and you know in the world. And another. So do you want me to continue on and we'll go to the next step?

>> Carlee: Yeah I mean I think we would that, but it sounds like the first step is really about developing a relationship with yourself. So you know what you want.

>> Maria: Exactly. Yeah. But then again being alone and just pausing for yourself and take a moment with yourself.

>> Carlee: OK. So we let's say we've paused and taken a moment and we've developed that relationship with ourself we know what we want, what's next?

>> Maria: So the next step is for us to ask for what we need. So how do we do that? And the first thing that we want to do is to be able to get notification. Notify the person that we want to talk to and let them know that I would love to talk to you and not attack them. Because when we attack them, walls are up. They don't want to talk to you. And then if if we just tell them what we need we at the wrong timing, then they're just like you know they're coming... They're getting defensive. They don't want to hear about it and it doesn't become productive. You don't get what you need. So. We have to know when's the right timing to ask for what we need. And then notifying that individual I would love to talk to you. And then, when we get to talk to them and we ask them for what we need, we have to remember to let go of the outcome. And that's the hardest part and I'll explain a little bit more the last part... What is it how do you let go of that outcome?

>> Carlee: Yeah. Wait how do we let... Now I want to know, how do we let go of that outcome?

>> Maria: OK. Well. When we ask so so we're clear. And then we asked, we asked for the time the right timing and then we notified that person that we want to talk to them. And then we asked them for what we need. Now when we ask for what we need we have to remember the positive sandwich. So, the positive sandwich is starting with a positive statement and then putting the problems right in the middle. You tell them the problem or what your request is and then you end it on a positive note. So when we talk to someone we let them know we need to talk to them. We have to make sure that we start on a positive note. For example. For example, we're talking to our partners and we need something from them. You know, I I really enjoy this time that we're having right now. I'm glad that we're able to have dinner. This is great. And then you put in. I really need you to.. to help me with this project that I'm doing. Maybe you'll be able to do this for me. You know. And then and then you end it on a pos... You've put in the problem or request and then you end it on a positive note with.... You're really awesome, I really appreciate your time. I really appreciate what you're bringing into this, the support that you're giving me. Like you end on a positive note. So, when you talk to them they're not... they're not on defense mode are they are they're hearing what you are trying to say and what you want. And then, you're ending on a positive vibe. So you're not leaving the conversation with them feeling some type of way. They're more excited to help you.

>> Carlee: And you're more excited it seems like you're even like you have to take a minute to be gracious for everything that they've brought to you to begin with. I think that's that's huge. So. If we're in the Philadelphia area and we feel like we want some more support maybe we're having trouble for... asking for what we want, How.... Like what do you offer?

>> Maria: Yeah. So, I actually have a support group right now support groups for first responders and medical professionals every Tuesday night at We Work Northern Liberties. So they can go to my website. Resilient Mind works dot com to get more information about it. And I also do individual sessions for clients.

>> Carlee: Perfect. So resilient mind works dot com to get in touch with Majet Maria. And this concludes this episode of The Stress Less Show. Thank you so much for coming on the show.

>> Maria: Thank you for having me.

>> Carlee: Absolutely. We'll see you next week on This Stress Less Show. Take care.