You don’t have what you want because you’re trying too hard to force the fit. Here’s how to find the right fit, and get what you want.
First: What do you want?
A friend of mine told me that he hated calling his mother. I asked him why. He said, “Because she’s mean to me.” Which I found kind of amusing, since my friend is too old for that kind of silliness, even though I knew very well what he meant.
I probed a little deeper. “How is she mean to you?” I asked. He said, “She criticizes me all the time.” Afer we talked for awhile, I discovered that what happens between my friend and his mother is that he tries to help her, and then she is critical of his help.
“What do you really want in your relationship with your mother?” I asked. “I just want to be able to call her without feeling bad,” he said.
Time to decide.
To make a long story short, my friend had to make a decision. His “helping” his mother was getting in the way of the relationship he wanted with her. He thought he wanted to be a good son to her by helping her in the way that seemed right to him. But even more, he wanted to talk with her without feeling bad.
So he changed his behavior. He asked her what kind of help she actually wanted, which, as it turned out, was quite different from the help he was providing. Now, they have much better conversations, and my friend gets what he wants more often (and maybe his mom does too).
It’s an inside job.
You know that any good negotiation is one in which everyone at the table has their interests met to the greatest extent possible. What you may have forgotten is that the first negotiation is with yourself.
If you’re not getting what you want, ask yourself these three questions:
- What do I want?
- Am I willing to decide between what I think I want and what I actually want?
- Am I ready to change my behavior to make what I want fit the actual situation I’m in, or am I trying to force a fit that ignores the realities of the situation?
Get what you want by finding a fit that works in the situation rather than trying to force a fit that doesn’t actually work.
Want more help?
I can help you get what you really want.