This one thing can make or break your relationships

You are probably thinking that the answer is “patience”, right?

Well, that too, but patience and is there to help you take a step back, and take a moment to think about your response. (And your response might be to have more patience.)

Patience is hugely important, but the response that you decide to take is what makes or breaks your relationships.

So what do you do if you are frustrated? Hurt? Angry?

Sometimes people are so attached to “no attachment,” they forget that we are still human and we feel. We feel sadness and hurt and disappointment. It is OK to feel that.

Feeling means that something is important to us.

What if, instead of complaining when you are hurt, or lonely, you pause. And then….

Ask for what you want.

Simple- dimple.

How to ask for what you want

Check out my video to see what I mean.

How to ask for what you wantClick To Tweet

What to do when you are hurt, frustrated, insecure, confused….and more…

1. Pause, take a breath

2. Feel your feelings, and love yourself through them.

3. Ask what does this hurt say about what I treasure.

4. Ask for what you want

Ask for what you want instead of complaining.

This is one skill that can make or break your relationships.

Hurt is evidence for that story inside of us that we are not good enough. We already feel the story, and hurt feelings make it explode and root more firmly in. Complaints are our defenses against that story. It is standing up. It means you think you are worthy. But implicit is also that you think the situation is saying that you are unworthy and this may not be the case.

When I didn’t put enough milk in my children’s cereal, it was no way a reflection of my lack of love for them. You and I can see that clearly, but for them at age 3, they experienced it in victim mentality. It WAS a conclusion about their worth in that very moment.

Even though they are standing up for themselves, complaints are standing up in a conflictual way. This is often experienced as an attack by the other person, if not cognitively, at least energetically. And their guilt often has them attacking back which totally invalidates the first person who needed validation more than anything else. Both people feel bad.

I want to stand different from this and help the people that I love and work with feel appreciated.

That is why I ask for what I want instead of complaining.

We need to model this to decrease conflict in our communities and in our world. We need to teach it to our children so that they can continue to change our world to a place of peace rather than hurt and fear.

Try this today. There are constantly opportunities for us to ask for something that we want. I know it is sometimes hard. But try it with something small today.

In the comments tell me about a recent experience when you either complained or asked for what you want and what happened as a result. 

40 thoughts on “This one thing can make or break your relationships”

  1. So I know this guy who often has the victim mentality. It ends up multiplying because he takes it out on those around him by saying things like “This always happens to me” or “I give everyone respect but never get it in return” or he tries to watch tv quietly but people around the house talk and he can’t hear his program but he does not turn his show up because he expects they will just talk louder. Then he plays the martyr card and does not watch his show at all.
    Maybe I should just tell this, uh, friend, to …pause.
    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. Awesome! He probably has a very strong negative notion of his worth, but it’s conflicting, because he also defends his worth via the complaints. But it annoys people so he get negative feedback perpetuating the whole thing. Hope you show him the video and my victim mentality post! It was one of my favorites!

  2. Hi Jodi,

    Wonderful tips indeed, and yes, when we feel frustrated or angry and want to shout or complain, we need to slow down, breathe, and just let it go – that’s what I do and when you do that you feel so much better and that moment of anger goes, though I hardly get that angry 🙂

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week 🙂

  3. Hi Jodi,

    A wonderful way of saying: don’t complain! And that example of milk…really superb! You are so right, one feels as if it is one’s fault! yep! it seems an assault! Right…I can say, slowly learn to change…as complaining comes so naturally during those moments of frustration and anger…so less complaints from now on!

    Thanks for sharing such ‘a simple, dimple’!!
    Balroop Singh recently posted..MotherMy Profile

    1. I hope you find a new way of expressing yourself that gets you great results and has you feeling ten times better anyway! We totally deserve to complain but it doesn’t always make us feel better.

  4. I am learning not to complain. I never thought I was a complainer, and in fact I used to hate it when I was accused of being one. In order to avoid being a complainer, I used to never share anything, not even having a headache. I hated therapy because it was for me like complaining to a stranger and betraying those who are hurting me. I changed and I started to complain as I thought it was OK. Complaining about my situation gave me freedom.

    On another hand, complaining “as a joke” is a cultural thing. It’s totally different and in that kind, I am the best. I do it everyday at any opportunity. I can give many examples that are so similar to the example of the milk.
    “OK, I’m leaving and will never come again! I really don’t feel wecomed here!” It was of course a joke although it was accompanied with the most hurt face etc. We all laughed and I had what I needed: I was welcomed again, we all laughed and I had what was my main intention in giving that joke. All I wanted was to bring something that would turn the conversation

    1. (sorry I clicked on “send” by error)
      Another example: I was served yesterday a big piece of cake. I was the first one served. I finished eating it before everyone and said “how come everyone has a full plate and mine is empty? That’s not fair!” The answer was “it’s because your share is this one (half of the big cake) and it doesn’t fit in your plate”. Everyone laughed.

      Now that I’m aware it can be perceived as complaints, I can change and ask “can we change the conversation?” or “may I have a second piece of cake?”

    2. Nikky, telling someone what you are going through is not complaining. Standing up for yourself is not complaining. I try to clearly distinguish this. But maybe it’s not so clear. Does everyone do these kinds of jokes? <3

        1. I’m not sure what you mean. Do you mean when you tell someone what happened and my back hurts? That’s exactly what it is. You’re “telling someone what happened”. That’s it. All words mean many things. Maybe this is literally a “complaint” but very far from what I’m talking about here. It’s shades of grey. This is your lesson in life right now, to see the shades of grey. It will help you relax so much and be freer than you ever thought possible. Remember you can’t try to see shades of grey. You almost have to not try so hard, relax about stuff. Be more layer back with yourself.

          1. what I meant is that I don’t understand where did I complain if not by telling what happened or how I feel. I’m sure I did, but without knowing it or realizing I was.

  5. Thank you. This is so timely! We have a calm down plan in our house (we have three kids – 8, 6 and 3) and recently our middle son has been having a lot of bouts of anger and frustration. When we actively focus on connecting with him in positive ways, we can really help him to diminish his angst but he still is volatile. We’ve brainstormed some calm down strategies together, we have drawn some picture diagrams with motifs of Stop! Breath! Happy face! And now I am so happy to add to the toolbox, your last point of “ask for what you want.”
    I’m looking forward to modelling this as well as practicing these steps with our kids. THANK YOU. I’m thinking of examples where I do this naturally and it really does work (I will say, and what do you think will help you solve your problem right now?)

    1. Awesome, Mya, it is so amazing when we think it is too simple and it works. With kids you have to teach over and over but eventually they get it!

      Asking him what he is upset about might help, too. Unpack the upset. Break it down by acknowledging. Sometimes you have to go on their agenda first. 🙂

      Thank you for sharing.

      1. Thanks for your last point. I’ve been trying to stay in tune with active listening and acknowledging feelings so he can unpack his upset but I haven’t been overly successful during his intense periods. We notice that when he finally has a hard cry that he comes around and acts more like himself.
        A friend knows a great psychologist whom I’m going to call for some assistance.
        I like the word “upset” – I will try that one next. Upset sounds so much more forgiving and positive than mad and angry.
        So thankful for your council and advice,

  6. Thanks Jodi, I needed to hear this today! I’m going to put this into action. I am not good at asking for what I want. And I love how you tied it to finding the “treasure” that a hurt is covering up and directly asking for what you want. Good stuff!
    Hope all is well with you.

  7. Laughter likewise decreases the secretion of cortisol in addition to the sedimentation price, and consequently is helpful in promoting the physical body’s immune device.


  8. Great article here indeed.

    When we get angry or something like that then don’t be hyper. Just look at you in-front of mirror. Cool down and think positively. Don’t waste your beautiful life with anger.


    1. Yep, but implicit in the complaint is that worthiness. But also implicit is the conflict of the worthiness and unworthiness. Does that make sense? Let self love win, and you’ll be fine! Good luck!

  9. Nice article.. I truly appreciate your ideas and your way of clarifying the issue through the example of milk.
    Well i have not much experience about relationship. But i think in relationship mutual understanding is very essential. Without it it’s hard to maintain a relationship.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. It is great when understanding is there, however there is too many relationships that are trying to stay afloat without this important feature, I don’t think that’ll be you!

  10. Hi Jodi,

    Love it! Hug your feelings, and lovingly face, embrace and release them. Then see good. See good in the tough moments, the blessing in expanding your awareness, embracing, and goodness will be yours.


  11. Troy’s comment made me giggle, because I’ve been silently complaining to myself about my next-door neighbor at my office, who can be very loud on her phone. I’ve been turning my fan on to make white noise, which is effective at blocking her voice, but still leaves me with the ‘ick factor’ feeling. I think I will just ask her to keep her voice down!
    Laura Zera recently posted..George Clooney Got Engaged, and We Acted Like AssholesMy Profile

  12. This was so helpful! I can relate to most of the things. I now know how and what to change! SUper powerful . Thanks jodi 🙂

  13. Lisa A. McCrohan


    These videos are fabulous! You really are “in the flow”! Your tips are so supportive and easily digestible. They come from a deep place of stillness and mindfulness within you. I love it, Jodi. Your vibrancy comes through. Love, Lisa

  14. Sebastian Aiden Daniels

    Great post. It is so difficult to ask for what you want especially when you are coming from that place where “no” means you are rejected as a person. It has been freeing to break through that.

    It would take a long time to get into what happened, so I’ll try to break it down into the bare essentials.

    I had a former therapist where things turned out horrendously for various reasons. I worked through most of my issues surrounding it and I pushed my current therapist to allow me to have another closing session with my former therapist. She was worried that it’d scar me more, but I had a game plan and pushed for what I wanted it.

    I was allowed to see her and I had the session.

    You know what happened?

    It went very well. I actually experienced closure surrounding the relationship and everything that happened and have moved on and asking for what I wanted instead of being afraid has helped me tremendously. Instead of frequently replaying things and being emotional about it, I have moved on from the relationship. It was one of the best decisions.

    Ask for what you want. Even if it doesn’t work out, at least you won’t have the regret of not asking.

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