How to clearly communicate your needs and wants (breaking the submissive mold)

No one can read your mind.

From passive to active, changing the way we speak to clearly communicate our needs and wants.

How to get what you want:

1. Speak clearly and directly, always.

“You should have known how that would make me feel.”

“You hurt me. I did not want you to go out and I should have expressed that directly to you. I should not have just said ‘do what you want, I don’t care’ because that was not true.”

2. Never make your audience deduce meaning or solve for x (feelings, wants, needs).

“Do you want to get lunch?”

“I’m hungry and ready for lunch. Are you ready for lunch and would you like to get lunch with me in 10 minutes? I want indian food.”

3. Be overly specific in your expression of needs and wants.

“I want an orange.”

“I want to go to the farmer’s market this Saturday morning with you and buy some organic, naval oranges.”

4. Don’t wait. Do it right now.

You should express yourself when…

  • the feeling is strongest
  • the need or want comes first comes to you
  • when you can clearly state what you mean

5. Your feelings are important and worthy of being expressed.

If there is anyone in your life that does not agree with this statement eliminate them. Not in the strictest sense though. They do not respect you and decrease your self respect, confidence, and independence.

6. Your needs and wants have great value.

You deserve to have your needs met and your wants considered. There is a difference between a need and a want. Make sure you know clearly if what you are asking for is a need or a want.

7. The needs and wants of others have great value.

Others deserve to have their needs met and their wants considered just as much as you do. Listen to others. Let them finish their thoughts without interruption of flow. Breakdown what they are saying and try to understand what they are expressing. Is it a feeling, need, or want? What are they asking from you? Mutual respect is the only way to get your needs met and your wants considered.

Still unsure how to clearly communicate what you want to? Sit down with someone you want to communicate better with. A partner, friend, or close family member. It should be someone you feel comfortable around to start. Each of you should answer the following questions. Answer each question one by one and discuss your answers to each after you have both answered.

Expressing how you feel:

  • How are you feeling today? ex. content, bothered, annoyed, happy, peaceful, loved, neglected, embarrassed, isolated, rejected, etc
  • How did you feel when you woke up?
  • What events throughout the day affected how you felt? What were the changes you perceived?
    Expressing what you need:
  • What is the most important need you have right now that is not being met?
  • Is this need dependent on other people?
  • Why do you think it is not being met?
  • Have you previously expressed this need?
  • How long has this need not been met, and how is this affecting your daily mood
  • What actionable steps can we take together to meet this need today? Break it down into 5 mini steps.
  • List 3 needs you have daily, is each being met? Why or why not?
    Expressing what you want:
  • Name 3 things you want at this point in your life. One should be immediately achievable in the next 2 days. One should be achievable within 1 week. And the other should be achievable in 1 month.
  • For each of the 3 wants listed above rate each on a scale of 1-10 how much you feel you deserve each. (1 being not at all, 10 being you really feel you deserve to have this)
  • Why do you think you rated your wants in this way?
  • Repeat this exercise at least once per month.

* If you regularly rate your wants at a 4 or below you may be undervaluing yourself and may be struggling with expressing yourself because you feel your needs and wants are unworthy.



Whatever your past looks like. Whoever you are right now whether naturally submissive or dominant I hope you will feel empowered to take control of your circumstances. You are in control. Even though you may not feel that power you have it. It just needs to be recognized and seized. Submissiveness is circumstantial and situational.It is not a defect. A personality. Or a state of being.It is not permanent. It is not a diagnosis. It is not who you are or who you must be.
Every day is an opportunity to practice.
Every situation is an opportunity for change.
Every circumstance you encounter gives you an experience for your book.
Each person you interact with can influence how submissive you act based on social roles or your mutual history.

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