Life lesson #267

You know something I have discovered in my 37th year of life? People can’t read minds. I know! Groundbreaking stuff. But it would seem that I have spent more time than I should have thinking that they did. Friends that SHOULD know that I’m annoyed at them and then try and make it better because SURELY I am worth it?!. Husbands that SHOULD know that I really wanted a surprise just one time how hard is it to surprise me? Children who should know just the way I like things to be. Family members who should call me to see how I am. People this, people that. She this, he that. THEY THAT.

And you know what? Once you figure out that they don’t do this and you actually start ASKING for what you want, well you just might get it.

This has been a big one for me this year.

If the way that Rob keeps quiet or internalises something I can TELL him that when you do that it makes me feel like you don’t care. And then I worry. And then I make it bigger than it actually is. So can you just acknowledge that you need to be alone and for me to come back to you? And if he does this I know what’s happening and I can move on. Huh.

If the way that someone does something that frustrates me I can TELL them that it frustrates me because of x, y or z and then they will know that it makes me cranky and hopefully not do it. Huh.

I’ve started to tell people, what I want to hear. This is on a simple, basic communication level – not tell me I’m wonderful and amazing when I’m not. But knowing what I NEED to make me work, knowing me, what I respond to, what my personality and needs are and adjusting things to get the best outcome for it. And it means that I’m happier. They are happier. Communication is open and transparent and hopefully healthier. Maybe it’s an age thing. Maybe it’s not giving a shit what people think. Maybe it’s putting myself first for a change in a small way. But it’s working.

So today when Rob asks me how I can help out I will say, make me a cup of tea. Because he might not know that’s all I want him to ask. And then you know what? The next time I might just get a cup of tea…just because. If I tell the girls at the end of the day I am really tired and frustrated and all I want is for you to put your towels back without my having to ask you, they might just do it.

Or maybe not.

Got any simple life tips you would like to share with us?


  1. No tips, just that it takes a lot of practice! I’m slowly getting better at it, especially saying the things that I don’t want. It used to be hard because I wanted to be seen as nice, but you’ve got to be nice to yourself first.

  2. Tea? Will probably happen! Towels? No fucking way

  3. They don’t read our minds??? I so thought that everyone had that gift. Lol. It’s true though, when you start articulating what you want and need – it start to come through. Great post Beth.oxox

  4. Kate rayment says

    So needed to hear this reminder today. The last couple of days have left me cursing family members and probably giving myself a small ulcer !

  5. Stop thinking about what other people might think when you ask for something, if you say no, if you are just being you. I’d love to be able to do that! I think it’s a great tip though πŸ™‚

  6. This is a huge life lesson. It’s great when it dawns on you isn’t it? Some people won’t know what has come over you when you ‘dial direct’ but it’s such a freedom to just ‘use your words’ isn’t it? Love this Beth!!

  7. Nothing beats a gesture of kindness and love like an asked for cup of tea or cold glass of wine when things just feel too meh. <3 It always goes down well. Or being passed a glass of wine while they take over dinner πŸ˜‰

    I keep desperately asking the boys to 'please just do X without being asked'. I have now started saying "Okay it is time for you to have a shower. So that means you need to go to the bathroom, get undressed and put your clothes straight in the laundry hamper while I turn the water on and after you are finished where do you put your towel?" Seems to have more success.

  8. Seems like a universal thing this needing to ask for more stuff! I’m not sure it’s working in my house, especially not the towel thing. I feel like a broken record some days!
    I guess if I keep at it long enough, it will eventually work, or I’ll go insane….
    Hopefully it works first! lol

  9. I have had the same epiphany this year… after my 3rd child was born and my brain escaped for a while there, I discovered that people actually need to be told you need help, they don’t seem to get it when you look haggard from lack of sleep, the whole family is still in their PJ’s at midday and the last week’s worth of dishes are still on the sink… I mean, seriously, do I really have to ask?! Apparently, yes!
    By the same token however, I have a cup of tea every night after dinner and I can’t tell you the number of times I have said to my husband…”if you just made me my cup of tea…”, 9 times out of 10 I still make it myself! Will he ever learn?!

  10. I find that as I get a bit older, I do feel a little braver in using my voice. A little.
    I would like to figure out how to stop wanting everyone’s approval and just start doing what I know is right without letting other people stress me out first.

  11. My hubby isn’t useless on purpose he’s just lacking that gene that makes him do something without being asked, a 1000 times!!! But when I ask I get and usually without moaning… here’s to more doing and saying what WE want!

  12. I am THE WORST at asking for what I want, to the point that I get all passive aggressive. Maybe just maybe I should give this a try!

  13. This is me all over. I turn 40 next year and think it’s definitely something that comes with age. Bless.

  14. I’m hearing you. In the trenches of new mamahood, when husband walks through the door of an evening I expect him to KNOW what my day’s been like, not just know by hearing about it, but I just seem to expect him to GET it?! But of course he doesn’t, he couldn’t, even if he was the sole caregiver to our baby, it’s still not the same way that I feel it as a mother. Or something. That’s what I’ve learnt lately. I’ve gone back to work a few days a week (unexpected and not planned but we’re rolling with the punches!) and he just doesn’t GET how hard it is, to either try and work with Eleanor or leave her with my mum. He says well he goes off to work every day, what’s the difference? *forehead slap* I’m learning that we’re different as parents, not one unit, we’re united, yes, but we’re a Mother and a Father. Difference. Mmmm…

  15. Reannon @shewhorambles says

    I seen this a few years back & have kept it in mind ever since-

    Why Complicate Life?
    Missing somebody? ….Call
    Wanna meet up? …Invite
    Wanna be understood? …Explain
    Don’t like something? …Say It
    Like something? …State It
    Want something? …Ask for it
    Love someone? …Tell them

    It’s so simple but it’s hard to put in to practice all the time. I do try though πŸ™‚

  16. Faux Fuchsia says

    My life tip is that life is short so just love as hard as you can.

    I’ve had family members in hospital and spent time with my friend who has a severely disabled child in the last few days and my life lesson are take nothing for granted, tell people you adore that you love them, be empathetic, be kind and do stuff you enjoy.

    Wet towels on the floor are the Work of the Devil.

    Stay Centred and Sane x

  17. Rach aka stinkb0mb says

    Learn to say and then EMBRACE the word no.

    Saying no doesn’t make you rude, it just means that you’re putting YOU first, ain’t nothing wrong with that.

    • Rach I am going to embrace this word in about 2 weeks time. I am having a year of saying NO and YES to me and my family’s needs. I say yes waaaaaaay too much.

  18. ffhousemouse says

    I was told several years ago at a Course ‘Not everyone is like you’ …has really stuck with me ( their loss ha ha ha – not really!). Has helped me to be more patient. Mind you I was forty by this time. We had lots of ‘races’ in our house for on the job training such as towels / bathmats hanging up and clothes in the laundry basket etc.

  19. Thems the smarts. Right there. Thank you for this. So much. I nodded along the whole way! But yet I still hope for a little bit of mind reading from my family? Just a bit pretty please? πŸ™‚ I think we just get so used to ‘soldiering on’ or ‘getting on with it’, when we stop and actually acknowledge that we’re not getting what we need from others, it leaves us feeling a bit uncomfortable. It’s something I’m still grappling with. I think we need to stop thinking, and just start doing- talk, talk, talk! Defs going to practice this more!! x

  20. A great lesson, thanks Beth!
    After a difficult pregnancy, complications and bed rest, and the arrival of a premmie baby who had to stay in the NICU, (whilst recovering from a c-sec, which meant I couldn’t drive myself too and from the hospital to see my new son!) and also being parent to a nearly 2 year old, I’ve learnt recently that not only is it ok to accept the help that’s offered, it’s possible to even ask for it! We could not have made it through the last 6 weeks without the help of many, including 2am phone calls for people to look after our son whilst we raced to hospital (twice!), lots and lots of food, baby sitting, and just general love and support.
    I’ve also learnt (you have helped inspire this one with your big clean out!) if you don’t like something, it doesn’t function how you need/want it to, or it just doesn’t work for your lifestyle – get rid of it!!! This applies to everything, clothes, kitchen stuff, just general ‘things’. Being so busy with 2 kids means I don’t have time to deal with shit that doesn’t ‘work’! Next on my list is to replace our crappy toaster that burns/leaves raw the toast, and do ANOTHER wardrobe clear out.

  21. So true! I’m still learning this one too.

    And the funny thing is as wound up as we can get about getting the gumption together for the courage needed for the asking …often people are relieved to just be asked instead of being expected to somehow magically know. Amazing right?!:)

  22. This is a big lesson I’m learning this year too. Sometimes in tiny ways and sometimes in huge ways (I just recently had a bunch of people all kick in to loan me $2,450 towards moving out of this crumbling apartment with antagonistic and loud neighbours into somewhere suitable! WHAT EVEN! All because I said “Guys I want to get out of here and need help, here’s how you can help *if you want to*. Whoa.)

  23. I used to get SO cut when I cleaned the house and Nath didn’t notice (or if he did, he didn’t say anything). So I took to texting him “Notice how clean the house is when you get home” or “I’m cleaning the house” sometimes just a pic of the Enjo.
    It was a bit of a joke in the beginning, but now after a decade or so, he has started noticing BY HIMSELF LIKE A BIG BOY.
    Who knew??

  24. Lisa Mckenzie says

    I have learnt that people can’t read minds but even though you ask for something to be done does not mean it will be you can only hope Beth Xx

  25. Yes, it’s a lesson all right… and now I know with my husband and the three boys, I have to tell them things very simply and clearly and in short sentences and making sure I have their full attention… that’s just the way they all are….. it’s all about taking responsibility for ourselves. Thank god we genuinely do get wiser as we get older, thank god.

  26. I read a quote this week that said something about a decision being 50 percent yes, 50 percent no. So perhaps we should be saying no to people 50 percent of the time. We need to make sure we are ok as well.

  27. I just had a growl at my husband this morning based entirely on what I was THINKING that he was THINKING. So yep, I need to work on this.

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