Frustrations about others, are (not surprisingly) frequent topics of my coaching conversations.
The clarifying question “So, what are you frustrated about him/her?” is often answered with a mix of (1) unmet needs and what I call (2) “righting.”
It’s a healthy thing to express unmet needs in the form of “What I want FROM you is XXX,” with a direct reasoning of one’s unmet needs, e.g. “Because I [feel] [want] [need] + [reasoning].”
However, often the second part is replaced with a “righting” statement, e.g. “Because [you shouldn’t] [it’s not right to] [it’s going to hurt your] + [justice].”
One reason why we do this, is because sharing our feelings make us feel vulnerable, and it’s very difficult to be candid with our own feelings (ref: Radical Candor).
Another reason is because we feel shaming and guilt tripping is an effective strategy (which is not, ref: Nonviolent Communication).
When we mix “What I want FROM you” with “What I want FOR you,” it sounds manipulative to the recipient. No one likes to be “righted,” and that will automatically trigger defensive routines. We won’t be heard.
When making a “What I want FOR you” statement, mean it. With genuine care. Keep it separate from “What I want FROM you.”