You may be demanding but how how do you like it when when someone makes demands of you? How do you respond when someone says no to your demand?

“If you ask something of someone and you are upset over their response, then it wasn’t a request, it was a demand.” – Michael E. Angier

Most of us hate being demanded of. We don’t like being put in the position of feeling we have to say ‘yes’ in order to not run into another’s upset with us. Sometimes, to delay the negative response, we might say ‘yes’ and then not do it, hoping that the anticipated anger will never come. We might even mean ‘yes’ in the moment we say it, but because most of us hate being controlled by another, we might unconsciously resist doing what the other person has asked us to do.

Whether something is a demand or a request has nothing to do with HOW it is asked. Someone can say to you in a sweet calm voice, “Would you mind doing the dishes?”, but if they get angry, hurt or blaming, when you say “No, I don’t have the time right now,” it‘s actually a demand. On the other hand, someone can make the same request in a fairly harsh tone, but if you let them know you can’t do it just then, and they say, “Oh, okay,” with no negative energy attached, you know that it really was a request, not a demand.

It’s not always easy to request, rather than demand, something of someone who is important to you. Most of us are invested in the outcome and not willing to feel helpless regarding our lack of control over others.

Brent and Claire

I often see this situation regarding sexuality in committed relationships. For example, Brent wants to make love with his wife Claire, but he is also afraid of rejection. He tends to take it personally when his wife says ‘no’ and then he responds by getting angry, hurt or withdrawn. Understandably, Claire doesn’t like being demanded of. She feels unloved when Brent doesn’t care about how she feels and punishes her instead. For a long time, Claire gave in, to avoid Brent’s anger and withdrawal, but recently, giving in became intolerable to her. She has let Brent know that she will no longer make love with him until he can be caring and understanding about her feelings when she says no, rather than angry, hurt and withdrawn.

Very distressed with Claire’s decision, Brent consulted with me. I helped him to stop taking Claire’s feelings as a personal rejection of him, and instead to compassionately care about his own feelings as well as hers. Brent came to recognize that his demands of Claire came from his own self-abandonment—primarily from his self-judgments. He saw that when he judged himself harshly, he felt so bad about himself that he wanted Claire to make love with him to let him know he was okay. When he learned to value himself rather than judge himself, he no longer felt needy for sex as validation. Now he could approach Claire with love rather than with neediness, and was fine cuddling when she didn’t feel like making love.

Claire, who deeply loves Brent, rediscovered her desire for him due to no longer being demanded of to care-take him. Now, because she feels completely free to say no without punishment, she more often than not says yes, and even finds herself initiating their lovemaking.

Brent could not let go of demanding, even though it wasn’t working, until he learned to take loving care of himself. Demands are often an indication of self-abandonment—a way of making the other person responsible for you. If you want to shift from demanding to requesting, then you need to learn how to take loving care of yourself, which is what practicing the Inner Bonding process teaches.

Alanis Morrissette
Alanis Morissette
“Inner bonding really nurtures and fosters the relationship between self and spirit. Personally, it has helped every relationship that I have. I’m so grateful.”- Alanis Morissette   Find out how Inner Bonding has helped singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette to evolve in her courage to love>>

Author’s Books


© Copyright 2015 Margaret Paul. Ph.D, All rights Reserved.
Previous articleAre You Responsible For Each Other's Hurt Feelings?
Next articleAre You Addicted To The Belief You've Got It All Together?
CO-CREATOR OF INNER BONDING Dr. Paul is the author/co-author of several best-selling books, including Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?, Inner Bonding, Healing Your Aloneness, The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook, Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids?, and Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Dr. Paul's books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into eleven languages. Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, noted public speaker, workshop leader, educator, chaplain, consultant and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars since 1967. Margaret continues to work with individuals and couples throughout the world -- mostly on the phone. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Her current passion is working on and developing content for this Website, as well as distributing SelfQuest®, the software program that teaches Inner Bonding® and is donated to prisons and schools, as well as sold to the general public. Margaret is passionate about helping people rapidly heal the root cause of their pain and learn the path to joy and loving relationships. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride horses, and spend time with her grandchildren.