Well, sounds easy to answer. Of course people know what they want. Or? Do they just seem to know what they want?
If you start asking it turns out that most people know what they do NOT want.
I realized some time ago that it takes efforts and time to figure out what you really want. It takes a skill to discern things that YOU want and things that OTHERS want or expect from you.
I often ask a question: What do you want? Instead, people tend to answer what they PLAN, or NEED, or SHOULD, or HAVE TO, or even MUST. Some feel quite uncomfortable when being asked this question. Quite often it turns out that we want one thing, but being hypnotized by the word “SHOULD” we choose to do something we don’t want. And then, as a result, we get angry, feel frustrated, disappointed, and unhappy, and may complain about people and circumstances that “made” things go wrong.
Interestingly enough, this works the other way as well: very often we say “I can’t” instead of “I don’t want”. I notice it all the time: both when I say that and when people say that to me.
I read somewhere in Gay Hendricks’ books that if you are tight up to the chair – this is the case where you really can’t come. In most of other cases you either simply don’t want to accept the invitation or a request or you choose (want) to do something else that seems more important to you. This is fascinating to know that we always have a choice. We just tend to mask it in socially acceptable “Must”, “Can”, and “Should”.
So next time when you say “Sorry, I can’t do this” or “I can’t come” reflect a bit on this: is it really you can’t or you don’t want? Why don’t you want to do this?
(By the way, it is ok to say “I don’t want to”. We just need a bit more training on accepting when people say that to us. So we can practice saying it too).