Ok; you may not need to read it. But I think you’ll get my point in having said that.
I have recently become aware of a conversational habit. It seems to me to be growing in our culture.
This habit involves the word “need.” My concern is over who is doing the needing.
I have noticed more than a few times that need seems to be very easily attributed to others.
In simple terms, if I need you to do something, I say, “You need to….”
For example, you need to read this post. This actually means I need you to read this post.
This is problematic. At least it is problematic for me, and for people like me. You see, I, and people like me, do not easily or comfortably absorb the needs of others. Especially when these needs are foisted upon us from a pretence of power.
Don’t assign me your needs. Own them. Share them if you like, but don’t assign them to me.
I find this especially dangerous in ministry. Even more in youth ministry. Folks in leadership: your leadership and integrity are seriously compromised when you assign your needs to others.
For example, if you are trying to quiet a room full of people because you need to make an announcement or begin a worship service or for whatever reason, telling them “You need to be quiet” may be neither true nor as effective as “I need you to be quiet.”
Own your needs. Feel free to share them, but inviting others to share them will be more likely effective than assigning it to them.
I need you to know this.