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DBT 41: Wants and Demands/ Priorities and Shoulds

This homework was a from awhile ago, but when I got it, I immediately forgot about it.

Wants are things that you want.

Demands are things that other people want you to do.

Priorities are things that are important to you.

Shoulds are things you feel you have to do or are placed on you.

I blanked on this entire assignment and blanked on it the first time it came around too. I’ve kept the sheet on my coffee table so I can figure out what to put in it.


In order to have a stronger self of self and boundaries you need to have an idea of what you want. For myself, this can be hard because like a lot of people I’ve been raised to put everyone’s needs before mine. And in my relationships I was informed that my wants were secondary and stupid.

My friend asked me if that made me resent people. I said no, and I meant no. Often when I’ve been considerate, it’s worked out for me and the other person has reciprocated.

Of course, there are times when people don’t reciprocate and it makes me hate them. I’ll mention, “hey maybe you should be considerate about these things for these reasons” and they typically aren’t and I simply stop engaging with them. Or in the case of my exs, they start crying and I would be shocked by their tears and would let them get away with it. Which, knowing what I know now, I shouldn’t have done. Back then I didn’t know that, I just assumed people cried because they were honestly sad. But no, some people cry, like children cry, to manipulate and control you. (ETA children also often don’t have any other way and for a time it’s their primary form of communication. My comparison is not a good one.)

There’s also a few things I never let other people have first. For example, I love raspberry pie and I will basically put myself first in order to get as much pie I as I want. I’m not gonna eat the whole pie and say ‘screw you other people’ but I will do everything in my power to make sure I get it first.


Well what do I want?


Raspberry Pie


PROFIT! (...south park joke)

Okay okay… I’ve written most of this entry and I keep coming back here to put something in here.


Something I want…





/several days later

/several weeks later

A stable job (But I also don’t want the commitment of only one job. Other than the amount I work, I’m happy with my multi jobs)


Free time (I don’t have a day off. I have an afternoon or a morning off, but rarely a whole day)

Time to work on my programming skills

Time to do some art making.

There’s one more, but I’m gonna keep that for me.

What do people demand of me?

My time. My expertise. To be perfect. To never take any breaks. To be more considerate of others. To be more understanding. That my issues are irrelevant in comparison to so and so. That I should make all of my teaching notes available to all students (Haha no, learn to take notes or get a note taker). That I work for free.


What are my priorities?

I figured out one. It is a priority for me to spend time with my family and friends. I discovered this when I lost it when a flight was delayed and it meant I wouldn’t get to see someone close to me. Also it was reinforced when a friend of mine announced they were moving to another country and I was heartbroken, followed by the usual feeling that I had squandered my time with them. Yes, I intend to visit.


What are the shoulds that are placed on me?

I should get better. I should really do the dishes. I should be a better worker. I should be more considerate. I shouldn’t want things. I shouldn’t expect good things to happen ever or I shouldn’t allow myself to be happy when good things happen. (This one affects me less, but I still think about it when something good and then bad happen) I should be perfect. (Oh self destructive perfectionism, I will one day be free of your grasp)


Living up to all of these shoulds and demands is exhausting.


But seeing it on paper and taking time to actually think about it makes it easier to see where I have to go and what demands and shoulds I need to remove myself from.

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