Why Preferences Are ALWAYS Better Than Demands!

Preferences Are More Fluid

Yes, here at long last is the promised article on preferences! Here goes!

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

The benefits of going through life with preferences instead of demands
is that they are more fluid. What do I mean by that?

Well, when you have a demand, there is usually only ONE specific set of
circumstances that will satisfy you or stave off catastrophe. It can make it very difficult if not impossible to be happy in an ever changing world in which we often have little or no control.  Yikes!

Let me give you an example, and then perhaps you will see what I mean

The Example

Suppose you had a big win at work and decided that you wanted to go out

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

to celebrate with your partner to you favourite restaurant and order your
favourite meal: Chicken!    ( This is my example after all 🙂  )

Friday gets here finally! You get to the restaurant with your partner, and you are all settled in and ready to order. The waiter comes over and asks you for your order, and all happy and ready to celebrate you announce:

I’ll have the roast chicken please”

The waiter then says to you, “I’m sorry Sir, but we seem to have run out of the roast chicken earlier”

S I L E N C E !!!

“What do you mean you don’t have any chicken???  I’ve been looking forward to coming here to celebrate and having some roast chicken ALL week!!!”

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

The waiter is stunned and taken aback by your angry outburst ( insert demand) and attempts to apologize. Your partner, who previously was in good spirits may now be mortified. People around you may have stopped to see what the commotion is at that other table.

What was once a planned celebration, has now turned very tense and threatens to
ruin the entire evening, if not get you kicked out of the restaurant if you keep
making a scene!

But one thing is certain. You are not going to get any chicken. Not here anyway, because there is none! And screaming and “demanding“, that someone produce chicken out of thin air because in your dream celebratory dinner, you see yourself
feasting on chicken is not going to make it happen. Not here!

The Solution

There is one, actually two that I can think of.

problem solution
geralt / Pixabay

Suppose we replay the scenario, and get to the place where the waiter innocently announces that there is no more roast chicken left.

We may then respond with one of two alternate responses:

Option #1

We consult our partner, then advise the waiter that we were really looking
forward to having roast chicken, so unfortunately we are going to leave and
go to another restaurant in the hope that they may have roast chicken.

This time it is the waiter who is apologetic, and apologizes profusely and hopes that we will be back again.

OpenClips / Pixabay

We graciously say that we understand, that these things can happen, and the waiter accompanies us to the door all the while apologizing and looking forward to our return, and ends by wishing us a good night. He may even offer us a coupon to be used on our next visit!

Option #2

The waiter informs us that there is no more roast chicken.

We pause for a moment and feel sad. We may look at our partner and say
“jeez! I was really looking forward to celebrating with some roast chicken”.
Our partner may frown and share our sadness, and touch us on the shoulder
as a way of offering support. They may even offer to cook us up some roast
chicken for dinner tomorrow night to make up for it!

You may start to feel better. You may turn to the waiter and raise your eyebrows, let out a sigh and say “Gee! I was really looking forward to your roast chicken!

It’s my favourite!”

The waiter may share a moment with you and frown along with you, offer another apology perhaps. Perhaps then you feel that you’ve had your moment, and then you may have a breakthrough moment and announce:

I was really looking forward to the roast chicken, and would have preferred to have it.


winner #1
OpenClips / Pixabay

But maybe this is an opportunity to try out the vegetarian lasagna that my wife has been
raving about!


 Okay, a die-hard meat-eater suddenly going vegetarian may be a stretch!

But opting for a preference and saving the night’s celebration, instead of sticking with a
rigid demand and spoiling it, is very doable!

The Takeaway

When dealing with uncertain situations, like the world we live in. One might want to consider having preferences in order to  be able to flow more freely and fluidly with life.

It’s like always having a backup plan. The more options we create for ourselves to be happy, the greater are the chances that the Universe will deliver.

smiley happy face
PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay



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About Ron Lafleur

I am a counsellor in private practice specializing in couples therapy.

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