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What do you expect from your surround-

ings and do you have any influence on


My house is dirty, the heater is broken and there’s no food. I have no energy

and don’t know what to do. If anyone comes to visit me, all I get is criticism.

Even my mother hasn’t answered the phone for two days.

I do get ‘help’; a bit of a chat, questions about the medication and whether

I get out at all.‘What good is that? Doesn’t he understand what I need? I’m

sending out enough signals, aren’t I?’


Some people seem to be blind and deaf to your signals, others feel you’re asking too

much. Contrary to what people seem to think, most people do not have second sight,

‘second hearing’ or ‘second feeling’. Implicit expectations make people nervous. Make

your needs clear and ask if you want something. Make your requests as concrete as

possible.‘Will you help me clean this room?’ or ‘Will you help me free up some money

to buy a second-hand heater?’ Be aware that others may have difficulty protecting their

boundaries, even though they are responsible for this themselves.You must be prepared

sometimes to get ‘no’ for an answer, and to respect that answer.

Your surroundings