Let's Be Clear. (how to communicate what you really want & need)
While something like 90% of communication is nonverbal, sometimes it's still important that communication be verbal, very clear, and specific. (I often think of the scene in the movie "Adam" where the woman says "I need a hug," and Adam just stands there nodding-- until she says, "Adam, I'd like you to come over and give me a hug" and he finally gets it). I cannot tell you how many times I've heard people say "I told him I needed more affection" or "I know she could tell I was hurt", thinking they had communicated, but not saying, clearly, what they needed. It's the equivalent of walking into Taco Bell and just saying "I'm hungry" when they ask for your order. Folks, it's time to get clear on whether you want the Gorditas Baja or the Dorito Tacos Locos. (But don't order the breakfast. Trust me, don't do it. Consider yourself warned.)
Years ago, I was called out by a friend who listened to me agonize for close to an hour about all the confusion I felt in a relationship, the difficulty reading the other person's intentions, and of course, my angst over all the negative intentions I had assumed and filled into the areas where communication was lacking. She finally just looked at me and said, "Um, Jane, did you ask him what his intentions were? Did you state your needs clearly?" I sheepishly said, "Not exactly... well, no." She looked me in the eye, said "Use your words, Jane," and walked away. What a revelation! Use my words! I'd been standing at the door of Taco Bell complaining about how hungry I was, expecting someone to roll out a silver platter with a filet mignon to me (lesson #2 from this story is not to go to "metaphorical Taco Bell" when what you're really looking for is "metaphorical steak"-- more about that below). Use your words. Genius.
Don't say "I need more affection," say "I want you to hug me and kiss me when I get home" or "I want you to hold hands with me when we go out." Don't say "I know she could tell I was hurt", TELL her "I feel hurt that ____ and I need _____." Be specific. Use your words. Don't assume, don't mind-read.
To take it further, learn to get clear with YOURSELF. How can you seek out what you want and need if you don't even really know yourself? What do you want? Now get more specific with it. Now even more specific. What would be happening differently if you were actually getting what you actually need/want? Are you only aware of a hungry feeling, then disappointed that you're at Taco Bell when what you really wanted was filet mignon, medium-rare, with a side of creamed spinach and a glass of cabernet? Get clear. Don't end up with a metaphorical Taco Bell breakfast burrito (or a real one for that matter. I'm not kidding, y'all).