The term needs refers to all that sustains us physically, emotionally, mentally, interpersonally, and spiritually. Needs, and the feelings that arise from them,
are moment-to-moment expressions of how we are. Needs are universal. Although cultural customs, languages, and beliefs differ, we all have the same needs. We have both survival needs and thriving needs.
Survival needs include: water, air, food, and shelter.
Thriving needs include: safety, protection, belonging, love, support, understanding, honesty, competence, learning, and fun.
The ability to identify and express needs makes it more
likely that we can find ways to meet them.
Expressing Needs: need understanding, need support, need peace of mind.
Guessing Others’ Needs (Empathy): Do you need understanding?
Do you need support? Do you need peace of mind?
Needs can also be expressed as wants, wishes, and values.
Expressing Wants, Wishes and Values: value honesty,
I want more security.
I wish there were more understanding.
Guessing Others’ Wants, Wishes, and Values: Do you value honesty?
Do you want more security? Do you long for (wish for) more understanding?
Strategies are sometimes confused with needs.
“I need a video game.” Playing a video game is a preferred strategy
for meeting a need for relaxation, play, or fun.
“I need a doughnut.” Eating a doughnut is a strategy for meeting a
need for sustenance, energy, or excitement.
“I need a Ferrari.” Buying a Ferrari is a strategy for meeting a
need for mobility, belonging, or excitement.
Check it out for yourself:
Study a list of needs... Click Here.
Ask yourself throughout the day: “What needs are calling me right now?”
Ask yourself throughout the day: “What could that person be needing?”
Guess the needs of characters in books, movies, and on TV. (Throughout human history, every character, individual and group, has been motivated by these same human needs.)
Ask yourself: “How would my perception change if I learned to always look through a lens of needs, and to understand that each of us in each moment is doing the best we know how to meet our needs?”