If you’re one of those people that feels needy more than you think you should, I have a secret to tell you: Everyone feels this way. Human psychology says that we, as humans, need to experience and fill six specific human needs in positive ways in order to feel fulfilled and on purpose. When we feel out of whack or unhappy, that typically means we’re not meeting one or more of these needs in a positive way.
So what are the Six Human Needs and what can we do to meet them the right way so we feel fulfilled and on purpose? They are:
This is the need to feel comfortable and secure. For many, we need to know what’s going to happen in every moment so we feel safe.
We all need variety in life. Even if we don’t like surprise or change, it’s vital that we experience variety.
Every single one of us wants to feel important or significant. We want to feel special and stand out.
4. Love & Connection
We all want love in our lives. Whether it’s romantic love or love anchored in friendship, it’s crucial we have it.
If you’re not growing in any way mentally or emotionally, you’re dying. This need is a spiritual need, and can only be obtained if the first four needs are met.
Giving opens our hearts and minds to what love really is.
The first four are needs of the personality (Certainty, Variety, Significance, Love & Connection). The last two (Growth, Contribution) are needs of the spirit.
If we struggle to meet the needs of the personality in a positive, loving way, we cannot grow spiritually. We won’t grow at all. We won’t give, we won’t share, we won’t do anything to help others. Instead we stay within ourselves, battling depression and sadness.
When people suffer from anxiety or heartbreak, it’s usually because one or more of these needs isn’t being met in a positive way or for the greater good.
Here’s an example:
Someone that struggles with addiction may be using drugs or alcohol to meet the need of love and connection. They’re lonely. They may even be using alcohol to fill the need of significance, too.
But, if the way in which someone is attempting to fill a need is negative and doesn’t serve the greater good, that person will never achieve growth. They can never experience happiness. Have you ever known an alcoholic or other addict to be happy? No. This is because they are attempting to fill their needs in a negative way.
This individual can, instead, meet his or her need for significance by trying her hand at theatre or becoming a public speaker. These actions don’t hurt themselves or anyone else, but rather serve the greater good.
Here’s a second example:
Someone that feels lonely, needy, and has no friends may spend lots of time online on various social media channels. They have a strong need for Love and Connection. Because those relationships online aren’t authentic or tangible, this person may act out in negative ways to get attention so he feels loved. That could come in the form of exaggerated lies or acting like a bully online.
Instead of meeting his need for love in a negative way, this individual can meet his need for love and connection by joining a club or enrolling in a class. He can meet real people to spend time with and form valuable friendships. These actions don’t hurt him or anyone else. Again, they serve the greater good.
What needs do you struggle with filling for the greater good? How can you change things so that you’re meeting your needs in positive ways?
Sometimes we don’t know how to identify what our most immediate needs are. Try taking the Six Human Needs test created by family therapist, Cloe Madanes. This test will help you discover what your primary needs are right now. Once you discover what those needs are, you can begin to take steps to fill them in positive, loving ways.
Joleene Moody is a PositivityGuides writer