Identify Your Emotional Needs

Know what your needs are.

Emotional needs are what you must have fulfilled in order to be your best self. There is a general assumption that all our needs are the same, but this is far from the truth, we all have different needs and function differently. Even the strong and independent amongst us.

One of the first stages of self-awareness is recognising your emotional needs, those feelings that you must have to be happy, they make you tick.

Some basic needs are:

  • To be loved and to love.
  • To be safe.
  • To feel special.
  • To be listened to.

Allow me to use myself as an example.

My top four personal and emotional needs are:

  1. Need for peace/balance
  2. Need to be touched
  3. Need to be heard/communicate
  4. Need for clarity

Without these I react like most of us would. My favourite reaction used to be the silent treatment. I would just decide that talking wasn’t for me.

When our needs haven’t been met we feel irritable, resentful, jealous, angry, and all those other ugly traits we don’t like in anyone.

Meeting your needs can be tricky to pull off and may come at a cost, sometimes due to cultural and societal expectations. Not too long ago women could never pursue (sexual advancement) their spouses without the risk of being slut-shamed. Unbelievable.

One major reason why we procrastinate is because most of us feel awkward, ashamed or uncomfortable about asking others to satisfy our needs.

This sort of discomfort is precisely why needs remain unsatisfied, making one appear needy at some level, however subtle.

For instance, your need to feel loved may make you try so hard to please people who are not for you, not part of your journey, you then forget to stand up for your best interest, always putting their needs before your own.

Another example could be that, your need to feel special my drive you into seeking a job promotion that ends up making you more miserable than when you started, performing endless favours to your boss even forgetting your family at times.

That’s the unpleasant truth about unsatisfied needs, when nothing is done about it, they stink, they make us repellent to our dreams, resistant to the very people and opportunities we most want to attract. 

Because our needs are mandatory , they are what makes us love life, there is no way around them. Your needs have the potential to steer you off course or keep you on track. Getting your needs met is absolutely key to moving beyond survival-mode and starting to realise your full potential.

Think about the needs you have and how they are met. As you answer the following questions, think about the impact your behaviour has when you act in certain ways to have your needs met. There is a constructive way, where you are clear and positive about your needs and how you want them met. There is also the opposite, destructive, where you throw terrible two type of tantrums to get your way.

  • What are your needs?
  • Which four are the most important ones to you?
  • How do you currently have them met? Destructive way or constructive? How do they affect others around you?
  • How can you begin having your needs met in healthier and attractive ways to you and to those around you?
  • What actions do you want to take?

I fall in the category of resilient, independent and hardworking lot, so asking for my emotional needs to be met wasn’t a thing I understood much. But then I had to make changes for things to change.

I learnt to place boundaries. To ask a lot more for cuddles when I needed them. To sit loved ones down, even on busy schedules, for conversations, and have them listen, try it for just 10 minutes a day, it works wonders. And the one I treasure the most is my “me-time”. My chill time includes meditation, reading a book, a nice quite bath, in any order, and, anything can be added unapologetically, magical.

Enjoy.

©nicollehanselmann

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