We all have needs, it’s normal, it’s animal and it’s human. From the need to nourish our bodies to the need that your spouse will make you a cup of coffee (without having been asked). In life, some of them remain unmet needs.
Breathing, food, water, home, security, health, pleasure, family, friendship, intimacy, respect, personal growth, self-fulfillment.
And as in the example with the partner and the coffee, we have expectations toward other people. They are supposed – in our heads – to meet our needs.
And the problem comes when these people don’t do what we want them to do to feel good. Or when they don’t guess that we have certain needs.
If you want to be more aware of your needs toward your spouse, I recommend you the book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I’m listening to it currently again on Audible (using this link you can get 2 free audiobooks during the 30-day free trial).
Our needs aren’t met, we feel bad, we experience lack, irritation and, what’s really unhealthy, anger and complaints toward our close ones.
It’s not healthy to continuously be in the state where our needs are neglected and where we’re mad at our partners, kids, parents, friends, holding anger toward them.
What’s the solution to your unsatisfied needs according to today’s positive psychology?
1. Write down all your unmet needs.
Firstly, find a quiet time just for yourself.
For me, it was useful to put these needs into three categories:
– what I don’t get from (my spouse, friend, …)
– what I want (which I don’t get)
– what I don’t want (which I get).
2. Write how YOU are giving yourself the things that you’ve written.
Write it next to each need from the first and the second category listed above.
Do YOU take yourself seriously? Do YOU take yourself, your feeling and needs into account?
Touch, respect, attention, time, gifts, the sense of being important, enough sleep, eating in a calm atmosphere, good food etc.
Do YOU touch yourself?
Are you important in YOUR eyes? How do you show it to YOURSELF? Do you save on yourself, neglect yourself, think of yourself after thinking of and caring of everybody else? Or do you choose the best for yourself?
Do YOU let yourself go to sleep early? Do YOU give yourself permission to have a pajama day?
(Today’s psychology and even spiritual wisdom say that others will treat yourself in the same manner as you treat yourself).
Next to the third category, what you don’t want, write how you prevent the unwanted situations. How you act, how you communicate to avoid them.
3. In any empty spaces after doing the second step, write ways to meet the needs by YOURSELF.
If you have any empty spaces in the previous step, meaning areas where you haven’t given yourself what you need, try to figure out ways to solve your lack by YOURSELF.
4. Slowly, make meeting your needs your everyday habit.
Take care of yourself if you want to be cared of. We can’t control other people. And they don’t have to want to give us everything we want from them. (Although supposedly others will treat yourself in the same manner as you treat yourself).
But of course, we’re not alone. We’ve been talking about our UNSATISFIED needs. Now, you can write down what your spouse, kids, parents, friends, clients, coworkers, strangers are giving you. I bet that the list for every person will be long.
Be grateful, love and practice loving yourself.