Welcome to Day 16 in the series…
Yesterday we looked at why it is so important to be able to be able to talk about core values and deeply held beliefs, especially when they are in opposition. Today we will take a quick look at what some of those core values are.
Years ago, one of the fathers of modern psychology, Abraham Maslow, identified a hierarchy of needs that we all have as human beings. Our basic need is for food and shelter, but once we have those needs met, our next important need is for meaningful relationships that anchor us, make us feel loved and give us that sense of belonging. This relational need is foundational for building our self-esteem and our ability to become the best version of ourself so we achieve our highest potential. This need for love and belonging lies deep inside of each of us but can be expressed in different ways.
Theresa and David Ferguson identified ten expressions of emotional needs in an intimate relationship, all important but often ranked differently for each person. These emotional needs are for acceptance, affection, appreciation, approval, security, attention, comfort, encouragement, support and respect.
When we get it right and help meet each other’s deepest emotional needs, we create healthy self-esteem, healthy thinking and healthy behaviours which lead to intimate relationships, functioning families and maturing personalities.
When we get it wrong, or when our partner gets it wrong for us, we end up in a cycle of unhealthy thinking and behaviours where our actions are unloving, critical and, worse case, abusive…
Unmet needs are a major source of frustration in a relationship, but we can’t talk about them and meet them for each other if we don’t even know they exist.
These emotional needs are powerful motivators and drivers of behaviour. The more we understand the ten emotional needs and how they rank in importance for our partner and ourselves, the more effective we can be in lovingly responding to them and creating the quality of relationship we desire.
Here’s something to think about: Intuitively, what do you think are your deepest emotional needs? What do you think are your partners’ needs? How are they different from yours? What else could you be doing to help them get their needs met?
Tomorrow we will look at our need for respect and seven key areas we must address in order to ensure we give and receive healthy respect.