Believe it or not, our ability to live a fulfilled life comes down to six basic human needs. Why do we do what we do? How do we feel when certain things happen (or don’t happen) to us in life? Our basic needs are required for you and your partner to get through each day, but you will likely have different priorities for those needs than your partner. Our decisions in life will generally be affected by what basic needs we prioritise.
So what are the six basic human needs?
The six basic human needs are:
Love/connection, significance, variety and certainty are all needed for your survival and success in life. The first four also shape your personality. Growth and contribution, however, are needed for a more fulfilled life. These two needs also shape your spiritual needs.
If you feel like you need to know what the future has in store for you and you have a need to feel secure, one of your core needs would certainly be “certainty”. One of the downsides to this human need is that you may feel that you need your life to be the same so that there is that level of certainty each day to make you feel safe. But, this is almost impossible as there are often many loopholes to get through each day. From a relationship perspective, you may need a partner who you feel is trustworthy, welcomes your tight-knit scheduling and understands that you may not be open to new experiences and risks.
Variety can be a fun and adventurous thing. But, some people may take this need to the extreme, especially when it comes to relationships. In life, a person with this core need may change jobs frequently or take risks to get that adrenaline rush they desire. In relationships, you may enjoy meeting new people quite often, but you may also tend to push people away or be unfocused in the relationship. If you’re in a long-term relationship and have a desire for variety, finding a new partner may not be your only solution (especially if you’re in a monogamous relationship). Instead, take the time to go on dates with your partner, go to new locations, travel and try new places to dine out. Or, perhaps an extreme sport you could both enjoy might be a great activity to share.
Part of your needs for this core need is the feeling of being needed and receiving recognition. You likely have a desire to feel listened to, be heard and to be seen. Recognition within your relationship helps you to feel special and/or needed. Your level of significance can often be due to how unique you are. But receiving praise and attention from your partner is often what you need to feel validated in your relationship.
If you don’t positively receive this recognition, there is a chance you may turn to more negative ways of feeling well such as drinking alcohol, getting into arguments or gambling. Or, you may surround yourself with people who aren’t very successful in life to feel better about your minimal successes. Either way, the outcome of the more negative approach isn’t often good.
This one is a simple one to understand. If this is your core need, you need a sense of connection and love in your life. You need a fulfilling relationship full of love and to feel like you are a part of a deep and meaningful connection in life. Sharing life with another person is your ultimate goal. It’s important to remember though that if you have love as a core need, you need to remember to give yourself love and attention, too. Generosity and loyalty are probably your top values in life. You give freely to your partner, but you may also struggle to say “no” sometimes.
It is also important that you express your needs and desires in your relationship and don’t forget about what you need from your partner. Don’t just give to them without receiving some love back.
Growth is important in every life. But if this is one of your core needs, chances are you’re always striving to do better. You may move jobs frequently because you think you’ve reached your potential. In a relationship sense, you may leave your relationship too soon because you aren’t connecting with your partner or you feel bored with the relationship. Make sure you take the time to learn new skills and master them. Emotional and spiritual growth is important to focus on, too. Look at any limiting beliefs you may have, especially those surrounding relationships with others.
Contribution is a beautiful human need. Those who focus on contribution feel that the secret to living is giving. Because you need to give back to the community and the wider world around you, you may forget about the important people in your life and forget to give and contribute to those at home. You are likely to be quite compassionate and empathetic to others, but you may also burn out easily and are prone to be taken advantage of.
One of the easiest ways to fulfil this need is to give back. The closer the cause is to your heart, the more fulfilled you will feel each day.
Understanding what your needs are can help you to gain a better understanding of yourself and your relationships. It helps you to understand what you need from your partner and where you may need to im[prove to help your relationship to grow and be a positive aspect of your life.