Do a Needs Analysis

Relationships – Activity: Do a Needs Analysis

Identify and communicate your functional needs, and request your partner do the same. Needs are essentials for survival, wants are things that would be nice to have. In Maslow’s hierarchy, as basic needs are met, higher needs become more important. We have needs in various areas and in different levels of intensity.

Relationships can be an exchange of meeting needs. For example, in the mental area, you may meet your need to learn by taking classes, watching the news and reading. Your need to learn will be enhanced by sharing ideas and conversation in a relationship, and you may be meeting their need for the same thing. If this need is equally important and equally met, both will be happy. When relationships fail to meet the needs of either or both, trouble follows.

Mental (to learn) information, challenges, freedom
Spiritual (to grow) meaning, purpose, principles, character
Emotional (to give & receive) recognition, respect, affection, support, understanding, kindness
Relationship (to share) appreciation, consideration, love, romance
Social (to connect) interaction w/others, communication, friendship, family, belonging
Physical (to care for) food, shelter, rest, exercise
Financial (to work) contribution, achievement, security, abundance
Recreational (to enjoy) fun, new experiences


Would be nice to have Really, really want it Very important Absolutely necessary
level 1-low 2-med 3-high 4-low 5-med 6-high 7-low 8-med 9-high 10-low 11-med 12-high

Functional needs are described by Bob Murray and Alicia Fortinberry in the book “Creating Optimism” as:

  1. Expressed in concrete terms
  2. Appropriate to the relationship
  3. Use action words
  4. Doable

Read more at Creating Optimism and Meeting Needs With Love

Expressing needs in concrete terms:

In the area of [what] I need [what], which will be met by doing [what]  [when] [how much] [for how long] at an importance level of [high, medium, low].

While we strive to meet needs ourselves, we may request for a need to be met by others, and they may request needs to be met by us. When our needs conflict with the needs of others, it’s time to explore ways to compromise or take turns. Clearly, nobody gets everything they want, and there is a middle ground between not asking for (or sometimes even knowing) what you want, and insisting on getting everything you want. In a relationship, we must consider the needs of each person. This is the challenge of relationships. This week, print two Needs Worksheets, one each for you and your partner to fill out, compare and discuss. In the area of relationship needs, Dr Harley talks about emotional needs at

An Example Needs Worksheet

 Family  I need to see my parents regularly monthly  Go to visit/ eat out  12
 Friends  I want to meet new friends as a couple  monthly  Join Am History meetup 6
 Social  I want to entertain  monthly  Invite someone to dinner  4
 Social  I want to volunteer  1 hr/week  Arts council gift shop  5
 Recreational  I want to travel  1/yr  Taking trips  11
 Recreational  I want to go to the movies  monthly  See a new movie  8
 See Know What You Want for more possibilities

Printable Needs Worksheet  | Know the Difference Between Wants & Needs | More Links about NEEDS

This is one of the weekly activities for a Year of Personal Development.

I enjoy finding great information, combining it in new ways, and packaging it creatively. I'm highly interested in the areas of goal setting, time management, and skills to improve life.

Posted in Year of Personal Growth
2 comments on “Do a Needs Analysis
  1. […] see also Do a Needs Analysis […]

  2. […] See also: Do a Needs Analysis […]

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