Relationships – Activity: Do a Needs Analysis
- A need is a necessity, something you must have.
- A want is a desire, something you want to have.
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 can follow. Dr Harley talks about emotional needs at MarriageBuilders.com.
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.
When needs are identified and communicated, there is a better chance that they may be met. Understanding the needs of both partners is important for relationships. 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.
Possible Needs in Different Life Areas
- 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 with 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
Understand the difference between wants and needs
A need is a necessity, something you must have. A want is a desire, something you want to have. Sometimes a want is so strong that it can feel like a need.
Functional needs are described by Bob Murray and Alicia Fortinberry in the book “Creating Optimism” as:
- Expressed in concrete terms
- Appropriate to the relationship
- Use action words
Expressing needs in concrete terms:
In [this] area I need [what], at an importance level of [high, medium, low], which will be met by doing [what] [when] [how much] [for how long].
This week, print the Needs Worksheet available at Sellfy. Both people in a relationship can then fill one out to compare and discuss.
An Example Needs Worksheet
This is one of the weekly activities for a Year of Personal Development.