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|
|Is it…||WANT||STRONG WANT||NEED||STRONG NEED|
|Would be nice to have||Really, really want it||Very important||Absolutely necessary|
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 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 MarriageBuilders.com.
An Example Needs Worksheet
|AREA-RELATIONSHIP NEEDS||MY NEEDS/WANTS||WHEN, HOW MUCH||MET BY DOING THIS||IMPORTANCE LEVEL|
|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|
This is one of the weekly activities for a Year of Personal Development.