Introduction to Needs and Feelings – What Makes Us Do What We Do?

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The two sides of the same coin are needs and feelings, yet most of us keep them distinct. When our needs are satisfied, we are content. When they aren’t, we get irritated. It’s that easy. So, why isn’t it straightforward?

It’s not easy because we’re not used to thinking about wants and feelings; we allow the feelings in and try to come up with ways to make ourselves feel better, circle back to the no-longer-effective techniques that got us here. We spend so much time focusing on the “what” that we forget to ask ourselves “why.” We make snap judgments about what is good and terrible, or what is right and wrong, because that is what we were taught, and it is simplistic and judgemental, much like the social system we live in. However, there is a lot more to the world than that.

Attachment Formation: Needs and Feelings

The six basic and existential wants that emerge throughout the first 10 years of our existence are proximity, sameness, belonging, significance, love, and being known, and these are extensively discussed here. Strong attachments are formed when these requirements are satisfied, allowing good, productive, and cooperative relationships to flourish.

  1. Well Being
  2. Honestly
  3. Peace
  4. Play
  5. Autonomy
  6. Meaning
  7. Connection

These requirements are shared by individuals of all ages, from the youngest to the oldest; people from all over the world; and followers of all religions. These are the same requirements shared by the individuals you like the most, the people you connect with the least, your greatest friends, and your worst foes.

You, your significant other, and your children all have the same requirements. Doesn’t it make things easier?

Something awful is happening to sentiments all around the world; the list becomes shorter with each passing day. The more technologically advanced we become, the busier we become, the fewer sensations we have and express. We don’t pay attention to the needs that cause our feelings, and most of us can’t identify more than 20. Here’s a list of emotions that might arise when one’s needs are being ignored:

  1. Afraid
  2. Annoyed
  3. Angry
  4. Disgusted
  5. Confused
  6. Disconnected
  7. Embarrased
  8. Fatigue
  9. Saddness
  10. Pain
  11. Tense
  12. Vulnerable
  13. Yearning
  14. Disquiet

If all of these words have made you feel down, consider the following list of sensations that result from met needs:

  1. Affectionate
  2. Engaged
  3. Hopeful
  4. Cofident
  5. Excited
  6. Grateful
  7. Inspired
  8. Joyful
  9. Peaceful
  10. Refreshed

The fact is that this list might go on and on, but it should suffice to demonstrate the vast spectrum of emotions we overlook. Everything seems to boil down to sad and glad, pleased and frustrated, which drastically limits our range of thought. Having additional words to express our emotions will allow us to more accurately specify our requirements. If you look closely at each word, you’ll see that each tells a distinct narrative than the others; it might include references to the past or future, indications for other surrounding emotions, and so much more. We forget the actual essence of sensation, its complexity, intensity, and potential when we forget these words.

How Do Our Needs and Feelings Affect Us?

Needs and feelings are inextricably linked; when needs aren’t satisfied, unpleasant emotions emerge. The first step in understanding who we are, and teaching our children who they are, is communicating these sentiments and expressing just how each underserved need makes us feel. We may respond to every circumstance with empathy and compassion by following the judgment-free process of pure observation, extracting the unmet need, and refining the sentiments circling around it. We are free to search for different ways to assist us to satisfy our needs after our sentiments and requirements have been identified.

Binary definitions are simple because they do not need us to think; instead, they simply ask us to act, and doing without thinking has already proved to be detrimental. Reducing everything to binary notions of good and bad, right and wrong, has led mankind to where it is now; hardly the finest world imaginable.

This is the future I envision. Let us teach our children all of these terms, and let us educate them that these feelings aren’t good or bad since feelings can’t be terrible. Let us raise kids in a guilt-free, shame-free, and fear-free environment.

Instead of using the word tantrum, we should always seek out the actual need and devise a new approach for satisfying it. Our children are deserving of it.

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