06 Jul Meet your individual needs with significance and connection
Success and happiness is important in life. Why wouldn’t you want to be successful and happy in what you do?
Granted, success and happiness comes in different guises for us all. Part of growing up and experiencing stability and change helps you to find what you thrive (and don’t thrive) on.
Certainty and uncertainty can be defined as needs of your personality (we looked at these two essential human needs in the last blog article). So too can the next set of needs because they are also needs that are achievement focused.
Need 3: CONNECTION (LOVE)
As a human, you were never meant to be alone and are wired for love and connection and the need to be around people. A solitary life is rarely a happy life.
Definition: “A strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something.”
It has been illustrated many times over that not having people and things in your life (to help you to feel happy) affects your mood in a negative way. It’s a sad fact that when people feel so unloved and totally alone in the world, believing that no-one cares about them, they even take their own lives! This is an extreme example, but very real nonetheless and one that illustrates why these needs are essential and not just ‘nice things to have’ in life.
Emotional hurt can manifest for many reasons. A lack of love and support from your family or a romantic relationship is common, as is building up a protective wall to prevent yourself from being hurt. Sometimes you might wish to cut all ties for fear of being subjected to that hurtful situation again. But, you still have to connect with people – even if you are someone who likes your own company or who doesn’t naturally excel in social gatherings.
Company is comforting
Connections can be friends, family, teachers, role models or work colleagues. Positive connections will be people who you share common likes and interests with and it feels good to share similar bonds.
Think back to a time when you thoroughly enjoyed being with someone or a group of people? Maybe it was at school, on a holiday, participating in fun games or getting stuck into a new hobby.
- Who were they?
- What were you doing?
- How did the relationships develop?
- Are you still close to that person/group now?
- What community groups and social media groups you are part of?
- Why do certain topics interest you?
- What is your preferred way to connect with the people involved?
At some point, there will come a time when you feel as though you need your own space – even if you are someone who is naturally the life and soul of a party.
This is because you are unique and not like everyone else.
Need 4: SIGNIFICANCE
You are an individual. You have a need to be recognised for your achievements and worth in the world and you have freedom to be able to express yourself too.
Definition: “Feeling unique, important, special or needed.”
There will be times when you will want to take a step back, away from others, to discover your purpose and ‘significance’ in life. You will need a level of freedom to explore and find your own sense of importance and worthiness.
Discovering your purpose might be through your choice of academic studies or creative exploration. You may be drawn to science, art, politics or the environment. Whatever it is will help you to define your significance compared to others. While I need to stress that it is actually unhealthy to compare yourself to others (because everyone is unique and magnificent in their own right) you do need a point or points of difference.
Expressing who you are might also be in the way you dress, the way you communicate or the way that you put your thoughts in to your art or music or poetry as an example.
Create balance in life
As with certainty and uncertainty, you are trying to achieve a balance between the love of connection and the freedom of your individual significance through the ability to express yourself.
If you are too special, too different, too unique and not like anybody else, how are you going to connect with people? Connections work because people like people like themselves. You have things in common and that’s how and why you connect.
Think about the last time you felt the need to pull away from a situation or person and be by yourself?
- What caused you to feel this way?
- What did you think was missing from the situation?
- Was there overkill of something?
- Was there more to the situation that you needed to discover but it wasn’t present at the time?
The first two sets of essential human needs are each a paradox. Too much of one creates an imbalance and you may find difficulty in achieving the other. Spending too much time on nurturing your own significance may cause you to find it challenging to build deep intimate relationships that need love and connection. It’s a fine balance.
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.” Harvey Fierstein
Choose the life you want to lead
You will always have a choice in life and there will be times when a situation happens that you have no control over. In these circumstances you may feel that you haven’t had a choice but you can choose how to interpret the situation and whether you react in a positive or negative manner. This is where we need to get the balance right. The same can be said for the balance of connection and significance in life.
How do you feel about connection and significance? Do you sway more towards one or the other? Please share your thoughts with our social media community or drop me a personal email.
Here’s to a successful and happy week full of positive connections and fruitful achievements.