18 Nov Are your needs being met?
If you’ve ever met me, you know I’m friendly, outgoing and even goofy. Once you get past that, you also see that I’m serious about how I live my life and what legacy I may leave behind.
Sometimes it feels like I’m too deep for people, though – like I’m scuba diving in the depths of philosophical thought, contemplating how I can live a more meaningful life, and they’d prefer I come back up to the surface where the super fun, inflatable swans are! I’m caught up in the mysteries of the ocean floor, and they’re hollering at me to join their game of marco polo!!!
I’m exaggerating, of course, but the idea of it all got me thinking about needs this past weekend. Your needs and my needs.
For example, I feel I have a need for deep conversation on a regular basis.
In the past, talking about our needs was almost taboo. Even today, if it’s not some romantic utterance like, I need you, it’s often seen as weak. Talking about needs can also carry an unhealthy connotation like, I need a cigarette or an addictive connotation like, I need a drink, or even a misogynistic connotation like, I need sex.
My view on needs transformed a few years ago when I became certified in a personality assessment, called The Birkman Method. In short, it helps us determine our usual behaviours, which are behaviours we exhibit when our needs are met. It also helps us determine our stress behaviours, which are behaviours we exhibit when our needs are not being met. In other words, it’s totally okay to have needs. The Birkman Method teaches us to know them and how to have them fulfilled, which decreases stress and creates stability. (You can read about the eleven different components of needs here.)
What I find interesting is how I show up once my needs are met. If I’m able to have a few meaningful, serious conversations, I lightheartedly return to the surface and the swans and play the most enthusiastic game of marco polo you’ve ever seen! You’d never know I was into scuba diving. However, If I don’t have my need for depth and reflection met, I will isolate myself, brood, feel I’m so different from the masses and start judging the people playing marco polo. It’s like clockwork!
Figuring myself out has been really helpful and practical. My steps for getting out of my stress behaviour and having my needs met are as simple as this. Try it:
1. Recognize I’m in stress (awareness)
2. Ask what need is not being met (reflection)
3. Figure out what I need to do to meet it (action-planning)
4. Meet it (action)
Now what about you? Is there a need you’ve realized you have that you weren’t aware of? What has acknowledging it and meeting it added to your life?