More About Human Givens
The law of all living organisms is that we must take in nutrients from our environment in order to constantly maintain and rebuild ourselves.
While some of those needs are physical, such as air to breathe, water to drink, food and shelter, others are our emotional needs which are equally important if we are to develop as physically and psychologically healthy human beings.
The Fundamental Emotional Needs
Security a safe environment, both at home and at work, which allows us to develop fully
Attention to give and receive it
Autonomy the ability to make choices in our lives
Intimacy to have at least one other person who accepts us, warts and all
Feeling part of a wider community
Privacy the opportunity to have time to reflect on life
Status to feel valued by the social groups we belong to
A sense of competence and achievement from which comes self-esteem
Meaning which comes from being stretched in what we think and do
The resources nature gave us to help us meet our needs
The ability to develop long term memory – which enables us to add to our innate knowledge and to learn.
The ability to build rapport and connect with others
Emotions and instinct
A conscious rational mind that can question, analyse and plan
The ability to understand the world unconsciously
An observing self – that part of us that can step back and be objective
A dreaming brain
When these emotional needs are not being met in balance, or when our resources (or tools) are misused, such as an overactive imagination, or not used at all, we suffer considerable distress which manifests as a number of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and chronic anger.