Knowing our needs can be difficult when we have been taught that our needs are not important or should be placed after everyone else’s needs. This is a type of trauma. We are being separated from our most basic instinct, to tune into our body and meet our needs.
Think about hunger. We need this physical impulse to tell us when and how much to eat. If this impulse is denied and pushed down again and again, there is a resulting imbalance and self-denial at the most primal level.
If the need for love and safety was not met over and over again, this is a trauma. Eventually the child shuts down and becomes disconnected from their needs, as with the avoidantly attached person. Or they cling on to their caregiver to get their needs met, like the anxiously attached. Or they develop a disorganised attachment, which is a combination of the two.
For 50% of the population who fall into the insecurely attached group, identifying needs can be really tricky. It is helpful to have a list to refer to, to know that these are VALID needs.
A great exercise is to go through the list with a journal and write out how YOU are meeting each of these needs.
This is not an extensive list, there are many more, but this is a great starting place.
What need will you be meeting today?
*List adapted from cnvc.org – Non-Violent Communication by M.B. Rosenberg