Six emotional human needs

Hey everyone, Fred here again. I just got done listening to another free you tube video by Anthony Robbins.  This guy is a beast!  He has so many videos and they are all awesome.  The one I listened to today was about the six emotional needs of humans.  We all have needs.  The first line of needs is survival: air, water, food, shelter…etc.  Once our survival needs are met we have a second set of needs. Our emotional needs; while these needs aren’t  necessary for our immediate survival,  our minds still view them as a necessity and we spend most of our time trying to satisfy them with some vehicle.

We have six emotional needs: certainty, uncertainty, significance, connection, growth, and contribution. The last two: growth and contribution are not as necessary to maintain our self image , at least not until a certain level of development, so for now we will begin with the first four.

Certainty, we all strive for certainty, each of us in different amounts. (an amount determined by the conditioning of our early life, usually) We use different vehicles to provide us with this certainty.  My father has had the same job for 20 years, the same girlfriend for 8 years, and the same car for 6 years. Would you say that certainty is a primary need for him?

Uncertainty, it would appear that this need is in total contrast to the first, yet we all have a need for uncertainty in our lives. If we do not have a vehicle for uncertainty we will create one. I have noticed that when I have a girlfriend , when I am totally into the girl and tell her I love her no matter what, (providing total certainty)  that the odds are that she will be unfaithful to our relationship in some manner. She will provide a level of uncertainty if I do not. In contrast, the times that I have given my girlfriend a higher level of uncertainty, (not as much access to me and my thoughts ) I tend to dominate her thinking, and her fidelity.

Significance, how I make myself standout. This need can be huge to some people, to the point of altering their physical appearance permanently to a shocking degree. (think lizard man at the state fair) We need to feel unique.  The vehicles we use are incredibly diverse. Our choice of hair cut, clothing, body art, skills that we show the world, in reality any action we take that makes us stand out either positively or negatively.  These all can be vehicles to satisfy our emotional need of significance.

In contrast, connection allows us to feel love and belonging to a group. If we are standing out from the herd, (significance) we are less likely to feel connection to said herd. We all want to belong and feel loved, but not necessarily for our significance.  A movie star may be driven to feel the significance his acting provides, yet at the same time he feels that the people in his life only love him for his image, or fame, or money.

As I have mentioned, we attempt to meet our emotional needs with vehicles. A vehicle can be good, neutral, or bad for us in the long term.  One vehicle my father uses to obtain certainty is his job, he should decide if this vehicle is good, bad or neutral. My father also smokes cigarettes, this satisfies certainty, significance and even connection. (smoke breaks with friends at work) Obviously, this is a bad vehicle but because it satisfies three of the emotional needs he is psychologically addicted to this vehicle.  To quit smoking he would need to replace this vehicle with another. One that satisfies at least the same three needs.(and that is after going through the 3 day physical addiction withdrawal)

To me, that is the real value of this knowledge, being able to evaluate the vehicles that I personally use and forming a plan to replace the ones that are negative for my long term health and happiness. Also, it lets me see how I may be sabotaging my best efforts by injecting elements of uncertainty into my life; thereby increasing risk to my current vehicle.

The last two emotions are growth and contribution. I believe all humans need to grow and contribute to feel happy. We all feel it I think, but it seems that it may be determined more as a standard than by any other means. I mean, I see the people I know grow and contribute all of the time but it isn’t a real strong drive until they develop to a certain level. It is as though they have to consciously raise the standard internally before it becomes a dominant need. I know that personally I didn’t focus on these needs until I made the internal decision to invest in myself no matter what.

Hence this blog. Thank you and I’ll post again soon!

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