Six Basic Human Needs

Certainty is the need to feel safe, avoid pain, be able to maintain adequate shelter, know that you have enough to provide for you and your family, and feel comfortable in a relationship.  People often use words like comfort, security, protection, predictability, safety, stability and feeling grounded to describe their need for certainty.
Variety / Uncertainty is the need for stimulus and change.  We all need to experience varying degrees of sensory stimulation along with emotional and physical challenges in order to stretch our range of development.  People often use words like fear, instability, change, chaos, entertainment, suspense, exertion, surprise, conflict and crisis to describe their need for variety or uncertainty
Significance is the need to feel important, needed and wanted.  Our sense of significance is most often validated by comparing ourselves and our accomplishments or failures to somebody else.  People often use words like pride, importance, standards, achievement, performance, perfection, evaluation, discipline, competition and rejection to describe their need for significance.


Love / Connection is the need for connection with other people and the desire to love and be loved.  Everybody needs to be able to express love, to be loved, to love or to feel connected to other people in order to thrive.  Infants who are deprived of contact with other human beings will die just from the lack of human touch.  People often use words like togetherness, passion, unity, warmth, tenderness and desire to describe their need for love and connection.
Growth is the need to constantly develop emotionally, intellectually, physically and spiritually.  When we stop growing, we essentially die.  People are in a state of perpetual growth even though many do not realize it… we grow emotionally when with every life experience that we encounter; we grow intellectually with exposure to new knowledge practically every day; we grow spiritually as we contemplate the universe around us.  People often use words like blocked, stagnant, aspiring, developing, learning and changing to describe their need for growth.
Contribution is the need to go beyond the narrow scope of our own needs and give freely to others without expectation of reward or compensation.  Life is incomplete without it.  People often describe their need to contribute using words like fulfillment, meaningful, meaningless, making a difference and giving back.


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