Every human being has needs. It is part of the human condition. We were born with them and will go through most of our lives trying to get them met.

Over the years as a life coach, I have taken several courses in Non Violent Communication. In NVC, needs are acknowledged and embraced. There is a vulnerable beauty behind our needs. The essence of who we are as human beings.

When our needs are met we can fully access our humanity. Bringing compassion and kindness to ourselves and others.

There is a beauty of being human and honoring our core needs of  well being, expressing ourselves and connection with others.

Needs get a bad wrap…. and they shouldn’t.

We often aren’t aware of our own needs, and it can be a powerful self-discovery to identify the ones that are most important to each of us. The needs below are grouped into categories of three core needs. Take a moment and identify what needs resonate with you personally.

Health and Sustenanceman deep relaxed breathing
Safety and Security
Celebration of life

Autonomy/Freedomjoyful girlChoice
Self actualization

Love/caringLoving Connection

Here is an exercise to explore your needs more. Take a moment and ask yourself:

What am I grateful for?

Then …

What needs are being met when I feel grateful?

Now think of a time when you were upset, possibly at work.

Then …

What needs were not being met?

In all likelihood it would be about recognition, respect and a sense of belonging.

Needs drive us and are essential for our well being. When our needs are being met it opens the door to be in connection with ourselves and with others.

We come to see there is no need to judge ourselves or others any more.

We are more able to center ourselves in our Middle Ground and handle the the highs and lows of life.

Its allows us to be our authentic loving selves, instead of being guarded and defensive.

We become free to evolve into all we can be.


36 comments on “* I’m Not Needy – I Just Have Needs

  1. Superb stuff Val, for which, many thanks. Perhaps you might agree that part of the subtlety of all this is in the discerning of needs as against desires. The former, as you rightly assert, being the essence of who we are as human beings, the latter, often being no more than corruptions of our true needs.

    With gratitude and respect.

    Hariod. ❤


    • Great point Hariod. There is a difference between what we desire or want and what supports our essential wellbeing in mind body and spirit.
      Thank you for your wisdom.


  2. Heidemarie Klein

    Hello Val,

    I just love your today’s posting about Needs, based on NVC. So beautiful and a great reminder, combined with practical action items. Congrats!

    Cheers & Love from Munich,



  3. LOVE this, Val. The need for “contribution” definitely hits home for me. And to be able to seize that – what a gift!

    Thank you as always for the wonderful and inspiring insights. 🙂


  4. Good stuff Val! Needs do get a bad rap…


  5. It was when I could say to my beloved – I have needs and that’s okay, that we truly were able to move into that middle ground you describe so beautifully.

    Beautiful post.


    • Thank you Louise for your kind words. When we bring “needs” into our conversations it brings a new level of intimacy and trust on our relationships. And yes, its what can happen when we present in our middle ground 🙂


  6. I remember bristling at the word “needs” when I first learned NVC. Continuing to learn and practice, including workshops with NVC founder Marshall Rosenberg, it’s clear that the word “needs” brings its own baggage. It often mixed up with “demands”.
    He points out how the English language is infused with words shaped by generations of “violent” or non-compassionate approaches. I’m grateful that with a little training and practice, there are better ways to get everyone’s core needs met.


    • Thank you Vincent for sharing your experience here. I believe its our ego that really resists and bristles when we look at needs. After all, it makes us feel vulnerable.
      I recall in the early days looking over a list of needs and felt repulsed by one in particular …. And I learned that this was a signal that it was the one to look at with self empathy.
      NVC does such great work around the world.


  7. I had never heard of NVC and I am very intrigued. I really enjoyed even the brief questions you posted. It helps to get to the core issue, rather than the superficial things swirling about.


  8. Yes, such a difference between needs and wants. Great post and exercise.


  9. This is one of those posts that I need to digest a bit longer, think about some and then come back and read again! I love it – and can’t wait to see what I discover as I’m processing it all!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Inspiring awareness, Val. And what makes our species distinguishable is that each of us is free to define and choose what we need and want, and the value and significance it yields in our own life,

    I don’t see needs as getting a bad rap. Sure there are people who moan about and label people as ‘needy’ but to your message, we all have them. And it’s okay to be selfish; to express and seek them. Maslow’s theory of Self-Actualization, being needs-centric, would not be so widely accepted if it weren’t tried, true, and accepted.

    What I find even more significant is your reference to self-discovery. It it truly within that process that each of us gets to figure out what we want (versus need) to do with our personal gifts, calling, and energy. It’s uniquely choice. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you Eric for your thoughtful response.
    Understanding our needs is such a key part of self discovery. I believe that in doing so, we face the ego part of ourselves and come to terms with our shadow.
    When we get our needs met, It brings choice for individual success …. and also brings a sense of empathy and connectivity with others.


  12. I used to think that I needed a companion, home, and absorbing work. It took me a while to recognize that my real needs were a sense of belonging, stability and meaning; a subtle yet profound difference. The difference is that the first three are things provided externally to me, the second three come from within me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes Elizabeth! When we recognize our needs then we can start to get them met without relying in certain people or external factors.
      The question is the “How can I get this need met myself?”
      Val x


  13. I value Well Being, Self-Expression, and am Connected to the Source of All Things. Beyond that my preferences vary from day to day.

    I prefer to speak of preferences rather than needs. Doing so helps me to accept whatever life is offering right here and now.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Love this post Val. I am grateful for many things and am able to have most of my needs met.

    The one area I’ve always struggled with is connecting with someone in a long-term relationship. There is a big part of me that needs a lot of space and time to myself and I have felt overwhelmed and smothered by the needs of my mate du jour. I’m not sure what that’s all about but the result is that I miss the good things that come with a committed relationship.

    How’s that for vulnerability Val?!
    Diana xo


  15. Very very nice and simple description of our human needs. Gratitude and self-discovery are wonderful words to tie to this process.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Aveline. I agree … this is only the surface summary. There are hundreds more words that may resonate as we delve into what truly matters to our well being.Thank you for sharing.
      From a fellow self discoverer.


  16. Healing Grief

    Great post Val, women often leave themselves at the bottom of the list to look after their well being but I am realsing more and more that when I am feeling nurtured and loved, Im much more likely to do that for those around me.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Pingback: * Lets Be Genuine, Not Nice! | Find Your Middle Ground

  18. Pingback: Lets Be Genuine, Not Nice! | Find Your Middle Ground

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