I didn’t know that it’s good to talk about needs . . . 

I didn’t know that it’s good to talk about needs . . . 

Many of us have been taught not to pay attention to our needs because we were told that means we are needy. However, learning to sort and clarify what we need actually helps us – and those who are closest to us. We have not been taught to value our needs—or to understand that valuing our needs and striving to meet our needs deeply enhances our lives and our well-being.

Most of us are familiar with the importance of feelings. Underneath our feelings are needs that tell us and others what matters most to us in life. Identifying our needs gives direction to our health and happiness. For example, if we have just finished a long 50-hour work week, we may need “fun” or “enjoyment.” Or, maybe we have had a day full of challenges and we just need “relaxation” or “empathy.” Some of the needs that often go unnoticed – and that are basic to our sense of well-being include, “belonging, acceptance, encouragement, connection, to matter, purpose, meaning, support, enjoyment, respect, and understanding” to name a few. Just being aware of our needs that we are experiencing in the moment gives us a sense of hope and encouragement because we have a clearer picture of what is important to us. Developing our vocabulary of words that describe our needs is one easy skill for building relationships and for getting to know ourselves and others better.

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