Understanding Your Needs

Introspection is something that is not always taught at home or school. Instead, children are often trained to be sensitive to the needs of others. While this is good indeed and helps build families and safer communities, sometimes individuals become so caught up in the concerns of others that they don’t fully understand what it is that they want or need.

The result of this is emotional instability. It might not be seen on the surface, but underneath there is confusion and discontentment – the results of which surface in the person’s relationships. Because the individual is unsure of what they need, discord arises as there is dissatisfaction in how the person is treated by loved ones. This then leads to rifts, which may eventually cause separation.

Thankfully, emotional stability is possible once a person begins to understand what they want from life. Read on to learn how to understand your needs.

  1. Tune into yourself

The first step is to become attuned to your body. It is a form of mindfulness at the physical level that helps get to the source of your problems. When you feel something is wrong in life, focus on your body’s sensations. Are your hands tingling? Are the arms tightening? Do you have butterflies in your stomach? Is your head throbbing? Are you getting the chills? Do you feel like running, jumping, or kicking? Instead of worrying and being exhausted, it is better to ask for to help with homework.

  1. Identify the need

Once you know how you feel, figure out what your inner self is telling you. The purpose is to have a clear goal or action at the end.

Since what you are feeling might not be clear right away, list down (on paper or your phone) all possible ideas to how you are feeling right now. The following are just some examples: I want to be noticed by my crush. I want my teacher to appreciate me. I want to stop listening to this boring lecture. I want to play basketball now.

  1. Permit yourself to achieve that need

Once you know what you need, it is time to give yourself permission. Rather than doing it mentally, it is recommended to audibly say it, as if you are giving yourself a pep talk.

This, however, is the hard part as you may find yourself coming up with excuses. This is where you convince yourself why it is important to follow through or you will never receive what you need.

  1. Tell others your needs

Finally, it is time to tell others about your needs. If you have convinced yourself of the importance, this part becomes a bit easier. However, you still need to be conscious of the other person’s feelings and not just blurt out what you want.

A tried-and-tested formula is to start with something positive, usually appreciation for the person. After that, gently but firmly, express your need from them. For example, you may tell your best friend, “Hey, I’m very thankful that you are concerned about my love life. But please stop setting me up with your friends. Let me choose on my own.”


Identifying and then asking for your needs may be frightening at the start. But always remember that the scarier part is to have a relationship fall apart because you never expressed yourself. Good luck!

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