6 Human Needs


All of us have basic needs, not merely desires but profound needs that underlie and motivate every choice we make. There are six universal human needs that can be satisfied in negative or positive ways. They are: Certainty, Significance, Uncertainty/Variety, Love/Connection, Growth and Contribution.The first four are essential to human survival. The last two are essential to human fulfillment.



LOVE/CONNECTION: The fourth need is for the experience of love and connection. Everybody needs connection with other human beings, and everyone strives for and hopes for love. An infant needs to be loved and cared for during a long period of time if it’s to develop normally. Infants who are not held and touched will die. This need for love continues throughout our lives. It is epitomized by the concept of romantic love, the one person who will devote their life to us and make us feel complete. In some cultures romantic love doesn’t exist, it’s replaced by the love of relatives, friends and tribe. Some people rarely experience love, but they have many ways of feeling connection with others – in the community or in the workplace. The need to be loved is characteristic of all human beings. Code words for love/connection are: togetherness, passion, unity, warmth, tenderness and desire.


In order to feel worthy I need to love and be loved. I need to have meaningful connections with people. If I’m not loved and I can’t give my love, I’m worthless.

How This Belief Serves You

I’m kind a generous to those I love and I can be fiercely protective of them. I’m nurturing and responsible.

The Principles You Lost Sight Of

You must love yourself first. You are not indispensable to others. To be loved is not equal to being needed.

The Consequences of Losing Sight of This Principle

In thinking of others first, I repress my own needs. I can become intrusive. Often I’m unable to say “no.” Because by giving to others I expect to be loved, I’m often disappointed. I’m often not aware of my own needs. I can be intrusive without realizing it.



My focus is on the relationships with those I love and on how to satisfy their needs. I have great empathy for the feelings and emotions of others. I expect to be loved in return.


My focus is on understanding others and meeting their needs. I like to feel that I can help and I’m proud of being able to do so. I need people’s approval and acceptance. I have high energy when it comes to giving. I crave romantic love.


I may be so focused on taking care of others that I neglect my own health.

What You Avoid

I will do almost anything to avoid feeling dispensable. I avoid disappointing others and feeling unappreciated. It’s hard for me to tolerate rejection.


I’m generous, sensitive, supportive and helpful. I relate well to people of all ages and all walks of life. I’m a good companion and listener. I give good advice. I give freely of my time, energy and material possessions. I empathize with suffering. I have emotional depth.

Communication Style

I am focused on others and I’m friendly and open. I express myself well and I’m quick to give advice. I’m supportive. Words that I frequently use are: togetherness, passion, unity, warmth, tenderness, and desire. Sometimes people experience me as emotionally intense.


I am stressed when I’m not appreciated for all I give and when I’m not loved in return. I’m also stressed when sometimes people perceive me as intrusive or controlling. Feeling needed by so many people is stressful and my confusion about my own needs doesn’t help. I invest too much in challenging relationships. I sometimes envy what others have and what is not emotionally available to me.


I get defensive when people tell me how to live, especially when they insist I should give less to others. I can get angry if I feel controlled and if people attribute bad intentions to me. I can get enraged when people are cruel. I can also become defensive when I feel misunderstood.


I worry a great deal about others. I can easily attribute blame to myself and/or to others. I sometimes experience resentment and I have angry outbursts when I don’t feel appreciated or I’m treated inconsiderately. When I’m away from those I love, I feel great pain in missing them. I often feel possessive about those I love. I feel deeply and I’m idealistic. I long for what is missing in my life. I can be very emotional and sink into depression.


Your Goal

I need to take care of myself better and to be more aware of my own needs. I need to feel that I can be loved for who I am, not for what I give.

What To Do

I need to practice setting limits on what I give. I need to develop clarity about my own needs and how to satisfy them. I need to be sensitive to when I can be seen as intrusive or controlling. I need to honor my feelings and my idealism.

What Interferes With Your Goal

My need to help and to give to those I love interferes with my goal. I often feel guilty when I pay attention to my own needs. My feelings of pride for not paying attention to my needs interfere with my goal, as does my fear of being selfish. I have difficulty in asking for anything and in receiving from others. I believe that I am loved based on what I give.

How Others Can Support You In Your Goal

Others can model on my independence instead of becoming dependent on what I give. Others could ask me about my needs and pay attention to them. Give me appreciation for what I give and also appreciate whenever I say “no.” People could focus on understanding me instead of trying to change me.