Read this module OUT LOUD as a couple:
Let’s look at some of our basic human needs: Security, Adventure, Freedom, Power, Acceptance and Social
On a separate sheet of paper each of you take time right now and rank the needs from 1 to 6 with 1 being your most important need in your life right now. Don’t look at each other’s answers while you are writing.
We all have basic human needs.
Our Needs drive our decision making.
However, we each tend to rank these needs differently in order of importance to us.
That is how 2 people can get the same paycheck yet spend it completely differently!
Let’s look at how these needs might drive our behavior and our decision making.
What constitutes Security can be different for different people. Think about how someone’s need for Security would drive their daily decisions!
Someone with a high need for security might value having a secure job, a stable relationship, a plan for their future, a retirement plan, a dependable car, feeling safe and secure where they live, having good insurance, and having a predictable daily routine.
Now let’s look at someone with a high need for Adventure:
Someone with a high need for Adventure usually NEEDS to know that something in their life is going to be different and more exciting in the future! A predictible daily would likely frustrate someone with a high need for adventure.
They may seek adrenaline or even just daily things like trying new restaurants or traveling. Excitement, change and even drama may be things they seek. Having the same routine or everything always the same may frustrate someone who has a high need for adventure.
Let’s pause there.
Discuss what you think would be the challenges of a couple where one has a high need for Security and the other has a high need for Adventure?
In what ways do you think they could use their differences to balance each other? If you have a high need for Security and value routine and you come home and all the furniture has been moved around what would your reaction probably be?
Freedom is the need for independence and even a need to be spontaneous.
A person with a high need for freedom may resent being told what to do or micro-managed. They may need or desire a job that allows them to make their own decisions. It may even make it hard for them to commit or stick with things. They tend to get bored with routine and may like variety to be a normal part of their life.
If your partner has a high need for freedom and they ask to sleep in the guest room for the next two nights and not be disturbed, what would your reaction be?
Do you tend to have a high or low need for freedom?
People with a high need for power like to be in authority, in charge and/or take responsibility. They usually are good leaders and tend to take charge–even if no one has appointed them the designated leader.
If you have a high need for power, have you learned how to harness that need so you do not bulldoze your partner’s needs, emotions and thoughts? How would you feel if your partner were to order you to do something?
People with a high need for acceptance are generally very aware of whether they are accepted by others. They strive to feel like they belong and usually do well in groups. They may be described as people pleasers and will be markedly upset if they feel someone does not like them or accept them.
Do you care much about others people accepting you? If your partner frequently asks you for your opinion (does this dress look good on me, do you like this tie, how do you think I should do my hair, etc.) they likely have a high need for acceptance.
If your partner continually acts as the peacemaker in situations will this frustrate you?
People with high social needs like having people around and tend to plan get-togethers as often as possible. They tend to seek out other people and like to feel part of a group.
Do you think you have high social needs? Are you more of a “homebody” or do you like to be out and about with lots of friends?
How could this potentially cause conflict in a relationship?
How could you resolve it if you differ greatly from your partner on the need to be social?
We all have basic human needs….and so do the people in our lives. The more knowledgeable you become on what your partner’s top needs are, the more understanding you can be as you see them trying to get their needs met.
Talk through the following issues using good conflict resolution.
Use the two examples below to Practice our formula:
When _______________________ (insert factual event)
I feel ________________________ (insert secondary emotions)
It would help me if_____________ (work together to brainstorm long-term solutions using compromise and negotiation to talk about your needs. Remember to bounce the invisible ball back and forth taking turns acknowledging your partner’s ideas/message before you give your own ideas. Visualize stepping in their shoes, try to think what they are thinking and feel what they are feeling.)
Use these examples to practice using our Healthy Communication Formula:
1.Your partner keeps bossing you around.
2.Your partner keeps working longer and longer hours and you feel like you rarely see each other.
(Don’t skip that activity! Practice filling in the blanks of our healthy communication formula as a couple to talk through these examples.)