Where did you get your needs and values?
We all have many needs and values, but everyone is different and your values may be different to those of other people around you. That doesn’t make them wrong, just different. Most of our needs and values are acquired as we grow up and reflect those of the people closest to us during that period. However, our experiences also form strong values as we make judgments about what is important to us.
When you form a relationship, the compatibility of your needs and values will contribute to the strength of that relationship. The plain fact is that we all have needs, and our needs are legitimate. The problem, though, is that many of us may confuse the concept of neediness, something very different, with having real and legitimate needs that can be reasonably met!
Needs are those things that are essential to your doing your best, having your best and being your best. A need can be met by getting something from outside of you. In order for your needs to be met, usually something or someone must change – either in your environment, relationship, calendar or bank account. For example, a need can be for clarity, enough money in your bank account, invitations to social events or more recognition or acknowledgement. You can have the need for food, shelter, control, order, safety and security, encouragement, appreciation or something you feel less tangible.
Values, in contrast to needs, are almost always internally related. You must honor your values. For example, honoring your value for being on time means choosing behaviors that will ensure your timeliness. Values, unlike needs, cannot be met by another person or by external environments or events changing. Knowing what you value and honoring your values by behaving in concert with those values energizes everything and everybody involved. When you commit to a value and act according to that value you take on a new energy, which in turn attracts great success, achievement and personal happiness. You live by your values.
Values can be more related to qualities and can be experienced and discerned inside of you. Values can range from the commonplace, such as the belief in hard work, self-reliance, and punctuality, to concern for others, trust in others and harmony of purpose.
Some needs and values can be in both categories. For example, if you are a person who has a need to be included and your need is not being met, you may be more competitive or territorial and far less likely to include others, yourself. On the other hand, when your need to be included is met you may very well become a person who naturally creates opportunities to include others. One could argue that you hold a value for including others. After your need to be included was met, you were more able to live your value.
Becoming aware of your needs and values isn’t something that happens easily and quickly; it is actually a complex process that requires time and focus. However, it is a very worthwhile exercise – you will see how effective an aid it is to help you choose the person with whom you have a high chance of feeling comfortable.
Remember, only YOU can make it happen!
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