If you want to transform your marriage each person has to be aware of the other person’s needs in order to know what’s going on. Not knowing a spouse’s needs inevitably leads to frustration and disappointment since even though a person may feel that he/she is giving everything, they are not giving what the other person really needs. The challenge is that people’s deepest needs are often extremely specific and can be tricky to discern – it’s like a “secret button.” If couples find the secret button and figure out how to give what the other truly needs, they will be able to generate levels of trust, happiness, and love more profoundly than they ever thought possible.
Finding the secret button is similar to learning how to pick a lock. Once someone has taught you how to do it, it’s easy. My goal is help each couple to figure out how to “pick the lock,” and once they understand how, it will be easy for them to do every time.
There are 6 Human Needs according to Human Needs Psychology. Everyone shares these needs; we just all have different ways of meeting them. Success in marriage can hinge on the partner’s ability to discover which needs the other values most and what has to happen to meet those needs.
Here are the 6 Human Needs:
1. CERTAINTY – Certainty that we can be comfortable – to have pleasure and avoid pain. Code words for certainty are comfort, security, safety, stability, feeling grounded, predictability, and protection.
2. UNCERTAINTY / VARIETY – Variety and challenges that exercise our emotional and physical range. Our bodies, our minds, our emotional well-being all require uncertainty, exercise, suspense, variety, and surprise. Code words for uncertainty / variety are instability, change, entertainment, suspense, exertion, and surprise.
3. SIGNIFICANCE – Every person needs to feel special, important, needed, and wanted. Code words for significance are pride, importance, achievement, performance, perfection, evaluation, discipline, and competition.
4. CONNECTION / LOVE – Everyone needs connection with other human beings, and everyone strives for and hopes for love. Code words for connection / love are togetherness, passion, unity, warmth, tenderness, and romance.
5. GROWTH – Everything is either growing or dying. We need to constantly develop emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.
6. CONTRIBUTION – We all desire to go beyond our own needs and give to others. Everything in the universe contributes beyond itself or is eliminated.
The first 4 needs – Certainty, Uncertainty/Variety, Significance, and Connection /Love, are essential for human survival. They are the fundamental needs of the personality. The last 2 needs – Growth and Contribution, are essential to human fulfillment. They are the needs of the spirit, and not everyone finds a way to satisfy them, although they are necessary for lasting fulfillment. Usually, for each person, two of these needs prevail over all of the others and that the person will do almost anything to satisfy those needs. When you identify the two most important needs, you are discovering a person’s driving motivation, what gives meaning and motive to a person’s life.
The 6 Human Needs are the most effective way to track the level of happiness and fulfillment in any human relationship. When you understand how a person satisfies their most important needs, you understand what brings them pleasure or pain. What are your 2 most important needs? Does your partner meet those needs? Which 2 needs does your partner value most? How well do you think you are meeting those needs? Think about anything that you absolutely LOVE. Which 3 needs does it meet? Anything that meets 3 or more of your needs is an addition… If there are problems in your relationship, think about how you can meet 3 of your partner’s needs and take action. If you can commit to this for 90 days, your relationship can be completely transformed.
Image Credit: Jane Hudson Stoller