10 – Basic psychological needs of every human being


All humans are driven to behave in a particular manner which is similar to another person, but also completely different. This happens due to each of us following our psychological needs, to a greater or lesser degree. Every human, including you, has some basic ‘human’ needs which direct your actions. These needs are common to everyone, and understanding these psychological requirements will help you understand your behavior and maybe help make the right changes to feel happy and content.

10 – Basic psychological needs of every human

1.     Certainty

CertaintyThe need for certainty as well as safety in relationships and our environment is strong in all of us. All individuals have varied degrees of this most important of psychological needs. It can be seen manifested in our choice of jobs – those who like certainty will prefer to have a job rather than being self-employed. To satisfy this need, they will also be better timekeepers.

2.     The need to feel significant

Another of the main psychological needs is the need to feel significant. We want to feel recognized and appreciated, and this need is usually satisfied through our work and relationships with others. If we are too focused on it, then relationships might be affected. There are some people who seem to be or are egotistical.

This is because they try to protect their egos which had been hurt pretty badly in childhood. They try to overcompensate for feeling insignificant by trying to seek importance from others.

3.     The need for change

The need for changeWe should fulfill this need in order to lead more fulfilling lives. Diversity, variety and change are the spices of life. If we keep on doing the same old things every day, we are not refreshed and cannot do as well as we can, as we become jaded. You may have seen or heard about people who suddenly drop everything and start doing something absolutely different.

They may change their area of work or go off on a solo world tour or start a new relationship with someone much younger or older than them. Variety is one of the psychological needs which are undeniably present in all human beings. The best way to fulfill this need is to keep your interests alive and have a few hobbies.

4.     The urge to feel needed/useful

When we feel that others need us or find us useful, we get a mighty boost to our self-esteem. When other people value our strengths as essential for their success or well-being, we feel that our existence makes a difference to others. This is one of the needs of a child which we should try to fulfill as then they would grow up with a sense of self-worth and confidence.

This is one of the needs we should fulfill as otherwise the feeling of being useless might be internalized and hamper future endeavors. We will not be motivated enough to follow our goals. Many people feel disheartened and lose direction in life if they feel unneeded by people. This mostly is experienced by retirees or the elderly when they have stopped working.

5.     Love

Every single person craves to be loved

Every single person craves to be loved. We need to love and to be loved, to be cared for and care about others. This is one of the psychological needs of a child, too. When this basic need is not met in children, they may grow up to be aloof and unable to give love. The wish to be loved everyone tries to satisfy in their own ways.

With the need to be loved, we have the deep instinct to forge meaningful connections. We start doing that from childhood onwards, when we make friends. This continues when we grow up, and connect with team members at work and in sports.

6.     The need to grow

The wish to experience growth is an innate need in all of us. The need for growth is associated to the desire to develop intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically. As we grow older, our need to achieve our goals becomes stronger. Some people are aware of this inner quest for growth and look for knowledge opportunities consciously. Others fall into the trap of fake Godmen, as they try to fulfill their need to grow spiritually.

7.     The need to contribute

The need to contributeHuman beings also feel the need to contribute or give back. This can be seen by our monetary contributions to charity or when we do volunteer work. Philanthropists fall into the category of those who want to make a significant contribution to society. Many billionaires set up foundations for the benefit of others, in order to share what they have received.

8.     The need to belong

Who hasn’t wanted to feel part of a group, in school, college and work? We feel as though we belong when we feel happy in the company of people who are happy to see us and be with us. The need to ‘fit in’ is inherent in us, and sometimes leads to doing the same things as our peer group, which may not be the right thing to do.

9.     The attachment need

The attachment needIn the initial years of life we feel this need for attachment very strongly, as we rely on others to survive. If we have people to count on when we are little, then we will be able to trust people when we grow up too. When people are not attached to anyone as children, then they sometimes may develop attachment disorder later on in life.

10.   The need for control

When we feel we are in control of our lives, we feel secure and everything seems bright. Our ability to shape our lives, take our decisions without the interference of others is what gives a sense of control of our lives. When we are confronted with situations beyond us, for example the death of a beloved one, we experience lack of control. Unpredictable situations also lead to the feeling of not having power over our lives.

Understanding the basic psychological needs can help to motivate you and inspire you, and understand your relationships with others. Your decisions regarding work or life stem from these basic needs and when you feel discontent, you should look deeper to find out why.

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