Something was wrong. They both knew it. Candace found herself picking at Ted more and more. Ted would react in anger. They didn’t touch anymore – in fact, if he tried, she would push him away. He became more critical and stayed at work longer. She was no longer glad to see him when he did come home but instead met him at the door with a barrage of complaints. Ted would just roll his eyes and call her a nasty name. What happened to their love?
It’s about our hearts.
Inside you have a place that is soft and open. If you could create a picture of it, it would look like a lush, green garden with lots of shade trees and sunny patches with beds of beautiful flowers growing everywhere. Or a beach of warm white sand with a lounge chair pulled close to the gentle, aqua colored water gently lapping up in soothing rhythmic waves. So relaxing – like you are home. That place is your heart – the truest you where you can relax and just be yourself. And it’s there we want to be heard. It’s there we want to be accepted and cared for.
It’s there that we find the same things we have in common with any human being with skin on. Our needs.
Anthony Robbins, renowned Life Coach, calls them the “Six Human Needs”. You have them – I have them. And when these needs are not met by Prince Charming or Lady Beautiful, our relationships fail. Some fail in huge, angry ways – some die a little at a time. These needs are:
1. The need for Certainty. We all need to feel certain that some things are true and steady and rock solid in our lives. Examples of this would be certainty that you will not be abandoned or poor or harmed. It’s the need to feel safe.
2. The need for Uncertainty or Variety. Too much certainty leads to boredom. We all need surprises that are fun and bring a smile or our faces but, like it or not, we also need surprises that challenge us, i.e. problems. The saying, “Variety is the spice of life” is very true. Each of us have different ways in which we need this variety to show up in our lives.
3. The need for Significance. You and I both know it. We are always seeking confirmation that we are valued and important. Being heard, having our own personal desires acknowledged, being “first” above other priorities are all ways that this shows up for us. And, the good news is, there isn’t any shame in this. It’s simply a fact. We need to feel important.
4. Love and Connection. As humans, we are made for connection. Without being held and touched, a new born baby will die. We automatically want to cuddle little ones and I believe that is a built in God-given instinct to nourish and give them what they need to flourish. But hugs are only part of it – we also need friendship which gives us something in common with others. And beyond this, we need, in that deepest, deepest part of us, to know that we are loved no matter what. Even if we do the most crazy, most stupid things or say what we don’t mean or go off the wall for a period of time, we need to know that we will still be loved, even then. Most people settle for connection because unconditional love is so rare. That’s sad because being loved unconditionally is something no one should miss out on in this life.
These four are the needs that are met in one way or another by every person on the planet – some positively, some negatively.
The last two are called the “Needs of the Spirit”:
5. The need for Growth. If you aren’t growing, you are dying. That’s just the way life is – it’s a Law in the Universe. Look at a plant. It’s either getting more green or turning brown. Simple but that’s just like us. If we don’t grow, we start to turn brown, to feel useless and stuck and dissatisfied. On the other hand, when we focus on learning more, “becoming” more, we are overflowing and life takes on a perspective that is fresh and positive. That’s our spirit thriving. And to grow along with your partner is to cause the spirit of a relationship to thrive.
6. The need to Contribute. The absolutely, most fulfilling activity you can ever engage yourself in is to give without strings attached. This is to do something to assist or to help someone else or a cause to grow and flourish. Many of us do contribute and give all day – to the point of being drained. What drains us is how we give and often because we give wanting something in return and being disappointed. For example, to give because we think that it will bring us more love or more recognition. This is giving with strings attached. Overflowing is a result of giving simply because that’s who we are. Period. No expectations. No feeling of being rejected because we didn’t receive anything back. In our most intimate relationship, we have a need for this in two ways – one is to have someone love us so much they would give without requiring anything back. And the other is that we are healthy enough inside to give without expecting anything back.
There you have it in a nutshell – our needs in categories, simplified.
Now, the question is, how are you and your partner doing? Or how did you do in this with your former partner? If 1 is “not at all” and 10 is “Wow!” , how did he/she do in meeting each of your needs?
And, on the other hand, how did you do in meeting his/her needs?
If you find that most of your numbers are below 5, it shows that you didn’t know each other very well or you were living selfishly and explains why your relationship didn’t last.
If all of your numbers are at a 5 – 8, you are most likely still together and moving those numbers even higher is what is going to help your relationship last!
If you are meeting each other’s needs at an 8 to 10 in every category, you will never leave each other! Why would you???
So, if you are healing from a broken heart, there are 2 things for you to do right now:
ACTION #1: Figure out how you need someone to meet each of these needs in you in a relationship so you can help that special person you are going to meet to understand you.
Live strong! Live with passion!