Unmet Needs

number_oneI have many traits that can lead to poor outcomes:

  • I’m prone to hurry
  • I overestimate my capacity to impact external situations
  • I have a bias towards action
  • I’m stressed by noise and crowds

All of the above, work against my ability to help people and can lead to misery.

To get along better with others, I’ve started asking myself:

What’s the unmet need that’s driving this behavior?

Here’s a link to my article about how to help others: quiet presence, listen without knowing and compassionate action.

With my kids, I’ve noticed that most anti-social behavior stems from six sources:

  • Hunger – lack of food
  • Thirst – lack of drink
  • Sleep – lack of recovery
  • Boredom – lack of engagement
  • Need For Compassion – lack of connection
  • Habit / Temperament

The above are easy to spot in babies, toddlers and preschoolers.

Once you can see them in your kids, try to feel them in yourself. Through self-awareness, you may start to see what drives the behavior of people around you.

The antisocial effects of hunger, thirst, sleep and boredom are why I resist changes to the underlying routine of my life: train AM/PM, eat/drink real food, sleep in a cool room, read and write.

I have a desire to be effective in all my relationships.

Do you?

If you don’t that’s OK. I certainly didn’t care about anyone other than myself for long periods of my adult life. If you don’t care then own it.

My difficulties with people make sense when viewed from the lens that I didn’t care and had significant unmet needs (health, exercise, solitude, nature).

Own my needs.

Address my needs.

Slowly, I have the capacity to focus outside myself.

How to meet that need for connection?

  • Put my phone down
  • Relax my inner experience with a two slow breaths
  • Listen, without knowing, until the person has spoken fully
  • Smile, nod and comment about an area of agreement

This works magic. The entire cycle takes less than a minute.

Connection is the solution.