The thing about needs is we as humans often feel embarrassed that we have them, ashamed that they are not being met, maybe angry. We spend a lifetime satisfying them to the best of our resources and we don’t even have the foggiest idea what this is all about.
Take for example your need for oxygen. You don’t really think about it much; you just breathe in and breathe out; all day and even when unconsciously asleep. Our satisfaction of the need governs my behavior. But once my need is in danger of not being satisfied, I become very aware and find avenues to satisfy the need.
I once heard a very sad story about a toddler being cared for by a mentally challenged caretaker. The caretaker found it too taxing to have to change the little girl’s diaper on a daily basis so she withheld all fluids from this little girl. Unbeknownst to the caretaker, this toddler found her way to the kitchen sink and spotted a wet sponge used to wipe the table down. The little girl cleverly began sucking on that sponge just to have her basic need met. Now, I realize that this is an extreme. However, it illustrates so poignantly how dysfunctional behavior commences in a person, especially a young child. We are often so unaware of what is normal, what is lacking and what we are doing to “fix” the problem is just not right. As you can imagine all the physical ailments this kid will suffer like kidney function and bacterial diseases from this behavior? But hey, her need was met!
This is why I so painstakingly bring up these needs categories in these blogs. If I sound like a broken record, it is because this is so basic. It is great to plunge into all the broadcasts and Instagram reels and deep subject matter about what is wrong with a person,what is broken in this world and yet dismiss this most basic understanding. It is rudimentary. Armed with this knowledge you can better understand issues like alcoholism, pornography and narcissism. You will be better equipped to navigate and find healthy solutions to life’s greatest issues. As you read and study temperament, step out of the obvious black print in front of you and look beyond to your own upbringing and the things you are doing today. You may just have an “AH-HA” moment and begin to find the brokenness that is caused by unmet needs and begin to find healing.
“In a nutshell: (according to Dr. Arno)
- Inclusion determines who is in or out of the relationship;
- Control determines who maintains the power and makes decisions for the relationship; and
- Affection determines how emotionally close or distant the relationship is.”
In future blogs, we will dive into the depth of each category and begin to dissect the subsets of our behaviors in terms of these needs.
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