To begin, make a list of the thoughts you have about yourself like; “I need to be taken care of” then think about it and remember all of your successful achievements. Consider the possibility that you are not inadequate or incapable. This makes it not a need but a want, “I want to be taken care of.” Then, ask yourself why. Is it because you don’t trust yourself or your decisions? “Are you afraid of making a mistake?”
“Are you afraid of the consequences? Does that belief come from your desire to feel safe and protected? Does it come from the lack of the presence of a strong and loving father figure while you were growing up?
A need is a necessity. Maslow, a prominent psychologist, created a Needs Hierarchy that divides these needs into 4 groups; Physiological, Safety, Social, and Self-Actualization. These groups are considered basic to all human beings. However, looked at from another perspective, these needs can also be wants.
A want is a wish or desire for something. At times, the difference between the two is not always evident. There can be a fine line between a need and a want. A want can become a need. The distinction between the two becomes very important when dating and choosing a partner. Spend some time getting to really know yourself and to know the difference between your needs and your wants. If something is a want can you be happy without it?
If it is a need, remember, you will become angry with the other person for not meeting your needs. You may also decide that you are not loved or worthy of having your needs met. Neither response is appropriate. Beware of thinking that you can change someone to meet your own needs or wants. It does not work.
Patricia Frank is a Licensed Psychotherapist. She can be reached at 305-788-4864, Psychotherapy.firstname.lastname@example.org