Catriona Futter – Equip For Life Coaching Becoming your best self and living life to the full – 07713 974138

Relationship Lie No 3 – Meeting my emotional needs

As we tread carefully amongst the eggshells of relationships, this next lie is a giant ostrich egg waiting to break open and spill its destructive and divisive contents everywhere….

It is my partner’s responsibility and role to meet all my emotional needs.

Um, no it’s not.

This is unrealistic to expect of one person, no matter how much you love tEmotional needshem and believe they are the right person for you. Think with me for a minute – our top emotional needs are for

attention     acceptance     appreciation    affection    affirmation    comfort

encouragement    respect   security    support    understanding

Muse on that list a while….which ones jump out at you as being top of your own list of emotional needs? It will of course vary, depending on life stage, maturity, extent of connectedness within the relationship.

But could you meet all those needs for another person? How much do you seek to supply that for your partner? How would he/she rate his/her own levels of affirmation, respect, support? Before you jump down my throat, or climb onto the guilt bandwagon, hear me out. This links back to Lie No 1 and the risk of pointing the finger of blame at our partner and not seeing – for whatever reason – where we can take responsibility for ourselves and our behaviour. And the growth in character and relationship that can then ensue.

Having someone look to you to meet their emotional needs can initially make you feel important, strong and needed. But over time it can become claustrophobic. You can be left feeling smothered, used, resentful, and suffocating.

No one person can be the perfect meeter-of-needs. Our needs are too numerous and diverse. And as men and women, our approaches and ways of expression vary hugely.

Our emotional needs can only be met through a variety of people and activities.

It is normal and healthy to have a emotional needs. Good old Maslow and his hierarchy of needs (college psychology lectures swim vaguely into memory!) – we were created to be in relationship, not live as islands, and to know that we matter. Security, significance and self-worth would be a summary of our basic needs as humans. One look at the crazy and often dysfunctional world we live in shows us what can happen when we neglect to look out for our own emotional needs and those of others.

I know, I know. I am on hugely complex territory here – the fodder of reams of books, the study of learned theorists and psychologists, the domain of counsellors and therapists. But I add my tuppence worth cautiously with a little basis of my own experience and that of working through this subject with clients.

What to do? The challenge is to identify which emotional needs are not being met, and acknowledge that first. Only then is it possible to start to understand how to move forward, and that will be what we do next week.

Inspired? Encouraged? Get in touch!

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