Some of the basic needs you require to be met with the people you're in a relationship with are the need for inclusion, for control and for affection.
You might immediately disagree with one or more of those three. Why? You may argue you are not a person who desires, or even cares to have control or affection in your life. You may even protest you don't need to be included in anything.
I can understand when someone has had some negative experiences in the past. Those experiences then help to shape how a person would view these three needs.
Despite the fact you've endured negative experiences, it doesn't mean deep down within you, a desire for you, or your partner to have these needs met doesn't exist. We are human beings who were created for relationships and within relationships, assessments and conclusions are made.
Most times, these assessments and conclusions have been based upon an isolated event. Someone said something unkind. You feel as if you and your ideas were ignored or dismissed.
Whatever the basis for your conclusions, the fact remains, at an elemental level, we have a yearning to satisfy all three needs . This is not to say there aren't other needs, because we know there are. The need for security, safety, shelter, food and so on, are relevant needs, but the needs to which I refer are also as important as our more visceral needs because they determine the quality and quantity of our relationships.
Are you meeting these three needs of your partners?
1. The Need For Inclusion:
This need represents our desire to belong, to be involved and accepted. Some people have a greater need to fill this longing than others. Their value rises and fall on this need. When they don't feel included, they think something is wrong with them and will resort to any behavior to be included.
When this need is not met, not only might they think something is wrong with them, but they may withdraw from others and become a loner. They will conclude, they don't need anyone and seek to do life on their own. These types of reactions, when left unmonitored, could lead to mental and emotional instability.
A person may also try to be noticed as they engage in unsafe and unhealthy behaviors because they want so badly to be included -- so they'll do whatever it takes. Trying to impress, manipulate situations and people, they will exaggerate and even resort to seductive behaviors. If your SO acts in this manner, ask yourself, what can I do to make them feel more included?
2. The Need For Control:
This need refers to feelings of competency, confidence and the freedom to make our own decisions.
You'll see this when someone wants to be the "leader." In relationships, they must have the final say. They'll do anything for this position. They'll war for it if pushed far enough.
On the other hand, someone may not have such a strong desire but will seek to undermine what is being done. This is a method of control, too. In a case involving a husband and wife, she may use sex to control. He may use money. Or vice versa.
Regardless of who wields what weapon, at heart is the need for control. What roles does your partner play in your relationship? Ask yourself, do we share the decision-making?
3. The Need For Affection:
This need reflects our desire to be liked by others. Those who have a strong need here -- and please note, not everyone does -- seek close relationships and expressions of warmth from others.
Those with a strong need want to be liked by others. This described me at one point. I found myself bending over backwards so I could feel liked. While I still do desire to be liked, I do not feel the need for it as I once did.
When affection needs are not met, people will become uncomfortable being around others, and like the need for inclusion, withdraw. They may appear aloof and uninvolved. When asked about their "new" behavior, they will rarely share their honest feelings or opinions.
On the flip side, some who have this strong need may resort to inappropriate behaviors. They may become too talkative, too personal and too confiding. They will use this approach, seeking to "purchase" affection. Do you take the time to reach out to your partner for no reason, to tell them they are loved and appreciated? Ask yourself, When my partner acts aloof, are they lacking affection from me?
Which of these three resonates with you? What do you do when you don't get that need met? How does your partner react? Understanding how unmet needs turn into undesirable behaviors helps you to better understand your partner. When you know what your partner hungers for, you can serve them easily and avoid miscommunication.
Think about this and talk to someone who you could help you sort through these emotions if you feel compelled. If not, please take these suggestions into your relationships and witness the emotional rewards.
This article originally appeared on The Goodmen Project