Building Self Esteem

You May Hear My Voice, but are You really Hearing My Need?

Our kids are speaking to us everyday in ways that you and I are not really understanding.  We may be hearing their words, but totally missing the message.

What a parent must tune into is

  • their tone of voice,
  • their body language,
  • their actions, and
  • their attitude.

Why?  Because all of these are speaking from their subconscious mind and they are all clues as to how they are really feeling.

Building close relationships come when you meet their emotional needs

Building a bond and a level of trust between parent and child is critical, especially as they enter their teen years.  Learning to listen to the deeper subconscious message, the one that they are silently saying, is a skill worth learning. This is a skill you can master, and it is never to early to start.

How do I Start?

Start by observing people’s attitudes and actions.  Reference what you observe to this chart, Seven Basic Human Needs.   It is an adaptation of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs with additional information added.
These Seven Basic Human Needs are universal and influence the motivation and determination behind our decisions and actions.

Out of Sorts

Every single one of us strives to keep these needs in balance.  But when any of these needs fall out of balance because of a  change in a person’s routine, a sudden life-altering event, or even just day to day disruptions.

Unfortunately, rather than taking the time to address the unbalance, a person will learn to adapt, ignore, and move on.  Over time a person’s mental rhythm is thrown out of balance, and insecurity takes over.   Typical reactions are anxiety, low self-esteem, and eventually, adolescent burn-out and feelings of frustration.   Could this be part of the reason why so many are turning to self-medication to deal with their personal issues?

What to do?

First, locate the problem.

Second, gain an understanding through the chart of what is the root cause.

Third, take action to balance their human needs.

No age is too young to address these needs.  What I have found as a result of taking these three steps is a quicker change in their attitude.  I begin to see more motivation and determination to accomplish their goals.

So What Are these Seven Emotional Needs?

The elements that make up the Seven Emotional Core Needs are Purpose, Certainty, Significance, Growth, Variety, Contribution, Love.  The chart lists the need, the indicators of whether those needs are being met or not, and the actions one can take.

Personally, I use this list to help me gauge what is emotionally not happening for me and to guide my understanding of how to relate to another person.   Remember, you can only give what you have.  If your needs are not met, you are unable to help another meet their needs.   Only then can healthy relationships begin to flourish and grow.

The chart is a great guide for working with children, teenagers, and other adults. It shows the emotions, feelings, and actions one feels when their emotional needs are actively being fulfilled and when they are not.

What are my steps? 

First, Watch, pay attention to the clues.   They are speaking loud and clear through their actions. Compare what you are seeing to what is written in the negative block. Look for similar actions, and then you will be able to identify the Human Need that is calling out for attention.

Second, Next look in the positive block where you will find a few suggestions of what positive actions can be taken to address their need.

What you are doing is giving them is training of what they can start giving themselves. (This information is not intended to diagnose, or prescribe)

Let me give you a personal example: 

When I feel argumentative, edgy for no reason. Perhaps I offer a quick negative come back to others in conversation. I might even recognize that I’ve stated overeating and feeling nervous. Looking at the chart I realize that all of the attitudes and actions are found under the need for Certainty.

Recognizing these emotions to be true, I begin to read the block with the Positive Actions. I see that I could establish more of a routine, possibly create a schedule, and get more organized. All of these I can do myself and will give me a feeling of being more in control, as well as a sense of security.

NOTE:  A person may have several needs that are lacking attention.  Always, pick out the need that speaks the loudest, or is drawing more attention. Seek ways in your life that you personally can fulfill these needs for yourself as well as others.

This instruction is only to educate.  It is not to diagnose.