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Why Your Needs Do Not Get Fulfilled
By Robert Elias Najemy

Conflicts Between Relationships and Needs

The one greatest source of tension in relationships is our need-conflicts. When the other does not behave in a way, which allows our needs to be fulfilled, we develop negative feelings toward that person.

We perceive him or her as the cause of our unhappiness. We are controlled by our needs and our relationships suffer when we feel that they are not being fulfilled.

When a need is not being fulfilled, there are four basic possible reasons why. Understanding these reasons will allow us to determine what we can do to solve the problem.

1. One reason might be that we have not been communicating our needs clearly enough. Perhaps we are afraid to express our needs because of a fear of indifference, rejection or conflict. Thus, in such a case our lesson is to express our needs more assertively but with respect for the other through an I-message which emphasizes what we need without criticizing, threatening or complaining.

We simply express our need, why we need it and how we feel when it is not satisfied.

2. Another reason why a need might not be fulfilled is that we have a subconscious block to that happening. Although we may want something, we may also feel subconsciously that we do not deserve it or fear that we may be in danger if we have it. One example is a woman who had been complaining that her husband was not doing enough at work or at home. When I asked her to imagine him doing more, she panicked, because she had been getting her self-worth from doing more than he had and being the "victim". Another example is a person who complains about not finding a suitable relationship partner, but tends to connect with married persons or persons living far away or those who declare that they are not interested in a serious relationship. In such a case this person who wants the relationship also probably feels that he or she does not deserve one or will be in danger of being abandoned, suppressed or hurt in some way. Thus he or she is subconsciously blocking the fulfillment of this need.

3. A third reason we someone is not fulfilling our needs is that we are doing something or have done something in the past, or are playing some role which is causing the other to be unable to respond to our needs. A woman, who was complaining that her husband is aloof and does not respond to her, discovered that her tendency to criticize him was causing him to close up. This husband might find that this aloofness is causing his wife to be critical and thus not fulfill his need for acceptance. People who tend to be over-responsible or perfectionists can attract irresponsible behavior from those around them.

4. A fourth reason might be that we have come to a point in our evolutionary process where it is time to transcend that particular need and feel secure, worthy and fulfilled without it being satisfied by a specific person or perhaps at all from the outside. Our evolutionary process is asking of us to find inner security, self-worth and fulfillment. Thus until we learn this lesson we "need" not to have our needs filled from outside and from others.

Having said the above, we might want to try out the following experiment. We can print two copies of the following list of possible needs. We can fill out the one and have our loved one fill out the other. (This list has been made for love partners, but all needs except for sexual ones can also be investigated in other relationships, especially parents and children.) The whole family can also do this.

Possible Lessons

Once you have discovered your needs, which are not being fulfilled as much as you would like, then you will need to move on to evaluate which of the above lessons you are being asked to learn:

a. To communicate more effectively concerning exactly what you need.

b. To remove any subconscious fears or guilt which may be obstructing your manifesting this in your life.

c. To adjust your behavior so that others are free to respond.

d. To transcend this need at this time and be happy without it being fulfilled.

In the case you feel that at least one of your lessons is no communicate more effectively without criticism, accusations, threats or complaining, then you can share with each other what you have discovered and seek to respond even more to each other's needs.

Depending on which lessons you need to learn you will need to proceed differently.

We will discuss each of these possible procedures in future articles.

The question at this point is which of the following do you need more of in this relationship.

Possible Needs

1. Love (or greater or more specific expression of it)

2. Respect

3. Understanding (of what?)

4. Acceptance

5. Acknowledgement and affirmation

6. Trust

7. Freedom to think and function as we believe and in accordance with our needs.

8. A peaceful environment

9. Affection

10. Support and encouragement in the cultivation of our abilities and powers.

11. To listen to us without criticizing or giving advice.

12. To be satisfied with us.

13. To inspire us.

14.To be just with us - to behave towards us as he or she would like us to behave towards him of her.

15. To respect our beliefs and ideals.

16. To express his or her true feelings, needs and beliefs.

18. Freedom of movement

19. To keep our agreements.

20. To have patience with our weakness.

21. To support us during difficult moments.

22. To express gratitude for all that we offer him or her.

23. To acknowledge our positive qualities.

24. To be able to be alone when we do not feel well or when we have the need.

25. To get out more often

26. For more rest

27. For more help in the chores.

28.For greater attention when we speak.

29. To do more things together.

30. For greater responsibility on his or her part. 31. To be on time.

32. For more help and cooperation in keeping order and cleanliness.

33. To be able to behave as we like in our home.

34. To take care of him/her self.

For Love Partners

35. Erotic contact.

36. To be sexually devoted to only us.

Other (add needs which are not above)___________________________________ _________________________________________

Also, Think of Which Needs Might Be Behind The Following:

  • Your complaining
  • Your criticism
  • Your impatience
  • Your refusal to cooperate
  • Your reactions
  • Your conflicts and arguments
  • The games which you play
  • Your competitiveness
  • Your teaching and sermons
  • Your anger

Robert Elias Najemy is the author of over 600 articles, 400 lecture cassettes on Human Harmony and 20 books, which have sold over 100,000 copies. He is the Founder and director of the Center for Harmonious Living in Greece with 3700 members. His book The Psychology of Happiness is available at http://www.amazon.com/

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