Different people have different physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs in their lives . Here, I am not even talking about material needs, ambitions, etc. This is solely based on the premises of our expectations from others. It’s hard to categorise people’s such needs into a few buckets for the sake of any analysis. In general though, unequal levels of intensity in those needs within a relationship, had been breaking the harmony, peace and cohesion of families for centuries. Here is my analysis of people’s neediness, as I view it.
Some people need regular, intensely physical mingling to feel secure, connected and content within their own existence. Some others may deem the necessity of regular, intense physical action of animal nature, rather appalling. Most belong somewhere in the middle, and are unsure about the nature and the degree of their needs.
It’s well-known that high needs on the physical level create restlessness, frustration and unhappiness, because people with such needs will hardly meet someone with the same degree of needs and wants, and thus will have misunderstandings in their relationships. They will then perhaps move from one bad relationship to a worse one for the most part of their lives.
Understanding the futility of the physical need is the key to overcome it. Here comes the age-old doctrine of sublimation, to divert the mind to channelise the energy into some creative form, which is still an expression of oneself, but does not directly involve another person as such and hence, brings some sort of relief. There are heaps of literature in the domain of psychology, regarding sublimation, explored by Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, etc. When someone understands this impossibility regarding their needs in a relationship and finds an alternative creative pathway to express themselves in lieu of an intensely physical relationship, their partners and children may get saved from the expected landslide events of breakups, divorce, etc.
One may also suggest a spiritual doctrine to change this need, but I think it’s rather hard to do so. It’s like giving university lecture to a child in the primary school. On the other hand, sport or creative activities to absorb one’s physical energy may feel easier to train such mindsets, at least, intially.
Some need to talk their heart out, otherwise they feel suffocated with words and thoughts in their head. Loneliness is their worst nightmare. I see a lot of people having this pattern of mindset and they want to kind of regurgitate their thoughts and opinions to someone, honestly, sometimes.. anyone.. it does not have to be someone real close. Without this outlet, they suffer from depression. They don’t even need a lot of attention or sympathy, in general. They just need someone to listen to them patiently. Not surprising, perhaps.. we, humans are social animals, after all.
Social media has apaprently come to the rescue of people of our age to heal this ailment. Whoever needs this verbal outlet that’s missing in their immediate, close circle, may choose to go online and immerse themselves in the random corners of the internet – whole world has now become a huge plaza, a large movie theatre, a musical, and even a night-club, in the virutal, online world that’s taking over the real one. Although, it has some benefits, e,g., just verbal communication without any visual aid, can make people feel more freer in talking about their thoughts, issues, etc., it also comes with the concerns of abuse that can throw already lonely people into greater despair and danger.
Personally, I am content my own company. Yet, sometimes I find writing to be a much better avenue of expressing myself, a nice tool to organise and analyse my thoughts. If you really want to express yourself with words, just write. That’s what I’m doing, right here, right now.
Emotional / Intellectual
Then, there is this need of being understood.. The need we do not always expect to be fulfilled, but it feels like a breath of fresh air when someone just gets it.. It could be an idea, an algorithm, a feeling, an emotion, a situation, anything, just a common theme. And, the someone could practically be anyone, known or unknown and even a complete stranger could momentarily fill in the shoes of that someone. Very strange, but it does happen and not at all uncommon. Such incidents emboldens my faith in the human goodness.
Harmony with the universe
Then, there is the fourth kind. The need to feel harmonious with the universe. I think this is a dormant need, and most people are hardly aware of it. We all have it, but the intensity grows only with time and rich life experiences, and then, again, it perhaps happens with enough intensity to only a small portion of the population. When we pay attention to this need, it gets us to an entirely different level, when one starts feeling grateful for every singular special event. Compassion comes rather naturally. Thinking before speaking, alleviates so many hard words, and makes the living easier and less hurtful for everyone.
For example, one day the rain started just after I came back home. Then I felt as if someone was watching over me and I felt very grateful. On my morning walk a few weeks ago, I found a neighbour of mine was putting his garbage bin in a special spot, so that the garbage collecting truck driver finds it easier to stop. Witnessing such a thoughtful, kind act from a neighbour made my day! It inspired me to be more thoughtful to the world around me.
All of us have all the above needs in different proportions. The art is to eradicate the first three needs completely and try to concentrate with our hundred percent of attention onto the last one. However, as always, it is much easier said than done. There is no universal recipe and not everyone is ready to make this journey. I also think unless one has some sort of mental maturity, it is not even possible to conceive the thought that one can control their needs, change and realign themselves onto a different pathway of life than what comes naturally to them by the virtue of their birth, experience and environment.
We are blessed that there is a congregation of people on this platform, who are culturing this universal need for harmony and trying to attain blissfulness every day of their lives.