Note: If you prefer to see this talked through scroll to the bottom to see the video
I mentioned in the previous talk that we have large numbers of people accessing the My Internal World system and as more and more of you use the comprehensive assessment to get your own personalised report then the more you help us understand what is going on for people in general and how we can help.
An interesting point that has come up in the last few days is that over 70% of the people using our system are finding themselves challenged with their emotional needs.
Just to explain, we all have a set of emotional needs. Examples of these are my need to be liked, loved, respected, appreciated and valued and many many more.
These are integrally plugged in to our self esteem the link being if you do not experience yourself as especially likeable, lovable, respected and appreciated then your sense of esteem may be low.
In my experience a real challenge that many of us have with our emotional health is that we rely too heavily on external sources and other people to get these needs met and thus our self esteem sustained.
The real issue here being that there is a reason this is called “self” esteem…..it is because it is meant to be self sustaining not sustained by external sources such as other people.
In my experience many people are using different parts of their life to get those needs met.
For example large numbers of people use their work and their career to get their need to be valued, appreciated and respected met.
Others may use their social life and participation in team sports to meet their needs to be liked, loved, listened to and acknowledged.
Given that many of us are finding our career prospects challenged, are working from home and are socially distanced it is no surprise that this is coming into sharp focus as an area to work on because those situations we would previously have relied upon to get our needs met are not there.
When we do not experience our needs as being met many of us will alter our behaviours to try and get those needs met. For instance I may work harder and longer than others or produce exceptional results in order that I get those positive strokes that top up my need to feel respected, appreciated and liked.
Or I may become more provocative on social media in an attempt to engage others in my life. I may even go as far as to provoke drama in my life so that I can test whether you like me, listen to me or love me.
The challenge we all have when we find ourselves in this position is that when we rely on others to meet our needs, at some point they will let us down.
I call this breaking the invisible contract. We all have a set of needs and many of us expect them to be met by the world at large, but we don’t agree this with the people we rely upon. We just expect it.
How can I meet your needs if you don’t tell me what they are, how to meet them and that you expect them to be met in the first place?
No wonder so many relationships get challenged when these invisible expectations are there to trip us up.
So how do I know when I am being needy?
Normally it is when I am in victim mode and phrases such as “ it would be nice to be respected around here” are popping in to my head or maybe you hear yourself saying to your significant other “ I’m not sure you love me” or…..you find yourself uttering the words “I love you” with the absolute expectation that the only acceptable response is “I love you too”
So what’s the solution?
The solution is to learn to meet our own needs. Yes, those phrases you may have heard and labelled as pop psychology such as learning to like, love and respect myself are actually true.
People who meet their own emotional needs are emotionally stronger, less needy and able to have healthy relationships of a work, social and intimate nature. Those who don’t get hurt easily and can develop unhealthy behaviors.
So how?….How do you meet your own needs?
Why not just start the process off by taking 10 minutes to sit down and reflect on one of your emotional needs with this question……
How can I prove to myself regularly and often that I like myself or love myself or respect, or appreciate myself.
Just insert into the question the need you want to meet for yourself…..and make a list of actions that will work for you then start following through on those actions
How can I prove to myself regularly and often that I ……value myself etc
Do this and you will, over time, feel happier and have healthier relationships.