Did you ever wonder why some people act the way they do? Are some people a mystery to you and you don’t know what to do with them? Do you know why YOU do the things you do?
I do. I know now. But I didn’t know and it was causing me a world of problems!!
This blog is going to explain how I worked this out and it was a total game changer. Stay with me. I want you to look at my title and realize that I do not want you to take advantage of other people. I want you to understand how to work with people better and that is very helpful to everyone!!
I found this pod cast from Tony Robbins called Why we do what we do.
You can listen to it and see the entire breakdown of the plan here.
Here’s how it worked for me.
Tony explains that most people’s basic needs are (in no particular order)
Each one of these needs can be fulfilled with
Think on this for one moment.
A person who’s put their top basic needs will do everything to get those needs met.
If someone has a need for Uncertainty, variety , chaos
They could fulfill that positively by planning interesting things to do.
Meeting new people or learning new skills. Spending time with different groups of friends or people. Searching for new music, maybe…
Neutral would be neither positive or negative.. just switching things up during the day so it’s not the same old same old..
Negatively, seeking relationships outside their primary one. Looking for ways to disrupt others lives. Blowing people up. Blowing one’s self up.
Here’s one I see a lot in my work: Top needs is Security/comfort/Certainty: I see many clients using food to comfort!! Because they come to me, stress eating, or ‘eating their feelings’ we can assess that they are neither using positive or neutral behaviors to fulfill that need. My goal with them is to help them to understand this and hopefully they can work on positive or neutral behaviors for that top level needs.
So sit down for a moment and order your needs. Your needs may not be the same year after year. You may evolve. Your top needs though.. probably have been the same all along.
Let’s talk about my #1. I live an die by security.
It drives me. It always has. It causes me great anxiety when I do not feel my number one need is being met.
Funny (positive) ways I meet my #1 needs.
I have a huge supply of oatmeal under my prep table. It’s there because oatmeal means I have what I need to do my plan .
In my show prep, I have security in protein pancakes. My husband makes them and each day we laugh and say “Those pancakes smell like first place.”
I find security in working many hours. I worked a few jobs at a time when I was younger. I always know I’m going to be ok.
Growth and learning are my number 2. I spend hours reading, doing workshops, feeding that need to learn and be better. I attend pole workshops and take lessons and maybe I got something out of it but maybe the act of doing that fulfilled my need.
Growth/Learning and Love and connection are super compatible because I connect to so many wonderful people. I, myself built a community of amazing people who are like minded and who strive for positivity. So many of those people in my life fuel my connection when they send me a cat meme or share a post. Deeper connections are there but they are relationships that are positive for my life as opposed to seeking connection from strangers or randos. That would be a neutral or negative way for ME to fill that need.
For me 4/5 are interchangeable. I am very happy when I have helped someone to feel better or fix a problem. That validates me. Contribution looks really far down on that list but it sits in there nicely with my number 2/3/4/5. Contribution for me is becoming more important as I grow. Helping people is really intertwined in everything I do but it also fuels my security of my work!! WOW…. that’s interesting.
I would put Uncertainty so far down on my list of needs it should be buried under the ocean. I don’t need variety. I’m a creature of habit and like it that way. In fact when I’m called on having to ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ I hate it. I am in introvert for sure and need to process everything. I do not like surprises!
My husband gave me a surprise trip to Mexico for Christmas and we were set to leave on New Years Day. Nope. NOPE. NOPE. Oh no . The amount of anxiety I had regarding that was too much to bear.
This is my husband’s list of needs. I want you to look at his and look at mine and see how there is a certain challenge we have to work on.
To him, that Mexico trip was perfect. It was impromptu and would shake up an otherwise cold, icky winter. It was for sure variety and the surprise factor of handing it to me for Christmas probably was really exciting to him.
But we are in a relationship that needs to work so when I got that trip for my gift, I did not react well. I got panicky and had to cancel it straight away He probably did not get the validation he was hoping for , for such a luxurious gift!!! I am sure that was very difficult for him!!
We work super hard on helping each other and making sure we are getting our needs met in a positive way. His needs aren’t wrong.. they are just different.
If you also think about your person or even yourself, you can see how if one person chooses a path of negative behavior to fulfill those needs you can end up with broken relationships. I’m touching on just a few things..
Uncertainty, Variety, Chaos: Acting out, drugs, partying, infidelity, really anything can fit there.. if it’s negative, it’s going to be a problem!
Significance/Validation: Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a rampant culture phenomenon on social media. People risk their lives chasing likes, pushing the envelope simply to appear, be or stay relevant.
This past week, a couple died in Yosemite National park chasing the most daring selfie.
We see all kinds of unhealthy behavior in viral videos and in real life when people use negative behavior to meet their needs.
So how does this pertain to you and using it to your advantage?
Once you have sat down and assessed who you are, how you are fulfilling your own needs you can then delve into your partner or family, friends. How can you positively help them to meet their needs?
One of my kiddos is somewhat like me in that, he has anxiety and is a creature of habit. It would help him for me to positively reinforce security, comfort and certainty to help him feel safe. When I know he needs validation for his art, I can help him self validate and give him positive feedback that he can use to grow. If I know his lowest need is uncertainty, it would not be helpful to give him 1 week to move out of our house and find a new job and start a new school. Does that make sense?
In my job as a coach, it’s super helpful for me to learn about my clients to help them feel secure in their plan and that they have what it takes to reach their goals. If I can see validation is super important to them, I can give them positive feed back quickly. I spend a lot of time on social media and much of what I do is offering positive reinforcement to others.
One way that helps someone to feel positive is to skip the “you’re so hot” comment but offer them feedback that shows you know they are working hard. I try to find ways to let them know they are strong or that lift was incredible so they feel proud of themselves too.
If I have a client who is uncomfortable with public validation, (shy or just not present on social media) I might see where their other needs are. I have some clients who love to learn! I have some who don’t but they want to be a part of something (contribution) so I give them things to allow them to be of service to our team or other members. It’s interesting how a person’s driving needs are very apparent on social media. Dig into their posts!
One of my clients really likes variety. She can’t stand the same ol same ol so I love to give her workouts that change more often so she feels excited to get new ones. She feels accomplished when she completes the past set too! I have another client who begs me NOT to change workouts because she’s really into them and the progressions are making her so happy. That spreadsheet of improvements is making her excited about her plan.
One of the things we can look at as a big picture is when you see people who display behavior that we find deeply troubling to look at their basic needs and how they choose to fulfill them. Tony tells us so beautifully that people will go to the ends of the earth to fulfill those needs and doing with positive behavior isn’t always what’s chosen.
I hope you find value in this blog. I hope you listen to the pod cast and really understand who you are in your needs.