What about the conflicts in your sphere? Or in your home? Or, even within yourself?
Through my experiences and learning, I have come to realize that most conflicts, both external and internal, arise when our universal needs are not being met.
If you talk to most psychologists, psychotherapists, or life coaches, they will probably be able to tell you about universal needs. They might not call them universal needs, but that is what I call them. There are a huge array of universal needs, but when I learned them they were divided into 7 categories.
Want to know what they are and what they have to do with conflict?
So, the major categories, as I learned them, are:
- AUTONOMY: We all need to have a little freedom in our lives. Some choice. Some independence. Some spontaneity.
- LOVE AND CONNECTION: We all want to belong and to feel connected to other people. How many people, and in what way, is totally personalized. This also includes feeling respected, supported, stable, included, etc.
- HONESTY: We want to know that we can trust others, that we can rely on them when we need to. That people will actually do what they say (This ties into connection above)
- MEANING OR SIGNIFICANCE: We want to have a purpose. To know that we are good at something. That other people look to us and admire what we do a little bit. That we have worked hard and achieved.
- PEACE: Even the busiest of us enjoys those quiet moments of stillness. The ease and comfort that you can get when you let everything else go. It can be magical.
- PLAY: We need to be more than our to-do list. We need to be able to enjoy ourselves, to laugh, feel joy, and relax.
- PHYSICAL WELL-BEING: And, finally, we need to be physically well. To have a roof over our head, to feel warmth, to eat good food, to sleep in a cozy bed, to feel safe, to move our bodies.
The list goes on…
And those feelings are usually the catalyst to conflict.
Unfulfilled Needs → Negative Emotions → Conflict
Here are some personal examples:
Example 1: I was driving down the highway and some jacka** cut me off. It’s so close that I had to swerve and I almost hit another car. I became totally pissed off, so much so that if I could catch up to him I would give him a piece of my mind, and possible punch him in the face.
Being unsafe → Feeling Angry → Thoughts of revenge
Example 2: I have recently moved to France and filled out the paperwork to be an auto-entrepreneur. I was told that I would recieve my Carte Vitale (my medical card) within 3 weeks. It has now been 4 months. Since this isn’t the only instance of lack efficiency with regard to French bureaucracy, I am completely fed up.
Being Lied To → Feeling Disenfranchised → Complaining and/or Wanting to yell at the people on the phone
Example 3: My days are super busy. I am trying to start a business from scratch in a new country, while also being a mom, trying to cook healthy meals, trying to make friends and be social, trying to exercise and stay fit, trying to read and relax, trying to be a supportive wife, trying to keep the house clean, trying to...
Being overwhelmed → Feeling Inadequate → Internal Struggles
So, do these examples help?
When a situation like example 1 comes up, we can’t really do much to fulfill the unfulfilled need in the moment, but sometimes just identifying it helps to ease the tension you feel.
In other situations (like example 3), we can also start with identifying the unfulfilled need, but then we need to take action to figure out how to fulfill that missing need. Maybe I need to see if my daughter can go to daycare more than ½ time. Maybe I need to shift my work goals to be more realistic. Maybe I need to hire a house cleaner. Maybe I need to ask my husband for more support.
Any, or all of those options could lessen my feeling of overwhelm and help fulfill my universal needs.
What about you?
- Where are you having conflict?
- What universal needs are going unfulfilled?
- How are you feeling when those needs aren't met?
- What actions can you take to fulfill those needs?
It’s your life. Live it Boldly.