How do you feel during your interactions and relationships? And how do you get your needs met? The seven deadly needs listed below can get you in the same kind of trouble as the 7 deadly sins.
In this case the need to take action can lead you into dangerous territory. Digging for information that's not your business, having over the top reactions, allowing ego infestations to affect your life, setting your self up as judge and jury are a few of the 7 deadly needs. Let me share mine. Do they resonate?
1. The Need to Know
I love trivia because it makes me feel smart to know lots of useless facts. With technology I am able to access unlimited amounts of information anytime anywhere. Would my life be less fulfilling if I didn’t know how deep the Atlantic Ocean was? Wouldn’t my serenity be better served if I would simply relax and not have to know all the details of everyone else’s life on Facebook, Twitter, and Snap Chat? What if I let it go and moved through my life seeking silence and calm instead of facts and gossip? In family situations I often want to know every detail to make a fair judgement. What if I suspended my need to judge and therefore didn't need to know all the dark details of the latest family drama? These days I try not to need to know the details and am able to stay out of the other people's drama.
2. The Need To Be Right
This deadly need has caused many a battle in my life and possibly yours. I want to prove to you how wrong you are and how right I am. Once again my ego was fed when I could corner someone and get him or her to admit I was right and they were wrong. What does that do to the relationship? Facing my need to be right causes me to examine how unkind I really am being. What if I am wrong or what if we are both right? What if it is OK for the other person to continue with their day believing they are right? Being right may make me feel important, but it doesn’t make the people in my life want to be around me.
3. The Need To Get Even
This is a sad need. It causes so much harm. It leaves me feeling smug and self-righteous. None of those feelings are positive or healthy. No matter what was done to me, it is in my best interest to not seek revenge. This need can take me down to a dark place and it is better for me to “Let Go and Let God.”
4. The Need To Look Good
How many times have I felt less than because I wasn’t wearing the right clothes at a party or driving the right car? I wanted others to think I was all-together. This need was born in my insecurity of not being enough just as I am. I have learned in recovery that my value is the same no matter what I am wearing or driving. My Higher Power determines my value and that is always the same no matter how I appear.
5. The Need To Judge
I judged some people as being better than me, and some as worse than me. I lived my life on a ladder always trying to find someone less than me to make me feel better about myself. How freeing it is to learn I don’t have to judge anyone. I can simply accept people as they are and that we are all equal. It certainly saves time and energy. It also builds relationships when I can decide if I want someone in my life or not without judging, but by simply asking if I want to spend time with them. Not living life on a ladder is a good life.
6. The Need To Keep Score
This is what I did when I was little. Unfortunately it carried over to my adult years. I like things to be fair. The way I make sure of that is to keep score and add it up. My life is so much easier when I accept that life is happening exactly as it should. I don’t have to find the fairness my life, only the acceptance.
7. The Need to Control
This need is one that makes many of us crazy. I felt if I controlled everything I would be safe. How untrue and maddening this need has been in my life. When I trust my Higher Power with the details of my life I am better able to enjoy the moment and not drive everyone around me crazy by trying to “help them.”
While I still struggle with these deadly needs I am happier now. They are my flawed human attempts to meet my insecurities and fears. Living humbly and without fear of what others think can only help to bring peace to my life. I and my Higher Power continue to search for new ways to get my needs met in healthy ways.
If you have trouble with the 7 Deadly Needs, visit Recovery Guidance, a free resource that locates mental health professionals near you.