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Building Stronger Connections: How to Meet Your Needs and Improve Your Relationships

Values, needs and purpose. The three core elements that are unique to us all as individuals and often the golden thread in all that we do, and all that we are.

As humans, we have physical, psychological and emotional needs. We also have our own needs, which we feel are essential for a happy and fulfilled life.

Knowing what our needs are and how we can meet them in a balanced and healthy way not only contributes to our own levels of happiness, it can positively impact our relationships.

The more we understand ourselves the more we can understand others.

The more we know, the more we can do and be better.

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The Importance of Continuous Growth and Development

Continuous growth and personal development are essential human needs. It is important that we see and feel progress in our personal and professional lives however we have this need at varying levels. Some of us will desire this more than others.

When growth and development is something that is important to us, we often want to see growth in those we are closest to, in addition to our own vision of who we are evolving into.

We must align actions with our personal values and principles for integrity and trust. We also need to respect that others may not share the same values, and they will be making decisions that align for to the values and principles they feel are most important.

Understanding that there is not a 'right or wrong' set of values and needs is important. The more we can understand the differences between ourselves and others the more we can learn to respect the differences and the path they are on. This can help us to not compromise our own values and needs and support others on their unique journey which can often result in a more meaningful connection and relationship.

Finding Meaning and Purpose in Life

A key part of our psychological and emotional needs is recognising our place in the bigger picture of this world and contributing to the community.

It is important for us to believe that life holds significance and purpose, and that we are making a meaningful contribution to something greater than ourselves as individuals.

This is often reflected in vision, mission and values and often talked about in terms of legacy and the life we want to live.

It is crucial for our mental health and overall well-being. Feeling that our presence is meaningful to others is essential. When hope is lost and the significance of one's existence in the world is not perceived, it can greatly affect our mental health.

Discovering significance and purpose in life is determined by our values and necessities, and frequently impacted by the people in our surroundings. Engaging in volunteer work and participating in community activities can also assist us in establishing connections and forming relationships with individuals who have similar values, serving as a beneficial coping strategy and a method to uncover meaning.

Essential Psychological Human Needs

There are some frameworks and theories that cover our human psychological needs.

The following six detail the needs we all have as humans, albeit at varying levels, to live a happy and fulfilled life.

Certainty and Comfort

We have a preference for routine and uncertainty can make us feel uncomfortable.


Whilst we like routine and certainties we also need change and variety within a structured routine.


We need to feel important and that our lives have meaning, these can have different scales of significance: personal, community, and societal.

Connection and Love

We need belonging, connection, and love in various contexts and there are differences in how individuals fulfil this need through family, friends, or workplace relationships.


We have a desire for personal growth and continuous self-improvement and this is often influenced when we surround ourselves with like-minded individuals who also value and support growth.


The importance of contributing something of value and feeling significant is a human need. Life events can often impact our sense of contribution and significance.

Self-determination Theory (SDT)

This theory focuses more on how we are motivated and how we shape and determine our personal growth and evolution. This framework covers three needs:


The need to control the course of our life


The need to be effective in the environment we are in


The need to have meaningful relationships/connections with others, and the sense that we belong.

Reflect on Personal Relationships

It is important to reflect on the personal relationships that we have and the needs that they fulfil by what we contribute to that relationship and what we receive from it.

We need to pay attention to the emotions that we feel when we are in a person's company and when they are absent. These emotions can be useful information when we are evaluating the meaning of the connection.

Who are your radiators (energizers) and who are your drains (energy takers) in your relationships?

Relationships are like a bank account: balancing giving and taking. Both parties need to contribute, and both parties need to take/withdraw for there to be an equal balance. In a healthy relationship, this will balance out over time. Neither party should be giving more than the other and so that often means making sure they are asking for help, support and guidance as much as they are willing and able to contribute.

Assess How You Meet Your Needs

How are you meeting your needs? How are you meeting these needs with the connections that you have?

A balanced approach to meeting needs independently and through others is important, and check that you are not relying too heavily on a single person for multiple needs, either by what you contribute, or what you get from that relationship.

Achieving Balance and Fulfillment

It is important to find a way to meet your needs in a healthy way that aligns with your values. It is also important to communicate your needs to those you are connected with so that they can understand you and what is important to you. Clear commmunication will help achieve mutual support in relationships.

Explore the areas where your needs are not being met, or where your values are not aligned. Explore different strategies to support your personal development and your relationships.

You can download your free 'Values Alignment Assessment here:

Values Alignment Assessment
Download PDF • 4.78MB

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Understanding and fulfilling our human needs is a crucial aspect of achieving overall wellness and happiness.

By reflecting on our relationships and personal growth, we can better align our actions with our values and contribute meaningfully to the world around us.

If you need coaching support to help clarify your values and needs and how to make changes in your life to align with what is important then you can book a clarity call and we can talk through how coaching can help you.

You are also welcome to join our monthly workshops: Book your space here.

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