The six core human needs are certainty, variety, significance, love and connection, growth and contribution. The first four needs are defined as needs of the personality and the last two are identified as needs of the spirit.
Needs of the Personality
The first four of the six core needs are defined as the needs of the personality or achievement. They are –
- Certainty– the need for safety, stability, security, comfort, order, predictability, control and consistency
- Uncertainty or Variety – the need for variety, surprise, challenges, excitement, difference, chaos, adventure, change and novelty.
These first two of the six core needs – certainty and variety, work with each other (i.e. a paradox). If there is an imbalance in one need (e.g. certainty) you could experience boredom and crave adventure.
- Significance – the need to have meaning, special, pride, needed, wanted, sense of importance and worthy of love
- Love and connection – the need for communication, unified, approval and attachment – to feel connected with, intimate and loved by, other human beings.
Significance and love and connection are also paradoxes. If you spend too much time gaining significance, you may have trouble finding deep intimate relationships that thrive on love and connection.
Needs of the Spirit
The final two needs are defined as the needs of the spirit and provide the structure for fulfillment and happiness. The needs of the spirit are –
- Growth – the need for constant emotional, intellectual and spiritual development
- Contribution – the need to give beyond ourselves, give, care, protect and serve others
How are you meeting your Six Core Needs?
As indicated earlier, we meet these needs daily either a constructive or resourceful way, neural or in a destructive and unresourceful way.
For example unresourceful examples for meeting the need of significance could include – putting other people down, gossiping, relating sad stories about yourself, being a martyr, a victim or rebelling. In comparison resourceful examples of meeting the need for significance include self-leadership, doing volunteer work, achieving a goal or mastery in your field of work/play.