I have been playing with this term currency relative to needs for some time now. I believe that needs deserve the term currency because, like money, we are constantly exchanging needs and need fulfillment
with the people around us. And like money, some people are really good at getting their needs met, while others live in a virtual poverty of needs. Here is some background on the whole picture of needs.
For the first 18 years of our lives, our parents are technically responsible for taking care of our needs. As we grow and through our interactions with those around us, we develop a relationship to our own needs. The
nature of that relationship entirely depends on what we learned about the value of our own needs relative to the value of the needs of the people around us.
In a healthy family, the primary needs of all are the first priority, making sure everyone is safe, has enough to eat, is sheltered and clothed. The emotional needs of the children and parents are balanced, meaning that there is
respect for the needs of all, listening is happening and emphasis is placed on the priority need of the moment. Parents sometimes have to make challenging choices between the emotional needs of their children and their own emotional needs,
but often choose in favor of their children in their effort to support their healthy emotional development. But again, it is important that there is balance.
In a not-so-healthy family, the needs of the parents tend to take precedence over the needs of the children. In fact, the parents have most likely carried forward unresolved emotional needs from their own childhoods. When this happens,
they often look to their own children to fill their emotional needs. This sets up an unhealthy dynamic and unfortunately the children suffer for it. So, not only are the children trying to fill their parents' emotional needs (which
they are unequipped to do,) their own emotional needs are going unmet and in addition, they get the message that their emotional needs are not important.
This experience sets these children up to have an unhealthy relationship with needs through their lives. First of all, they have a really tough time discerning their own needs because they are typically not in touch with
their bodies. To survive a situation in which their emotional needs were not met and were in fact, discounted, they had to disconnect from their physical experience.
From there, people tend to polarize into one of two options: They either focus entirely on their own needs or they focus on the needs of others at the expense of their owns needs. This is not a black and white polarization but a point
on a spectrum. Either way, they have an unhealthy relationship with their needs.
In either case, unhealthy behavior patterns develop in an attempt to get needs met such as manipulation, passive aggressive behavior, controlling behavior, people-pleasing etc. The lack of a healthy relationship with
their own needs is very painful and people often develop addictive behaviors and unhealthy relationships with others as well. Continue reading below...