How Much Do You Need It

How Much Do You Need It: It is no surprise what a person needs and what a person gets are completely different things. This is why everyone learns to do expectation management. And also learn to grin and accept it when expectations are not met. One is also reminded that some expectations are not correct - sometimes those become entitlements and people seem to take the expectations as granted and consider them to be the norm. A bondhu recently said about life - "reprioritize and move on." Indeed that often is the way things work, jobs change, places change and if one expected to live the rest of their lives in a certain way, all of a sudden something would happen, and all the "needs" need to be rethought. Global moments from the Second World War to the recent earthquake in Turkey constantly remind us that what we need from the World, we will not only not get, but we will be reminded, sometimes even rudely, that what we thought we needed, we should not have needed at all. But is it that easy, especially when it comes to human relationships? Can a child need the attention of parents? Do the parents feel the need to attend to the child? The very fabric of the idea of the "family" is built around such balanced needs. It is the balance in needs that seem to matter more than how much a person needs something. When a person in a relationship, from family to friendship, the person feels the need for the presence, or at least the attention, of another person. It is at that moment one makes an incorrect assumption - the other person has a balanced need. I call it an incorrect assumption because the other person may simply not have that need. In fact, the need may actually be a cause of discomfort in a relationship. I have taught relational communication for many years and there are many theories that deal with this, but in the end all the theories boil down to life events. When you realize that however much you needed something in a relationship the other person simply did not need it. That is when reality sets in and one begins to ask the question, how much does one need it at all. It is a difficult question to answer because it really is the beginning of the realization that relationships are inherently imbalanced, and it is even more shocking when that is pointed out to people. And these moments are seen in small things. An un-responded text message, a simple statement dismissing a need as unimportant and being reminded that your need does not matter. Eventually, it is the move towards the moment where a person is told that the person does not matter. I write elsewhere in my research that a person is built of the stories of the person. But a person is also built of the needs the person has - going back to Maslow for those who are familiar with Maslow's pyramid of needs – which make the person. Oppressive political regimes work by eradicating the needs and reducing the person to servitude just as an individual can dismiss another individual simply by rejecting a need, or worse, stating the need is not correct. So then one realizes that the rejection of the need is the rejection of the person and eventually one reprioritizes, and the need really does disappear, and with it every piece of emotion that resulted in the need. And the person disappears. And the person learns to say, "I do not need it all, because obviously you do not need it." But what remains is what the Beatles said, "Something inside, that was always denied."


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