Basic Needs

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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Basic Needs I consider the need for effectiveness and control to be my most important basic need. Knowing how to control and predict situations gives me pleasure. When things are chaotic and disordered I find that it frustrates me. Often, that frustration leads to the disruption of my other needs.

Now that I think of it, so much of my life revolves around order. I attribute that mainly to experience. I remember how my parents raised me as a child. They were very strict, and had rules that I absolutely had to follow. Disobeying those rules meant that I would be disciplined. Of course, I followed those rules even though I did not agree with them. But by obeying the rules, I knew that I would be "safe" from harm. So early on, I knew that I could prevent being disciplined. There was a sense of self-control in obeying. However, as I grew older my thirst for autonomy increased.

Individuation did not develop for me until the late teens. This is probably due to a couple of factors. First, my parents did not support exploring and experimenting because that meant that I would be "straying" from the path that they wanted me to go. Second, I was raised in an impoverished physical environment. Those factors definitely hindered the process of individuation. However, as situations improved for my family so did everything else in my life. As a result, fulfilling my basic needs was much easier to do. For example, when my family moved to a new home I found that I didn't have to dwell on fulfilling the need for safety as much because the neighborhood was safe and comfortable. Instead, I could concentrate on other needs such as self-efficacy, and positive identity.

It is weird how things turned out. I wanted so much to be independent. Here I am, very independent but yet I still hold the very basic values and beliefs that my parents taught me when I was younger.