By Mary Campbell
People often enter into a romantic relationship expecting their partner to meet all of their emotional needs. They may be disappointed when those expectations are not met. Although there is nothing wrong with wanting a supportive partner, it is important to learn how to meet our own emotional needs.
Defining Emotional Needs
Emotional needs may vary according to the individual. However, there are basic emotional needs that generally pertain to everyone. Those basic needs include security, attention, privacy, value, social connection, and a sense of control over your own life. Although it is wonderful to connect with people who will support you emotionally, it is also necessary to be able to meet those needs on your own. Here are a few ways to do that.
Develop a Sense of Security
Be aware of your own capabilities. Know that you can take care of yourself. People often underestimate their own mental and emotional strength. However, most people are emotionally stronger than they realize. Learn to rely on your own internal strength.
Focus Your Attention on Yourself
Everyone likes attention to some degree. However, if you find yourself craving attention and not getting enough of it, find ways to focus your attention on yourself. Pamper yourself with a day at the spa or just have a relaxing day at home. Find a hobby that you enjoy and immerse yourself in it.
Staying in Control
It is a basic human need to feel as though you are in control of your own life. Although we know we can’t control every aspect of life all the time, we can maintain a level of control. You always have control over the choices you make; therefore, you are in control of your life more than you realize. Recognize the moments when you make small, habitual decisions and remember you always have the option to choose differently.
Connect to Others
Human beings have an innate desire to socialize with other people. If you live alone and don’t get enough social interactions, you may feel lonely or even isolated. Whether you have a significant other in your life or not, it is still important to get together with friends and family.
Everyone Needs Their Own Space
Although human beings are social, they also need their own space for privacy and quiet time. Even if you live in a household full of noisy chaos, you can still manage to find moments of privacy. Get up an hour earlier or go to bed an hour later if necessary to get some alone time. You could also take a walk in nature or take a drive in the country.
Feeling valued is another emotional need. We often see how people are undervalued and overlooked, especially in the workplace. People may not always value you and your contributions as much as you deserve, but you can learn to value yourself. When you value yourself and your abilities, other people will take notice. Know that you are a valuable person and you make valuable contributions to your family, your job, and your community.
It is fine to have someone in your life that helps meet your emotional needs. However, it can be devastating when the person you depend on for validation can no longer be there. Being able to meet your emotional needs offers you a sense of freedom, knowing that you are confident in who you are, alone or with others. It is important to remember that we are responsible for our own emotional needs. You can do so by accepting and loving yourself.