Wanting and Needing

Wanting and Needing


This week I’ve been thinking about the balance between want and need and understanding the difference. How to recognize them in ourselves and in other people. We all have needs and we all have wants, yet sometimes it’s hard to know the difference between the two. Of course we know the basics; air to breath; water to drink and food to eat. But what about those things that fall into that grey area?

In our consumer oriented society the two seem to have meshed together. When do you stop wanting someone or something and start needing? When does that cup of coffee become necessary and stop just being a treat? When do we stop wanting someone and decide that we need them? Although want and need consume our thoughts we’re taught that both are selfish. The more we’re told this, the more insular we become about them. We fixate upon our needs and wants, although we rarely fulfill them, and often we disregard those of others. Sometimes we try fill our needs with wants, like buying things to fill a void that need created. We also hide our feelings, it’s become taboo to show want or need, creating game of cat and mouse where no one reveals their hand or their feelings.

Wanting has an interesting stigma attached to it, although wanting is considered normal getting what you want seems to be wrong, as though we really should be suffering because that’s what good people do. While indulging your every whim isn’t advisable, I quite like living in an apartment versus a cardboard box (so spending all my money on chocolate isn’t an option).

It’s also equally important to fulfill your wants, in a balanced manner that is. Again with needswants it’s about being honest with yourself and those around you. Is this a passing want? Or a want that will contribute to your happiness? Is it a want that could convert into a need? Knowing our wants and needs and communicating them relieves the tension that comes with trying to repress them or it gives you perspective on overindulging.

Want and need must be balanced in order to live a balanced life. Our needs should be met just as we should meet the needs of those in our lives. That’s not to say that everyone should buy you a new TV because you “need” it or that your partner cheating on you is justified because they “needed” to have sex. It’s about being honest with yourself about what you need versus what you want and communicating that. That means open dialogue with the people in your life and that includes yourself!

Sometimes it will require compromise but everyone deserves to have their needs appreciated. Sometimes you need to treat yourself to a want because life is for living! Always remembering, that your needs and wants are equally as important as those of others around you. Having your needs met creates a security in yourself, in your relationship and even in your job. Indulging in wants every so often is equally as healthy, bringing pleasurable fulfillment. So the question isn’t really whether you need to become what society deems normal it’s rather to decide what kind of life you want. Why suffer? Conquering Life can give you the tools to create the life you want and fulfill your own needs.

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