Today has just been one of those days where I don’t feel like  I’ve had my needs met..or rather, that I have managed to meet my own needs.

My lovely start to half term was a screaming worthy of raising the dead and which led into a half hour sharing circle to try and establish who had done what to whom.  Needless to say both had done something to the other and both were upset.

What was the root cause? Privacy. Or in kid terms; ‘he touched my stuff’, ‘he was in my room’.

They are pretty good at respecting my stuff and my space, just not each others.

But this isn’t about them; its about me.  I lost my privacy too because my lovely quiet morning was spend doing conflict resolution as well as a whole lot of household chore and home work enforcement.

I need needed some quiet time just being and I needed a lot of it.

This makes me feel horribly selfish to write, we’re not meant to be selfish after all are we parents?  We’re meant to spend out time looking after other people.

  • How much time have you spent looking after other people this week or doing things for other people?
  • How much time have you spend on looking after yourself and your needs?
  • How can you get the balance right?

I once lived with a man who would call me selfish for not wanting him to use my stuff without asking.  He saw living together as carte blanch share everything.  He called me a selfish bitch for not letting him wear my only ever pair of designer sunglasses. Another guy I lived with called me uptight because I didn’t like having a house full of drunken football cheering males on a work night. Hmmm.

I just like my privacy.  I share a lot, but some stuff is just mine.  It just is. Hands off. No explanation needed.

I like time to myself.  I’m an introvert and I need time alone to get my energy back.

It is lovely living with an introvert who also needs time to himself and understands that need to be alone.

When you work with people and then come home to people as most of us do we end up give, give giving and we get to the point where there isn’t much left to give.

This week and last have been particularly full on with football trips, a flying visit to relatives, end of term stuff with the kids and friends as well as a couple of crisis phone calls listening to clients.

So this morning I really needed that privacy.


Human Givens research has found that there are 9 ubiquitous human emotional needs:

Emotional needs include:

  • Security — safe territory and an environment which allows us to develop fully
  • Attention (to give and receive it) — a form of nutrition
  • Sense of autonomy and control — having volition to make responsible choices
  • Emotional intimacy — to know that at least one other person accepts us totally for who we are, “warts ‘n’ all”
  • Feeling part of a wider community
  • Privacy — opportunity to reflect and consolidate experience
  • Sense of status within social groupings
  • Sense of competence and achievement
  • Meaning and purpose — which come from being stretched in what we do and think

You might like to try this exercise:

  • For each of the above needs, give yourself a mark out of 10 where 10 is high and indicates that that need is being fully met and where 1 is low and indicates that that need is not being met at all.
  • Then ask yourself what you can do to get your needs met.  It doesn’t have to be a big change; it could be just phoning a close friend if you are lacking intimacy or popping in to the local shop if you need to connect to your community more.

My need for privacy was only getting a 4/10 this morning, it is rising slowly as I write this because I need time to reflect on and consolidate experience, which is maybe why I like to write.

I think I’ve always been the same.  My mum used to call me Greta Garbo as she apparently said ‘I want to be alone’.

The photos of me age 11 show an introspection that is still in me.

The thing is that I think that my need for opportunity to reflect and consolidate is one of my strengths and so I feel good when I have time to use those skills.

We all have those 9 needs, just the extent to which we need them differs. Today’s row was Youngest Son the introvert needing more privacy than Eldest son the extrovert.

As long as we get our needs met, we’re all OK.

  • So what will you do to make sure your needs are met this week?

Thank you for allowing me to meet my need for privacy and reflection and also my need for meaning and purpose, because when I have time to reflect in privacy..I find meaning and purpose in my life…which is even better.

Have a good week.


ps..if you need to get some time for yourself and don’t know how, don’t forget the free course here.

If you enjoyed reading this please share it with friends. You might also be interested in talking to me about coaching , or maybe try some of my online courses (some are free), or treat yourself to a climate protecting pamper with vegan friendly, organic Tropic which supports the planting of forests and education in deprived areas.
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