– Love and belonging: Have people in our lives we care about and who care about us
– Power and recognition: Respect of our peers, feeling important and heard
– Freedom: The flexibility to make decisions and choices
– Fun: We all are human; we need release, we need downtime, we need to play, laugh, and relax
Ignore these needs at your peril. Much acting out is an attempt at a quick fix, an effort to satisfy these needs in dysfunctional ways or to temporarily medicate the pain of these needs not being met in a constructive manner.
All behaviors are purposeful, even self-sabotaging behavior. Look for the underlying positive intent in yourself and in others. Underlying positive intent is what the person hopes will happen (no matter how crazy), or what pain or fear they are running from. Find the underlying positive intent and a lot of “stupid” actions begin to “make sense” in a warped way. None of this excuses any bad behavior, yours, mine, or others. Just that full understanding and awareness of a problem is usually a necessary first step to its solution.
These thoughts come from “The Extraordinary Within,” by Donn Smith, a caring human being who has done much to better the world around him and lead others to joy.
Closing quotes (all are from chapter headings in “The Extraordinary Within”):
“Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.” — Chinese Proverb
“It is a subtle shift from pushing ourselves to be the best in the world to allowing ourselves to be the best for the world.” — Dewitt Jones
“One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.” — Henry Miller