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Universal Human Needs

Have you ever wondered why babies cry?

Crying is a baby's first language to communicate their needs such as:

“I’m hungry.”

“I’m scared.”

“My stomach hurts.”

“Don’t leave me alone.”

“Play with me.”

It is not just babies that have such needs; all people do. We need to form attachments with other people in order to survive. Evolutionists even argue that babies have innate reflexes such rooting, palmar and plantar grasps to form emotional bonds with their mothers and primary caregivers.

Neither exhaustive or definitive, here are some of the main universal human needs:


Air, water, and food are self-explanatory.


Besides needing to be physically safe, we also need to feel secure and to do that we search for consistency and stability in various aspects in our lives. Some people seek consistency and stability in daily routines, work performances, financial income, and also from other people’s behaviour.


Being able to be our own individual self is a need often un-met. We need to feel accepted for having different characteristics, opinions, preferences, and other unique features of ourselves. If this need is stifled at any point in an individual's life, he or she may struggle with self acceptance and find it difficult to express themselves to others.


Whether we like it or not, we need to have a sense of belonging. The word ‘loneliness’ is a good description of the feeling, but not its cause, which in reality has little to do with being alone. We are social animals and we need meaningful connections to feel that we have something in us to give and to take in social interactions. We need to connect in order to feel that we matter.

The Caveat

Alas, can we meet all these needs optimally? If I were to give my two-pennies worth, it is not possible. There are just too many factors that are not within our control. We attach meanings to words and experiences in our lives with our own conceptions. We also have learnt how to present ourselves socially on media and to different individuals and any kind of approval we get is not for our full and whole selves.

Yet, this caveat must not hold us back from working towards meeting those needs. A poor sense of self and an inability to connect to others makes us emotionally vulnerable and makes coping with life difficult. Finding that thin boundary line between authenticity and social etiquette is one way to navigate through life. For some of us, working towards meeting those needs might sound like an impossibly tiring task, but you can do it and you are worth it.



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