EQI.org Home

The Connection Between Feelings and Needs

Recently the relationship between our feelings and our needs has become even more clear to me. For a long time I have believed that our feelings are gauges or indicators of how much our needs are met or unmet. For example if we feel hungry, we need to eat. If we feel thirsty, we need to drink.

For many years though, I focused more on just trying to figure out how I was feeling and searching for a specific feeling word to label that feeling. Now I am seeing the benefit in going one step beyond that to also identify the unmet emotional need whenever there is any kind of painful or uncomfortable feeling. This helps point me in the direction of what I need to do to get my needs met.

For example, the other day my partner and I realized we felt unprepared for the next big rain. (We are currently living in an old building, converted from a warehouse that was neglected for many years.) So I quickly realized that I needed to feel more prepared. It was easy then, to see what we needed to do. Prepare ourselves for the next heavy rain.

Another example, is when I recognize that I am feeling judgmental. I ask myself what I need and the answer is usually to feel more understanding. Thus I need to try to understand the person I am feeling judgmental about.


Two Key Steps in Using Your Emotional Intelligence

Human Emotional Needs

Core Components of EQI.org

Respect | Empathy
Caring | Listening

Other EQI.org Topics:

Emotional Literacy
Invalidation | Hugs
Emotional Abuse |
Feeling Words
Depression |Education
Emotional Intelligence
Parenting | Personal Growth

Search EQI.org | Support EQI.org

EQI.org Library and Bookstore

Two Key Steps in Using Your Emotional Intelligence

1. Pay attention to your feelings to know what you need emotionally

2. Learn to communicate your feelings and needs in the best way possible.

By "best" way, I mean the way that is most likely to get us what we need while maintaining good relations with others.

S. Hein
June, 2013