A theory that I’ve been thinking about lately is that we have a hierarchy of feelings that we require/desire.

According to my understanding, the order is as follows: safety —-> love —–> belonging —–> respect ——> admiration.

Physical safety is the first step. A certain amount of money in combined with good health is what this entails. That money allows us to purchase space and other necessities. We are at our worst when it is not there; we are overwhelmed and perform at levels well below our regular intellectual levels.

Once we have it, we are in desperate need of mental safety. This entails being surrounded by people in whom we have confidence. Bullies and/or mental or emotional abuse must be avoided at all costs in order to go through this.

After that, we yearn for love. A very special gift is the opportunity to live with someone we care about and who cares about us.

Following love, we look for a sense of belonging within a community. We are most likely to find it at work, with our friends, as a member of our faith community, and/or in some other social group.

The majority of people spend their time looking for a sense of security, love, and belonging. When we don’t have them at important periods in our lives, we develop insecurities that last for the rest of our lives.

Those who are fortunate enough to have moved beyond these requirements will need respect and admiration as their next needs. These help us go from a state of insecurity to one of confidence.

However, both of these are difficult situations to navigate. This is due to the fact that they often lead us to believe that we need widespread respect and appreciation.

In truth, all we need is our own respect and admiration, as well as the respect and admiration of a few close friends and family members. But, in its own way, this is difficult because the one person whose respect we seek the most, the person who we see in the mirror, is the most difficult to win over.

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