Figuring out your needs

In our gifting circle sometimes people have a hard time figuring out what their needs are.

I’ve been playing around with different ideas about how to help people become clearer on what their needs are. One would be to suggest different areas in their life to look at – work, home, play, hobbies, personal growth.. Another could be to have them look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – physiological needs, safety needs, needs of love affection, need for self-esteem, need for self-actualization.

I was discussing with my friend Ariane – who is thinking of starting her own gifting circle,  about this question of figuring out needs. She suggested looking at Max-Neefs matrix of needs. He categorizes them needs as subsistence, protection, affection, understanding, participation, leisure, creation, identity and freedom. Each of these 8 needs can then be further categorized as being, having, doing, or interacting.

undamental
Human Needs
Being
(qualities)
Having
(things)
Doing
(actions)
Interacting
(settings)
subsistence physical and
mental health
food, shelter
work
feed, clothe,
rest, work
living environment,
social setting
protection care,
adaptability
autonomy
social security,
health systems,
work
co-operate,
plan, take care
of, help
social environment,
dwelling
affection respect, sense
of humour,
generosity,
sensuality
friendships,
family,
relationships
with nature
share, take care of,
make love, express
emotions
privacy,
intimate spaces
of togetherness
understanding critical
capacity,
curiosity, intuition
literature,
teachers, policies
educational
analyse, study,meditate
investigate,
schools, families
universities,
communities,
participation receptiveness,
dedication,
sense of humour
responsibilities,
duties, work,
rights
cooperate,
dissent, express
opinions
associations,
parties, churches,
neighbourhoods
leisure imagination,
tranquillity
spontaneity
games, parties,
peace of mind
day-dream,
remember,
relax, have fun
landscapes,
intimate spaces,
places to be alone
creation imagination,
boldness,
inventiveness,
curiosity
abilities, skills,
work,
techniques
invent, build,
design, work,
compose,
interpret
spaces for
expression,
workshops,
audiences
identity sense of
belonging, self-
esteem,
consistency
language,
religions, work,
customs,
values, norms
get to know
oneself, grow,
commit oneself
places one
belongs to,
everyday
settings
freedom autonomy,
passion, self-esteem,
open-mindedness
equal rights dissent, choose,
run risks, develop
awareness
anywhere
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