12 Relationship Needs
Relationships are built on fulﬁlling mutual needs. The following needs apply to relationships with intimate partners,
family and friends. Not all may apply to other relationships such as business acquaintances. These needs go in both
direction -- providing them to others and receiving them from others. When needs go unmet, emotions (anger,
sadness and/or fear) become triggered. When needs are met consistently, joy arises, and trust and intimacy develop.
1. SAFETY -- free from physical and emotional abuse (shame, blame, judgment, scrutiny, criticism, guilt-trips)
2. BOUNDARIES -- privacy and personal space
3. AUTONOMY -- freedom to choose or make own decisions
4. CONSISTENCY -- reliability; consistent mood and behavior; matching words with action
5. HONESTY -- integrity; accountability; sharing difﬁcult messages; vulnerability; emotionally honest (open with feelings and needs); truthful, straightforward and clear communication with kindness and courtesy
6. PRESENCE -- physically, mentally and emotionally present
7. UNDERSTANDING -- a genuine desire to know who a person is (light and dark sides); compassion
8. ACCEPTANCE -- accepting a person as is; free from trying to change or ﬁx a person
9. ACKNOWLEDGMENT -- recognizing a person’s actions, abilities or special qualities
10. AFFECTION/LOVE -- feeling special; cared about; receiving healthy attention; warmth and kindness; camaraderie
11. VALUED -- feeling important; valuing feelings, needs and opinions
12. CONNECTION -- feeling a shared closeness; mutual sense of belonging; feeling seen, heard and understood; inclusion; community
These 12 needs create trust, intimacy and respect -- the foundation to a healthy relationship. The Security and
Stability categories build trust while the Support and Nurturing categories build intimacy. However, without ﬁrst
building trust, there cannot be intimacy. Of course, there are many other needs that people need, but these are the
core needs that create a solid base for relationships.
Copyright © Sho Aoyagi 2013
These articles are meant to be informative and not to be taken as advice. Every person’s situation is different and the articles may not pertain to your speciﬁc situation.
Also, before dealing with any issue with another person or before attempting to look at your own issues, it’s important to consult with an appropriate professional for guidance.