The Human Givens Organising IdeaThe Human Givens are our emotional Needs, and the Resources we have to meet those needs - our guidance system.
Just as a plant has essential needs (for water,nutritious soil and sunshine), so humans have their essential NEEDS. And if these
are not met in a balanced way from the environment, then
there will be emotional distress.
Our essential Human NEEDS:
- Security — feeling safe in an environment which allows you to develop fully
- Attention (to give and receive it) — a form of nutrition
- Sense of autonomy and control — having volition to make responsible choices
- Being emotionally connected to others - friendship, intimacy — knowing that at least one other person accepts you totally for who you are, “warts 'n' all”
- Feeling part of a wider community by having connections beyond your family and close friends
- Privacy — opportunity to reflect and consolidate experience
- Sense of status within social groupings
- Sense of competence and achievement
- Meaning and purpose — which come from being stretched in what we do and think.
And nature has endowed us with the RESOURCES to ensure we can get these needs met:
- Complex long term memory, which enables us to add to our innate knowledge and learn
- The ability to build rapport, empathise and connect with others
- Imagination, which enables us to focus our attention away from our emotions and so solve problems that get our needs met
- A conscious, rational mind that can question, analyse and plan
- The ability to 'know' — that is, understand the world intuitively through metaphorical pattern matching
- An observing self — that part of us that can step back and be aware of itself as a unique centre of awareness
- A dreaming brain that preserves the integrity of our emotional inheritance by metaphorically defusing expectations every night that were not acted out the previous day.