It was a while back that I started reading the book “No more Mr nice guy” by Robert Glover, that the reality of our needs became radically obvious. Our needs are a strong force that shape our world view constantly and have an influence on how we experience reality at its core level. Glover described how men fall victim of their uncovered needs at a very young age to create a disturbed view of the world. Not having people supply for you when you are in need is misinterpreted as evidence that the world is an unfriendly and ungiving place, that you need to find other ways than merely asking to cover them and that at the end of it all, you are not worthy enough for things to be given to you without reason.
One can only fathom the implications of a mindset like that. People coming from such conditions, follow through their life believing that they constantly need to supply to others for them to be entitled for what they want and by doing so they sign an undeclared of this transaction expecting others are going to fulfil their part into helping them with their needs. They create these passive-aggressive behaviors that instead of asking for something directly, they do things to get something in return. This leads down the path of secrecy where they hide their true colors as a reaction of their core belief of unworthiness and the toxic shame that comes along. As usual is the case, coming from a place that the father figure is weak and an example to avoid they miss the natural way of developing healthy relationships and constantly seek ways to differentiate from other men. Differentiate like.. being nice.
All in all, the initial lack of care and absence at a critically early point of their life, led them to create a lie on how the world works and continue into the path of a fake life unable to express their true selves, living in a constant state of fear. What is more frightening? Nice guys are actually the majority of men in today’s society. And more so, everybody seems to be ignoring the point that same conditions exist equally for women. Only it is less obvious to notice as docile women fell under the stereotypical female patterns of our modern society. Nice girls do exist as well..
Another example of how needs are shaping our model of the world is expressed by Anthony Robbins in the “I’m not your guru” documentary where he depicts how our model of the world changes from our relationship to our parents or to be more precise from our relationship with the most-significant-to-us parent, which most often than not it’s the parent of the opposite sex.
Our need for his/her acceptance is deeply shaping our future relationships and alters our reality based on the perception of who we have to be to gain his/her approval. Basically, in this case, this acceptance per se is our need which alters our compass, values and behavioral patterns in relation to other people in general.
Was it gaining this acceptance easy and unconditional? Given to you for no apparent reason? Then by all means, your perception of how you need to behave to others and how you expect them to behave towards you is going to be standardised as that. You will believe internally you don’t have to do much and the world owns you for just being there doing nothing.
Was there constant conflict between the parent and accusations flying from them back and forth? As is the example of the nice guy above, it’s usually the pattern that the mother is overly accusing of the father which shapes the internal compass of the child to try to not be like that. Things like indifference, selfishness etc. are going to be hard-coded internally and lead down the path of trying to comfort into the opposite standards, meaning being kind and nice. And is that wrong you may ask? Well, anything that comes out of the wrong reasons eventually will fail one way or the other. It’s a different thing to be nice because that’s how it comes naturally to you and a different thing to compulsively try to prove something to gain acceptance and approval in return.
Following this pattern, we can find different kind of models as well. For example, what if you had to deal with a parent that was only giving approval under strict conditions. Meaning getting high degrees, bringing good results and so on. One can only look through the history of art to understand the repercussions of such attitudes. Most probably you would develop a sense that you don’t worth any credit unless you work hard. Of course putting extra effort is not bad on its own but it would force your behavior to adjust to the image of things to gain what you need instead of focusing on what really matters. It would make you more socially anxious, more prone to depression, and super self critical. Of course none of these is alarming on its own and most people would be inclined to see it as a boost for success, but this unfulfilled appetite is eventually gonna dry out leaving you with an uncovered core.
Same thing happens if to gain this approval you had to refuse your needs and deprecate your ego, or if you were directed to follow a path that wasn’t chosen and fully accepted by you. All these are examples of situations that would alter the model and world-view for good.
Our Mental Habits
Now it would be a mistake to view this matter from the mere viewpoint of our needs. Needs are endless and one can only expect that they are gonna keep on coming no matter what level of life you reach. But we need to raise awareness to the fact that from them certain behaviors actualise that affect our mentality and life. It’s not rare to see people fall into a shadow form of self, trying to cover for them using malice means like manipulating others or denying their deepest desires on fear of rejection. We often see people deprecating themselves and living the life of a martyr or what constitutes in their eyes the glory of a suffering hero. The list is simply endless.
The most important component around our needs is not how they rise or where they are coming from but the mental habits we form around dealing with them throughout our childhood and beyond. The mindsets that are created from the sparks of our collisions with the needs of others and our learned behaviors we usually embark on in response. These two are what constitutes the basis for the kind of relationships we have with others and ourselves.0