Within every person are needs. These may be classified in one of three categories: true, perceived and other needs. True needs are for nutrition, water, exercise, spirituality, community, freedom from disease and emotional connection, and a few more, according to Marshall Rosenberg, in his book, SPEAK PEACE. Perceived needs are for fashion, luxury and unnecessary comfort goods and services. Other needs are somewhat in the middle of true and perceived needs, such as an automobile and house.
A luxury automobile would be a perceived need. A twelve year old car would be more supportive of a true need to assist with community connection, emotional connectivity with others and help haul nutritional foods from a store to one’s home. Yet, a car or truck would stay in other needs, just lean more one way or the other.
A house may be owned by oneself and have multiple rooms, in such a case it would also fall more in perceived need. However, an older home with a minimum number of rooms, or a rental of a small size to barely be adequate for one to live with one bedroom and, if a business owner, a home office, would fit more into support for community connection by doing work to help earn money and strengthen ties to the economy.
Anger is a wonderful energy that has two primary benefits: first, to help us process our needs into three categories of true, perceived and other; second, to empower us to change our own self in how we act and think. Only anger has the capacity to create a fundamental change in perspective and values. Anger is very powerful, and is often wasted.
Processing our needs by intellectualizing and sorting into three categories helps bring perspective and clarity within our own mind, and for the benefit of others to understand our vulnerabilities and priorities. Placing needs into three categories may be done on paper, or be visualized in the mind and spoken about.
Empowerment as afforded by anger can lead to life-changing realizations about who we are and what really matters to us. Therefore, with anger focused, we can become more pure with regard to being who and what we always wanted to be. Anger motivates and with direction, we can move where we want.
Wasted anger is energy lost. Anger is a powerful life-force given by God to bless humanity with the strength to break away traditions and patterns of behavior and thought that do not suit us well. We each have the freedom to decide if a behavior or thought pattern works for us; if not, we may get angry, and such anger is crucial to making fundamental changes in our life that are long-lasting and/or permanent ameliorations from the past.
In our daily communications, we come into contact with many other people. A common mistake is to request a person do what we want, and to feel connected emotionally to the answer’s level of agreement, instead emotionally connecting using compassionate communication with that person. There is another way; we always have options.
Conventionally, a person makes requests and demands. When a request is denied, they choose to project anger against the person who said “no” to the request. When a demand is refused, they choose to judge the other person as acting with insubordination and anger flows towards the person.
Alternatively, a person can have several levels of action that are wanted or desired. They are commands, orders, demands, requests, suggestions, and invitations. Commands and orders are the strongest imperatives; demands are stronger than requests. Suggestions and invitations are gentle and individual sovereignty affirming directives to help focus energy of others while being helpful information, not an imperative. Invitations are the kindest, while commands are the most pungent.
A person must be ready for something to happen, or the action will fail. Often, schools try to force students to be ready for certain “knowledge” and “skills” yet the student “forgets” them after a short while, maybe a month after the test, sometimes much sooner. A student, like anyone else, needs to be ready. Every person is inherently the same; they must be ready for some idea, be it as “knowledge” or “skills” or they will not integrate it with their thinking and it will not serve their needs.
A question worth asking, is not “I request this, will you do it?” but instead “my needs are understood by me to be such, let me hear your needs.” After touching base by listening to each other’s needs, the communication opens. Sometimes, communication may open in a few minutes, sometimes an hour or more; this is part of the compassionate listening process and cannot be shortened nor avoided.
When communication opens to the point there is trust and empathy, a statement of desired action may be put forth, as either “I invite you to do such and such, because of my need for such” or “I suggest you and I do such and such, because of our needs for such and such.” Invitations can focus better on an action by the other person, while suggestions can guide two or more people more efficiently.
Getting needs met involves first deciding for yourself, “is this really worth asking for help with” or is it “in support of a perceived need that benefits corporations and not individuals such as myself.” If the need is desired, the question becomes, “who can I connect with to gain empathy to help me attain support for my desire?” and then “how can I really listen to what the other person needs?” Be ready to help meet the needs of those you seek empathy from; empathy works as a two-way street. Requests poison empathy; rely on invitations to show readiness in yourself and suggestions to convey group interaction opportunities. People enjoy interaction with those who are ready to make life more wonderful for everybody. In closing, Doctor Rosenberg writes, as his suggestion to his readers to ask everyone, “how can I make life more wonderful for you?”