Why Call Them “Life-Needs”?

Why Call Them “Life-Needs”?


If you’re familiar with Nonviolent/Compassionate Communication, you know the word “needs” is used a lot, but not defined.

Certainly “needs” is a word we all use and hear in everyday communication.

In American culture, I notice that “needs” tend to be something we don’t want to have, because having needs supposedly makes us vulnerable, weak, or “needy” — all of which our culture frowns upon.

As a society we’re also not that clear about what distinguishes “wants” from “needs.”  We know that “wants” are optional, and we know we have to have some kind of food, air, water, etc. in order to not die …

but when our culture seems to tell us we shouldn’t “need” anything beyond what’s required for basic survival, the difference between what NVC calls “needs” and what we mean by “wants” starts to get confusing.

That’s why I like to use the term “life-needs” — to clear away all this confusion.


Download the full list of 12 Essential Life-Needs* here.







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