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Fostering Secure and Fulfilled Needs

By Bob Yamtich on December 22, 2023

Guest blogger Bob Yamtich has been practicing Nonviolent Communication for twenty years, and he supplemented that work to become a licensed MFT in CA. He now coaches individuals and families from Indiana. Bob has worked with a variety of gifted schools, micro-schools, and farm schools.




Fostering Secure and Fulfilled Needs


New needs are dangerous. A lot of my coaching work with individuals focuses on being the opposite of desperate. The best words I've found to describe that are secure and fulfilled. I want to support people to develop new needs into mature needs. Mature needs see many options and are not attached to a strategy; mature needs carry poise and request energy instead of panic and demand energy.


A common example of a new need is a young adult with overprotective parents finding new freedom as they leave home for the first time. They may make choices about alcohol and other drugs, sex, and diligence at (school)work that don't fully honor all of their needs and values. This is why my family and school work focuses on sharing power as soon as possible to develop the needs for choice and autonomy.


From 2006 to 2010, I attended over three months of in-person Non-Violent Communication (NVC) retreats. Many of the participants were freeing themselves of former narratives and experimenting with power. New power. I remember dozens of requests about sound, lighting, temperature, and forming cuddle piles. They were also experimenting with new belonging and community and thought physical touch would commemorate that. One problem with new power is that it forgets about needs for ease and cooperation. More recently, I had a video call with a couple facing serious choices and one of them made a series of requests about me being centered on the screen. Not the point. You have to be gentle with new needs because they are fragile and full of stories we tell ourselves.


Self-connection leads to coherent strategies to meet needs. My main guidance for schools is to do whatever deepens a person's self-connection, a well-considered and flexible understanding of what universal human needs are giving them life energy at the moment. My coaching practice has shifted from providing empathy to guiding a person's own self-empathy. This helps the self-connection be renewable and sustainable: secure and fulfilled.


Sit with your needs, regardless of the level of partial fulfillment, and just embrace their beauty. Find community in which you have shared reality about which strategies are life-serving. A mature connection to your needs follows the maximum connection before solution. Trust yourself, trust your future self, to brainstorm multiple strategies to meet key needs. Be the opposite of desperate: be secure and fulfilled.

Read Bob’s Blog HERE


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