Our psychological needs are, in fact, needs. Meeting them in healthy ways is as important as eating healthy food, getting sufficient sleep, and breathing clean air. We can, however, meet these needs in unhealthy ways just as we can eat unhealthy food, be deprived of sleep, and breathe noxious air. Eating cotton candy for dinner, slamming energy drinks to function, and breathing diesel fumes all day, will keep us going, for a while. Similarly, meeting our emotional needs in low-quality or even toxic ways may prevent us from feeling totally empty but we certainly will not be nourished, fulfilled, or well.

My psychological needs are my responsibility. Your psychological needs are your responsibility. Ideally, they are met both personally and interpersonally in healthy, nourishing, fulfilling ways. I wish you well in meeting your emotional needs in healthy ways. Doing this well and consistently can be extraordinarily difficult, especially through adversity. I encourage you to be patient, with yourself and others, in your efforts to meet your needs and others’ needs, personally and interpersonally. Doing so will make all the difference.