Build bridges, not fences

Build bridges, not fences

Build bridges, not fences

Relatedness is one of the three fundamental human psychological needs (Deci & Ryan, 1991). Needs can be defined as essential nutriments to a living being to nourish its growth, integrity and well-being. For a plant this might be the need for specific minerals, water and sunlight. Research shows that for humans the following needs are essential: Autonomy, Competence and Relatedness. The need for autonomy is attained through the involvement in activities congruent with the self. The need for competence is fulfilled by the experience of effectively cultivating desired effects and outcomes. Finally, the need for relatedness is satisfied by the feeling of closeness and connectedness to significant others.

Studies show that the feeling of “a good day” and well-being is a direct function of the fulfilment of these three needs. If all needs are met, you experience a satisfied feeling and a happy life. But if one of the needs was not attained through your activities that day, you will feel like something is “off”. So, ask yourself on a regular basis:

“ Why do I do what I am doing? 

“ What have I done well today? 

“ Do I spend as much time as I would like with my loved ones, friends and family? 

Make sure you do enough just because you want to, not as an obligation or driven by an external force. Pay attention to do regular activities which you’re good at, even if they are just small. It helps to nourish your feeling of confidence. In the long run, these small activities will give you the ability to take on bigger, more challenging projects. Finally, make sure to build bridges not fences. Pursue spending time with our loved ones, friends and family. They provide you with a sense of love, safety and security; of which we can never have enough.

Be aware of the balance and fulfilment of your fundamental needs.