Connection – Needed for Your Survival

I bet you’ve never thought of connection as something that you NEED.  Connection is a core human need for survival.  In fact, right after our need for air, food, water, shelter and safety is our need for human connection. This week, we explore the work of psychologist Abraham Maslow and his Hierarchy of Needs.  By taking a deeper dive on this work, we will see how connection is a core human need.

Basic Human Survival Needs:

In the 1950’s Psychologist Abraham Maslow developed a pyramid chart called the Hierarchy of Needs that defined what humans need in order to advance to the next level of growth.

Maslow's expanded Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s expanded Hierarchy of Needs

At the base level are Biological & Physiological needs.  These are the need for food, water, air – the most basic of human needs.  If we do not have these needs met, we will spend all of our resources trying to meet these needs.  Once these needs have been met, we move up the pyramid to Safety Needs.  These are the need for safety, security and order.

Once we have our basic human needs met for air, food, water, shelter and safety, we seek connection.  Maslow called this Belongingness and Love Needs, but he really meant it as connection.  On this level, we seek out to be connected to friends, family, and coworkers.  We want to know that we belong and that we are loved.  

The level of Esteem Needs deals with our need for achievement, confidence and respect from others.  The Cognitive Needs level deals with expanding our knowledge by continuing to grow.  Aesthetic Needs deal with the form and function of our surroundings.

Maslow was saying with this Hierarchy of Needs that we are all striving for Self-Actualization and Transcendence.  Self-Actualization Needs are focusing on human evolvement such that the person is becoming the best that they can become.  At the Transcendence level, the person has evolved and has all of their needs met.  At this point, they start working down the pyramid by helping others to rise up and become the best people that they can be.

Connection is happening at the Love & Belongingness level AND at the Transcendence level.  This is because people at the top of the pyramid are reaching down to connect with those that they can help.  The point is that connection matters.  It is a core human need.  It is something that matters not only in our own lives, but in the lives of others.

So get out there this week and connect with those around you!