"Need" is the word we use in NVC for what's deeply alive in us at any moment in time. We also call them values. Whatever we call them, we are looking for something:
- positive - something we are happy for the other person to have satisfied, even if we don't like the strategy they've been using to get it.
- abstract - not attached to any particular person, place or thing (then it would be a strategy)
- universal - all people share the same needs.
How to identify needs
- Identify what feelings are present, this often is a signal to what need is most present. For example, if someone feels confused, they may be needing more clarity.
- Think about a similar situation you've been in - what need was alive in you then?
- Reflect on the content of thoughts. For example, if someone says "You're so selfish!" or "You only care about yourself" they may be wanting more consideration.
- Look at the needs list in the Nonviolent Communication book or online here: http://www.cnvc.org/needs.htm