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21 Things You Need in Relationships


Everyone has needs.

The problem is we rarely take the time to assess what we really need from the relationships around us. If unchecked, a person can find himself or herself deprived of vital nutrients essential for emotional and relational health.

In my previous article, Why Every Leader Needs To Be Selfish, I explained why leaders need to take the time for self care. Today, I will share 21 Things You Need in Relationships from others.

If you are looking for dynamic leadership training, executive coaching, or want to focus on leadership development within your team, Unlock the Champion is here to provide the right support to achieve your goals and push you into future success. Our clients and partners have loved the results of our authentic approach to coaching and workshops, and we’ll be happy to speak with you about how we can best address your goals.

I encourage you to take a moment and write down every need that you feel you have right now. Then reach out to those you are close and trust. Let them know you have been doing some personal development work and have discovered some things that you need from them.

Begin with “I need this from you”

  1. Acceptance: Connect with the real me, with no judgment, as I have failed or struggled and am judging myself internally.

“I need you to let me know that while I did a poor job of the presentation, that you are still here for me and you aren’t judging me like I’m judging myself right now.”

  1. Empathy: Let me know you feel what I am feeling.

“I’m irritated and discouraged today, and I’d like for you to show that you understand these emotions.”

  1. Validation: Let me know my feelings are significant and not to be dismissed or minimized.

“I need for you to just let me know that my emotions of being overwhelmed are important and real, rather than telling me that things aren’t that bad, or that my experience isn’t logical.”

  1. Identification: Share your own similar experience, to help me see that I’m not the only one who has struggled (but keep it less than 60 seconds).

“If you can, give me an example of when you haven’t led your team well.”

  1. Containment: Let me vent and just have the feelings, without fixing me.

“I just need you to be here while I download how bothered I was with my conversation.”

  1. Affirmation: Note something good that requires effort.

“Let me know you think I did the right thing, even though it was very difficult.”

  1. Clarification: Ask me a few questions to help me get to the real issue and solutions.

“I need you to help me figure out why I misjudged the projections for this year by such a wide margin.”

  1. Understanding: Let me know you comprehend my situation.

“It would help to know that you see how complicated a task it is to change our organization’s or family’s culture.”

  1. Perspective: Help me connect the dots at a deeper level.

“I don’t know why Sam can hook me into an argument every time we are together. I need you to help me figure this out.”

  1. Encouragement: Convey that you believe in me to continue on.

“I really need to know that you think I truly have what it takes to get the job done, and why you think that.”

  1. Comfort: Be with me when I have to grieve a loss.

“I need you to be present with my sad feelings, so I can properly let go of something that didn’t happen well in my childhood.”

  1. Celebration: Acknowledge a success in my life with me.

“I just need to know you are as happy as I am about the breakthrough in my marriage.”

  1. Forgiveness: Let me know my debt is cancelled, and help me cancel debts owed to me.

“Help me not stay angry at them for leaving the relationship out of the blue.”

  1. Feedback: Tell me how you are experiencing me in the moment, so that I can be aware of how I come across.

“When I talk about my relationship with my kids, how do I come across to you? Controlling? Enabling? Balanced?”

  1. Wisdom: Give me information from experience or the Bible that can help.

“I need any Scriptures that might help, or your own wisdom and experience on leading my company through this juncture.”

  1. Confrontation: Point out something I’m doing that is setting me back, so that I can stop it .

“If you see me ignoring my marriage, let me know immediately.”

  1. Advice: Recommend some constructive action to help me change and grow

“You have heard me and been ‘in the well’ with me. And now I’d also like some suggestions on how to solve my cash flow problem.”

  1. Structure: Help me establish self-control

“I need your help in setting a structured and strategic path to get to my goals.”

  1. Altruism: Help me serve and give back to others what I have received.

“I’m going to feed the homeless downtown next Saturday morning, go with me.”

  1. Challenge: Move me beyond my comfort zone, to higher levels of performance

“I need you to challenge me to take risks in my leadership position.”

  1. Prayer: Ask God to connect with me and help me.

“I need prayer for courage and wisdom to have a tough talk with someone.”

The Four Executables of Your Relational Needs

  1. Identify your need
  2. Ask for the need to be met
  3. Receive the good, don’t devalue or divert
  4. Use the nutrient to be healthy and push on toward your mission

VISIT to connect with Freddie and find out more about his work building leaders in the community.

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