Tag Archives: behaviors

The Five Basic Needs of Pleasure

By Michael Rice, LISAC, CTRTC

The five basic and genetic needs for Happiness are Survival, Love and Belonging, Power, Freedom, and Fun.   These needs will almost always require a connection with someone else in order to both achieve and maintain.  As Dr. Wm Glasser asks:  “How happy and enthused would you be if you were playing golf alone and shot a hole-in-one?”  Your excitement would be short-lived at best.  There would be no one to share in the happiness of such an event, much less, confirm that you did, indeed, get a hole-in-one.

happy

Try as you might to get your friends excited about your accomplishment, you would get feedback such as, “yeah, right,” or “well good for you.”  There will be no shouts of joy or excitement because they didn’t see you do it and therefore, they cannot share fully in your emotion.  Your continued happiness would be the result of their excitement for you.  Since they weren’t there to witness the deed, all they can do is pat you on the back and say, “nice going.”

The paradox of happiness is that while no one can make you happy, happiness requires a satisfying relationship with those who are important to you.   The golfer who shot the hole-in- one did so on his own, but it would take someone meaningful to him to achieve happiness from his victory.   Had someone else been with him to witness the achievement, he would have surpassed pleasure and would have realized tremendous happiness.

When a person has exhausted all the skills they possess to acquire and/or maintain meaningful relationships, they begin to rely only on those things that they can achieve or do that does not involve another person.  The satisfaction they receive from these behaviors is what they wrongly perceived as happiness.   Pleasure is much more intense than happiness but it has one major drawback . . . it is short lived.  Pleasure diminishes almost as quickly as it is achieved.  Therefore, the behavior that creates pleasure must often be repeated several times to maintain the pleasure received.  Think of the mouse in the lab study that keeps pushing the lever over and over to get his dose of cocaine’s pleasurable feeling.  Happiness is not as intense as pleasure but it generally tends to last for days, weeks, months, and even years.

Five Basic Needs for Pleasure

Pleasure is usually attained without the need or involvement of anyone else or at the expense of another person.

  1. Sex (indiscriminant, self-serving, masturbation)
  2. Food, Alcohol, Drugs
  3. Isolating – detaching from others.
  4. Thrill Seeking – Adrenalin surges. Element of danger.  (Gambling, dangerous risks, Hunting, Torture, history of criminal behavior, video games, car racing, sky diving, bungee jumping,   BDSM, Catch & Release relationships, sex in public places.
  5. Reckless Spending

You don’t need anyone in your life to experience pleasure.  You DO have to have meaningful relationships in order to experience happiness.

Five Basic needs for Happiness,

  1. Survival
  2. Love & Belonging
  3. Power
  4. Freedom
  5. Fun

Once the 5 Basic Needs for Happiness are maintained, the need for Pleasure diminishes from compulsive behaviors to occasional behaviors, or total cessation, and will result in a happier and healthier way of living.

Nourishing the Different Parts of Ourselves-Part 2

By Dr. Barnes Boffey

Each of the different sub selves of our personality get nourishment in different ways. The “Cowboy” I spoke of earlier likes free time, lots of fun and some thrill and excitement. Without that, he feels trapped and bored and boxed in, and he can do what anyone does in those situations, act out or depress. Tending to his needs is important in maintaining happiness.

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Other major sub selves for me are my “Artist,” my “Helper,” my “Teacher and my “Warrier.” Some seem pretty obvious, but let me share a few specifics. My “Artist” is the creative, non-linear, poetic, romantic part of my personality. He loves a good book, and listening to fine music, and writing and romance. Where my “Cowboy” wants to see an  adventure movie, my artist wants a love story or an off-beat tale to stimulate and energize. My” Cowboy” wants to drive a car fast, my “Artist” wants to lie on a rug and read poems with a lover.

My “Helper” is the minister inside me; the counselor, the fixer and the compassionate friend and citizen. My “Helper” needs significance, not so much excitement, and he needs to know he is making a difference in the world. He is the one who helps people move houses, and stops to talk with a friend who needs support, and gives what he can to charity. He is dedicated to service and returning the favor for the gifts he has received. He looks forward to situations where people are in need, so he can provide some solace and aid.

My “Teacher” is my central sub-self. He is part helper, but more educator and mentor. He is the one that taught elementary school, and does counseling workshops, and mentors young men and women who need an elder. My “Teacher” is enthusiastic about being an elder in the community and taking on the role of sharing what he knows. My “Teacher” and my “Helper” are more self-less than my “Cowboy.” They get bored when life too self-focused for a long period of time, and they need to get back to work in service to something larger than themselves.

And finally, my “Warrier,” who is the strong and willing to “do battle if necessary” with those who seek to destroy or hurt others or use people or the world badly. My “Warrior” can be seen as a bit scary and sometimes “too much,” but he is a part of me that I love and cherish. He was not understood at all in school, especially by female teachers, and had to find ways to express his strong and often loud feelings and behaviors in more appropriate ways. Of all my sub selves, this is most often the hardest one to find ways to nourish in a world becoming more gentrified and politically correct. “My “Warrier” goes to see an action movie with a bad-ass hero who fights for justice and eventually vanquishes the bad guy.

How does knowing all this help?

Crowded Closets…

By Dr. Ken Larsen

I was looking in my closet this morning.  I compared my side with my wife Sheren’s side.

cluttered closetMy side is crowded and cluttered making that favorite shirt hard to find.

Her side is neat and well organized with all items clearly visible and available.

What is the difference??

I keep everything.  Like Bill Cosby, I’ll keep wearing it until there’s nothing left but the elastic waist band.

She discards it if it hasn’t been used in a year.

neatclosetI’ve been seeing how important it is to let go of what is no longer useful or helpful in my walk through life.

Now I have to apply that realization to my closet.

Good Will, here I come!

Seriously, I think it is a good thing to take an inventory of our beliefs and behaviours from time to time.

Take a look at what is working.   We need to keep those beliefs and behaviours that help us make progress in getting our needs met and that help us stay close to those we love and care about.

At the same time, take a look at what is not working for us.  Do we find ourselves  repeatedly in undesirable situations?  Do we find ourselves not as close to loved ones as we’d like to be? Maybe some caring and careful self evaluation might be helpful.  There is much wisdom available, some of which was brought out in the Mental Health and Happiness Summit on October 10th.

We’ve learned that life involves a lifetime of learning.  And learning is not changing what you know as much as it is changing what you do.

Join me in cleaning out the closet.