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Needs Polarities

The three psychological basic needs have a polar composition (see <a href=””>Polaritäten</a>).

• Bonding operates from closeness and distance: bonding, which only consists of closeness, becomes imprisoning, and if it only consists of distance, it results in co-existence. Neither of them have anything to do with bonding anymore, because bonding means that I can do something alone and still know that the other one will be there and reachable when I return. I can be very close, but still know that I don’t have to give up being myself.

• Self-determination operates from freedom and security: without security self-determination becomes chaos, without freedom it becomes a straitjacket. Here, too: neither chaos nor straitjacket enable self-determination, because in the chaos I will become the plaything of other powers and in the straitjacket I would suffocate from the self-imposed delusion of order.

• Self-esteem operates from uniqueness and belonging: uniqueness alone leads to being an outsider, belonging alone to getting lost in the crowd. Self-esteem, interestingly, also needs the others: without distinguishing myself from others I cannot find anything special about me, and without finding something of myself in others I will find nothing lovable.

Out of this polarity of needs arises on the one hand a permanent regulation need. One is never finished! On the other hand, strictly speaking, there is no feeling of wellbeing without the competence to do without. Those who seek one need, will, by necessity, neglect the other in a polar field. Those who cannot handle frustration well, cannot be happy people. This is why the competence to handle uncomfortable feelings well has such great significance.

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