top of page
  • June

Maslow's Hierachy of Needs

Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs has been on my mind for weeks on end.

In my other life, I was on course to attain a Public Secretary certification. One of my classes was called Organisational Behaviour and while I only remember two things in this class (that cars are a liability and how to deal with change management), I remember learning about this hierarchy.

From my understanding the hierarchy alludes to a structural proposal on human beings needs and how they cannot be ignored because of how they build on top of each other.

Most of us who studied 8-4-4 learnt of basic needs and we crammed, Food, Clothing and Shelter. As we transitioned from GHC to Social Studies, we added water, security etc. if I'm not wrong.

From the bottom of the hierarchy upwards, the needs are: physiological (food and clothing), safety (job security), love and belonging needs (friendship), esteem, and self-actualization.

The general position which I agree with, is that needs lower down in the hierarchy must be satisfied before individuals can attend to needs higher up.

Every person is capable and has the desire to move up the hierarchy toward a level of self-actualization. Unfortunately, progress is often disrupted by a failure to meet lower level needs.

According to Simply Psychology, here's a breakdown of the needs.

1. Physiological needs - these are biological requirements for human survival, e.g. air, food, drink, shelter, clothing, warmth, sex, sleep.

2. Safety needs - once an individual’s physiological needs are satisfied, the needs for security and safety become salient. People want to experience order, predictability and control in their lives. These needs can be fulfilled by the family and society (e.g. police, schools, business and medical care). Protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.

3. Love and belongingness needs - after physiological and safety needs have been fulfilled, the third level of human needs is social and involves feelings of belongingness. Belongingness, refers to a human emotional need for interpersonal relationships, affiliating, connectedness, and being part of a group.

4. Esteem needs are the fourth level in Maslow’s hierarchy and include self-worth, accomplishment and respect. Maslow classified this further, into two categories: (i) esteem for oneself (dignity, achievement, mastery, independence) and (ii) the need to be accepted and valued by others (e.g., status, prestige).

5. Self-actualization needs are the highest level in Maslow's hierarchy, and refer to the realization of a person's potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences. Maslow (1943) described this level as the desire to accomplish everything that one can, to become the most that one can be.

At different points in life, we experience different stages of this hierarchy and sometimes have needs unmet at a single level, several levels, sometimes have them all met. What I know for sure, is that life is full of highs and lows. And as Desiderata says, ...

... always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Sheila shared with us a list of check in questions on Twitter that you can use to do a weekly self check in. Me as myself I seriously take Self Care Sunday, so here's a thread that Me I am currently loving.

Happy New Week! 3/52.


bottom of page