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Standards, pride, achievement, competition, rejection

The third human need involves the desire for significance. Individuals seek to feel significant, desiring importance, a sense of uniqueness, and special recognition.

This need manifests in various forms, with many people seeking appreciation in their professional, personal, and overall life. They yearn to feel important, respected, wanted, and distinctive.

Let’s be honest, Who doesn’t appreciate the feeling of being special, significant, or important to others?

The desire for importance doesn’t imply pride, neediness, or narcissism; rather, it reflects a fundamental human need to feel valued and wanted in life. This need emerges in infancy, as babies and children naturally seek to be the primary focus in their parents’ lives. Sibling rivalry often ensues as siblings compete for attention, utilizing both positive avenues (such as humor, academics, and talents) and negative ones (like naughty behavior or rebellion) to distinguish themselves.

The absence of feeling significant can contribute to low self-esteem, stemming from comparisons with others and questioning one’s sense of superiority, inferiority, and overall importance. While the pursuit of significance can elevate standards, an excessive focus on it may hinder genuine connections with others by fostering differences instead of commonalities.

True connection with others occurs when they genuinely care about us, and we reciprocate that care, or when we share commonalities on a more superficial level. The initial step in helping someone feel significant is letting them know that you genuinely care about them.

Struggling with feelings of insignificance may be attributed to various factors, such as parenting, sibling dynamics, negative experiences with teachers or bullies. However, the crucial focus should be on combating low self-esteem rather than dwelling on its origins. Without a sense of significance, individuals may feel small and unworthy.

While everyone shares the same six human needs, the methods employed to satisfy these needs vary significantly. Significance can be achieved positively through personal style, such as clothing, tattoos, or piercings, or through personality traits like being the life of the party or the wise one. Artists may find significance in the popularity of their creative works. The list below provides examples of finding significance, whether through positive, neutral, or negative means.

Positive expressions of this need are evident in our lives through meaningful work, the pursuit of healthy success, a focus on abundance, self-connection, the cultivation of self-worth, and adopting a solution-oriented mindset. On the contrary, negative manifestations of this need may include perfectionism, workaholism, constant comparison to others, an obsession with success, a fixation on scarcity, and a tendency to be problem-focused.