What do you really need?

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Maslow's hierarchy of needs

I haven't looked at the hierarchy of needs before, although it has been in my mind during conversations with my therapist.  You know? The more I look at this list the more I realized that I am ok in some areas but am so lacking in those same areas when I really come to think of it.

Physiological needs are pretty much taken care of and don't need much dwelling on.

Neither is safety.  One of the biggest resolutions I've made recently is that, if/when I leave a job or a situation, it'll be on my terms, not anyone else's. I've done well enough on my evaluations and performance reviews that, save me screwing up an inch short of WWIII, I won't get fired, at least I hope I won't.

When we get to the top 3 items in this little pyramid is where I find myself struggling and finding behavior in myself that I have never approved of and which I hate seeing in me.  I've become judgmental; I've allowed my friends (and so called friends) actions dictate how I deal with them, some times not realizing that I am guilty of the same behavior I'm so sharply criticizing in others.  I want sexual intimacy (who doesn't?) but I have to be honest and accept the fact that I don't like being vulnerable to the degree that being in a relationship entails. 

Over the last 5 years or so I've managed to build my walls to the point where I won't jump down someone's throat just because they made me feel vulnerable, but the walls have never been strong.... I've never been one of those "thick skinned" people who will smile and nod regardless of how brutal you are with them. Quite the opposite: I'm strong enough to be able to function in a team environment but not strong enough to handle when a team exercise becomes mud slinging 101. 

And this is how I get to self esteem which is, perhaps, the weakest of all my needs in terms of being fulfilled, (even if it's the weakest need on my own eyes only). As I said before, self esteem is shaky but it exists. I am good at what I do even if sometimes I wonder whether what I'm doing is correct or not, whether other people are actually giving a damn about what I'm doing or not, whether what I do makes a difference or not and whether it matters if it's me doing what I do. I had one of those situations today as a matter of fact. I got assigned to do a survey and it was painful to get it over with; then I sent out a draft to the rest of the team and I got... 1 feedback response! then today we had a team meeting where everyone started picking it apart.... My thinking, at the time, was that it would have been wonderful to get that feedback as I was putting the report together rather than bitching about it at a meeting.... Intellectually I know everyone is busy and has a shitload of stuff to do, but if this is reflecting on the entire team then they owe it to themselves to make sure it's the best product we can make, right? Someone in the gallery is saying that it's only because of the standard I hold myself to or that it's frustration with how things are currently happening at work and that's partly it but I'm also feeling like I'm working on a vacuum and I don't like that.

Intellectually I know I've achieved a lot yet I don't feel like I have.  Someone used to tell me to be careful with always giving 100% because people would start expecting nothing but 100% from you and I think that has been the case here and at SJSU.  Give your 100% but don't do it consistently or set the expectations of your peers and managers accordingly.

At the top level of the hierarchy I'm lacking in spontaneity, lack of prejudices and creativity. I'll speak to each one of them in turn:

Spontaneity: For the first time in a long time, I am concerned about boundaries, particularly after getting my hands slapped for doing what I thought was necessary. Perhaps too concerned, to the point where I'm not making decisions but only carrying out other people's instructions and not enjoying my work because it is not really mine and the situations and people I'm with because there is resentment all around.

Is it satisfying? Most definitely not... necessary? yes, at least until I solidify what my position is or until I'm accepted at UGA and move out for my "next 4 years" 🙂

Creativity: Since I was deemed to be "spending too much time in extra curricular activities on university time" I've tried to keep those to a minimum. Unfortunately, those extra curricular activities included most, if not all, my creative and "shut brain down and let the brainstorm happen" time.  It is frustrating because there are a lot of things that I think we should be doing and we may well be, but there's no way for me to find out because I don't get those pollination times that I so like.

Lack of prejudices (and the adoption of other people's annoying behavior): Over the past few months I've become judgmental and prejudiced.  I've also allowed myself to take some behaviors of those people I don't particularly care for.


  • Utada Hikaru (Automatic)
  • Linkin Park


  • Managing Humans
  • How to get $20 out of a stubborn coworker


  • Blogging and putting off writing papers


  • Reruns of JAG and NCIS