How Do I Teach My Partner About Emotional Needs

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Written By:

Counselling Psychologist - M.Sc. Clinical Psychology

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Reviewed By:

Counselling Psychologist - Ph.D. Relationship Psychology

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We all have our own needs, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual. Chances are that you have these needs and also expect your partner to fulfill them. While it feels nice when these needs are met, expecting your partner to fulfill those needs without you communicating them is rather unfair.  So today we can discuss how we can communicate about and teach your significant other about your emotional needs.

What Are Emotional Needs? 

Feeling appreciated and feeling accomplished are examples of one s emotional needs. Emotional needs are subjective to the individual along with how they are met and should be fulfilled. It is important to identify those needs and communicate them accordingly. Emotional needs vary in type and intensity based on the individual and the relationship. If you love being verbally complemented and your partner does not have the habit of complimenting, then finding the middle ground where both of you feel happy and comfortable might be the way to go. If these needs are met and you are able to build a strong and healthy emotional bond with your partner then that would allow for a beautiful relationship where both of you are comfortable sharing your thoughts and emotions without having to worry. Doing so is a sign of a healthy relationship. 

Emotional needs have been given importance since the very beginning, even Maslow mentioned emotional needs being met as an essential step towards self-actualization. Emotional needs arise from general well-being and hence have an impact on the maintenance of self too. In relationships. we feel happier, more comfortable, and closer to our spouse when our emotional needs are addressed. Contrary to that, if these needs are not met then we may feel lonely, resentful, and insecure. 

Are You Aware Of Your Emotional Needs?

Now that you know what emotional needs are, can you identify them in yourself? While there is a very broad category of emotional needs that you would want to fulfill or expect your partner to fulfill, you can start by thinking about small things which provide you with a sense of comfort or happiness. There are certain acts that might give you a sense of comfort and make you feel better about yourself. Once you have done this, the next step is to communicate those with your partner so they know what they can do to make you feel better. But remember, this is not a one-sided thing, you should listen to your partner s needs with an open mind and try to fulfill them too. This mutual effort will allow you to understand each other better and build a stronger and more fulfilling relationship. 

Some Tips On How To Communicate Your Emotional Needs With Your Partner:

You can start by identifying your own needs first. Make a list of things that bring you comfort and happiness. 

Choose an appropriate way to communicate your needs, at the right time and place. Doing so will ensure effective communication on the topic.

An easy way to show how much those needs affect you is the usage of ‘I’ while communicating those needs. Emphasis on yourself will ensure that the other person understands that it is about you and how those things affect you.

When you shift to talking about shared needs then you can, the usage of ‘we’ is important to hint towards the shift in tone, needs, and contribution from both parties. 

Be open about hearing out your partner and their needs to show that you are there for them and building this bond is a mutual effort rather than one-sided compromises.

Be mindful of your tone while communicating those needs as blaming or accusing your partner might not be of much use during this conversation.

How To Mutually Fulfill Emotional Needs 

  • Spend quality time together: This would allow both of you to learn more about each other.
  • Do things that you both enjoy: doing so will make you both realize what your partner likes doing so it can be encouraged more. 
  • Listen to them when they need to talk: listening to your partner, during normal conversations and during times of conflict is a healthy way to communicate and form your response which allows for a mindful conversation. 
  • Be supportive and understanding: this should be a mutual practice for a balanced and healthy relationship where both of you feel heard and feel comfortable enough to share what you feel. 
  • Validate their feelings: make your partner feel like their feelings matter and it isn t ‘stupid’ to feel that way. They would feel comfortable sharing what they feel.

Ms. Priyanka Walia
Ms. Priyanka Walia M.A. Counselling Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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Ms. Muskan Maheshwari
Ms. Muskan Maheshwari M.Sc. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 02 years of experience

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Mr. Nishant Sharma
Mr. Nishant Sharma M.Phil. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 07 years of experience

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Ms. Akshita Bakshi
Ms. Akshita Bakshi Ph.D. Relationship Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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