The Five Stages of Needs
There are five stages of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs; which are physical needs, safety needs, belonging needs, self-esteem needs, and self-actualization needs. According to Maslow, basic needs must be satisfied before we can focus on those that are more abstract (Woods, 2010). The five staged of needs molds us into the people we have become today. The needs theory asserts our tendency to create and sustain relationships depending on how well they meet the three basic needs.
The first need, the physical need, is the most basic level, humans need to survive and communication helps us meet this need. For example, to survive, babies cry out to alert others when they are hungry, in pain, or needs to be changed. So others must respond to these cries, or the babies will surely die. Beyond living, children interaction with others to thrive, children can suffer lasting damage if they are traumatized early in their lives (Wood, 2010). Trauma can increase the stress hormones that go throughout infants’ fragile brains. One result is inhibited growth of the limbic system, which controls emotions. Adults who have suffered abuse as children often have reduced memory, ability, anxiety, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness (Wood, 2010). As we grow older, we continue to rely on communication to live and thrive. We discuss medical issues with doctors to stay healthy and our potency in communicating affects what jobs we get and how much we earn to pay for medical care, food, relaxing activities, and housing (Wood, 2010).
The second need the safety needs we meet through communications with others as well. For example, if your roof is leaking or if termites have invaded your home, you must talk to the property manager or owner to get the problem solved so you can have safe shelter (Wood, 2010). The third need, the belonging need is when we need others in order to enjoy life, to feel comfortable at work, and to fit into social groups (Wood, 2010). We want others company, approval, and commitment, and we as their peers want to give approval and commitment. We have to communicate to meet the belonging needs by talking with our peers, listening and answering to what they say, sharing opinions, and feelings online, going to the movies together, and working as a team on projects. The link between belonging needs and health is well established. Heart disease is far more prevalent in people lacking strong interpersonal relationships than in those who have healthy connections with others (Wood, 2010). Belonging is also important in our careers (Wood, 2010). We want to feel like a part of something, a part of the formal and informal connection networks in the organization. People who are deprived of human interaction over a long time may fail to develop a concept of themselves as humans (Wood, 2010).
The fourth need is the self-esteem needs, which involves valuing and respecting ourselves and being valued and respected by others (Wood, 2010). Communication is the main way we use to find out whom we are and who we can be as our own person. First we gain a sense of ourselves from how others see us, and communicate with us. Family members and parents help us begin to form images of ourselves by how they