Well, from NVC point of view both are needs. There can’t be any hierarchy in needs according to NVC. They are very personal to individuals and their moments. Also, I believe we all are born with some core needs that keep coming up in our life again and again. Rather than doing a theoretical blog, let me analyze from my POV.
Choice, autonomy are the needs that are very core to me. They keep coming back. Also, I really value them. I get super frustrated, angry, irritated and even hurt when they are not met. I have seen this so many times in my life. In my jobs, relationships, education everywhere. Even the illusion of giving choice to me is extremely crucial. I can do with that as well. However if anything is forced upon me, if I am not heard then I don’t like it. It’s not that I will always get what I choose. However it is very important to me that I choose. Even if that is a sacrifice or a path that is not the most beneficial to me as an individual.
I also have a fear of losing my identity, when not exercising choice. Not sure what is identity fully however there is an element of fear. Choice is also linked to my need to matter. Another very crucial and core need for me.
One important point here is also that I take radical responsibility. So it is important that I choose my path. Later, I don’t want to blame others.
The one mistake I do here is also assuming that choice would be a core need for others as well. I am coming to realize that it is not. I know quite few people very closely for whom choice doesn’t matter. They are happy to play along. They don’t want to think so much. Their core needs seem to be love, ease, support etc. And they also don’t blame others for their wrong decisions. They just completely surrender to others. For a long time, I had great difficulty in understanding such people. Now, with a little more awareness, I am sometimes filled with judgement, contempt and resentment for them. There is still a long way till i can accept them as they are.
A real challenge for me is also in expecting others to ‘have a need of choice’! I can’t expect someone to need something! Needs are what they are. Similarly, I am not sure if anyone can expect me to ‘need more love’
I am also noticing how I ‘give’ what I ‘have’ more. In all my relationships, I am know for giving more empowerment, trust and autonomy because I have exercised so much of choice. I pride myself in giving that. In contrast, I have always found it difficult to give love and affection.
However, I live in an interdependent world. I may not choose my needs. They just come to me. However whether, I decide to fulfill them or not is in my hands. I can definitely sacrifice fulfilling my some needs for others. I can definitely give up on my some choices if it is fulfilling someone’s need for love.
It is very difficult for me. Probably as difficult as it would be for someone with high need for love to choose. However, I am realizing this is the key to interdependence – which of our needs are we willing to sacrifice for the betterment of our relationships?