The Dark Side of The Human Needs: Book Review

dark Side of Human Needs

The Dark Side of The Human Needs: Book Review

In Human Givens Psychotherapy, our needs underpin much of what we do. I’ve written more about our human needs here, but to summarise they are: security, control, intimacy, status, attention, privacy, meaning and purpose, achievement, and community. If one or more needs are not being met in balance, then it’s likely that we start to see problems. The key here is the phrase “in balance,” as we all have differing levels of these needs. For example, I love attending social events but after a couple of hours start to feel drained and looking forward to recharging on my own. A good friend can keep going all night and then re-arrange for everyone to meet up the following day. Our need for community and being with others is obviously very different.

Author and therapist Mark Tyrell takes this further by looking at what happens if you get too much of one need. Or, how your natural need can leave you vulnerable to manipulation, cause rifts in relationships, or leave a trail of havoc in your own life. He relates tales of men so desperate for love they still carried on relationships even after they knew their girlfriends were stealing from them, or people so used to chasing status and being the best at what they do, that they fall into a deep depression when it inevitably gets proved that they are not “the best.”

dark side of human needs bookMy own favourite aha moment was reading about people who keep asking for advice and yet never take it (I mean friends here, not clients). This can be hugely frustrating, especially when, often as a third party, you can easily see what would help their situation. This, Tyrrell asserts, is actually a need for attention, not advice. All of a sudden, this behaviour now makes more sense.

This is an easy read. You could finish it in a couple of sittings, if you wished. I preferred to read a chapter at a time, digesting the behaviour analysis and stories from the author’s own experiences.

This book will be useful for therapists who are curious about the importance of our needs in driving our behaviour, as well as any person who wonders why they keep repeating the same harmful pattern over and over again.


Buy here: Dark Side of The Human Needs