The Needs Machine process asks a series of questions:
- Triggering Event:What was the precipitating event? What else was happening during or just before the event?
- Emotions and Sensations:What were you feeling emotionally and in your physical body?
- Thoughts, Beliefs, and Stories:What are the thoughts you were having associated with the triggering event? What are the beliefs (about yourself or others) and what are the stories you are telling yourself about the event?
- Origins:What else does this situation remind you of? Where do you think this/these stories, thoughts, and beliefs come from?
- Realizations:Now that you have looked at the situation from these angles, what are some of the generalized assumptions or negative patterns of thinking you already had that might be coloring your thoughts, stories, and beliefs about this situation?
- Needs:What are your unmet needs in this situation? (e.g. belonging, social connection, esteem, dignity, fairness, respect from others, feeling useful, feeling safe, feeling significant)
- BONUS QUESTION:In working through this process, you may have been able to identify what is at the core of your reactions to the triggering event. If there were a salve that could be applied to heal the wound, what might that be?
So when you’re having trouble not taking someone else’s behavior personally, try taking it personally instead. You may find exactly what you need to let go of those negative emotions.