Summary of Human Needs

In addition to physiological or animal needs, people are motivated by five distinctively human needs—relatedness, transcendence, rootedness, a sense of identity, and a frame of orientation. These needs have evolved from human existence as a separate species and are aimed at moving people toward a reunion with the natural world. Fromm believed that lack of satisfaction of any of these needs is unbearable and results in insanity. Thus, people are strongly driven to fulfill them in some way or another, either positively or negatively.

Table 7.1 shows that relatedness can be satisfied through submission, domination, or love, but only love produces authentic fulfillment; transcendence can be satisfied either by destructiveness or creativeness, but only the latter permits joy; rootedness can be satisfied by either fixation to the mother or by moving forward into full birth and wholeness; the sense of identity can be based on adjustment to the group, or it can be satisfied through creative movement toward individuality; and a frame of orientation may be either irrational or rational, but only a rational philosophy can serve as a basis for the growth of total personality (Fromm, 1981).

194 Part II Psychodynamic Theories

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