The ABC of psychology
Eating and drinking sufficiently is essential for your physical well-being. Your mental well-being and resilience, however, rely on the fulfilment of your three psychological basic needs. This is true for everybody, regardless of age, gender or origin. But what exactly is meant by autonomy, relatedness – or bonding – and competence? And what happens when they are met and when they are not?
Autonomy is the need to be yourself, i.e., to feel free to share your opinions and make your own decisions. What you experience, imagine and feel is taken seriously and you are able to act authentically. You can be autonomous in your everyday life (for example by deciding how you want to spend your weekend) but also when dealing with key issues or turning points in your life. An example is you deciding what you want to study, whether or not to move out of your parents’ house and live in a student dorm, or who to choose as a life partner.
+ When this need is met, you feel free to be yourself and to think, act and feel as you please.
- When this need is not met, you feel restricted and under pressure.