Maslow’s pyramid is one of the most well-known and widespread psychological models regarding the psychology of needs and motivations.
This hierarchy of needs, formulated in the middle of the 20th century, establishes a series of requirements that must be satisfied in ascending order, from the most basic to the highest, and ranging from physiological needs to self-realization needs. In this article we will talk about one of the intermediate levels: esteem needs.
- Related article: “Maslow’s Pyramid: the hierarchy of human needs”
What are esteem needs according to Maslow?
Abraham Maslow was a psychologist known especially for being one of the promoters of the so-called Humanistic Psychology, a paradigm that places special emphasis on private, subjective and emotional aspects of human experience and consciousness.
This current also focused on leading people towards their potential, and not so much on intervening on mental health problems or other disorders that cause specific discomfort expressed in symptoms. Therefore, it was important to know how to define the objectives and goals towards which individuals should look to achieve their personal development.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which is usually represented in the form of a triangle or pyramid, is an effort to achieve this purpose, and establishes several types of areas of psychological and physical well-being to be covered: physiological needs, safety needs, safety needs. affiliation, esteem or recognition needs, and self-actualization needs.
As an initial summary, we can say that esteem needs are those that have to do with having the respect of others and oneselfa good social status, the possibility of others placing their trust in our hands and, in general, having a series of advantages that are expressed in personal relationships and in the treatment that others give us, even if they do not belong to us. our family or circle of closest friends.
All of this has an impact on one of the most important psychological constructs for Humanistic Psychology: self-esteem, or evaluation one makes of oneself in terms of skills, talents, potential, etc. Let’s see in a little more detail what its components are and what needs to be done to satisfy the recognition needs.
- You may be interested: “Maslow’s Pyramid: the hierarchy of human needs”
Components of recognition needs
Although each individual experiences their personal relationships as a whole, from the point of view of psychology it is possible to subdivide the concept of esteem needs to see what kind of interactions and social capital constitute it.
So, Putting the magnifying glass on this level of Maslow’s pyramid, we find the following elements.
1. Respect from others and better self-esteem
Human beings are made to live with others in relatively large social groups, whose limits are sometimes so distant that they are difficult to define. This means, among other things, that the image we have of ourselves is largely formed by the way we perceive others see us.
Therefore, self-esteem does not exist as something isolated and independent, but also arises from interaction with others. And, on the other hand, not having the respect of others will make it more likely that low self-esteem will develop, which has a direct impact on the subject’s quality of life and their propensity to expose themselves to social interactions.
2. Social capital
Having others have a favorable attitude toward you makes it easier to count on their support, both in situations where their help is needed to avoid a harmful situation and to undertake joint projects with which, thanks to collaboration, improves one’s living standards.
This improvement in the quality of life is reflected in public life (relationships with a wide circle of people) and also private life (private material goods), so this need is related to others.
3. Greater ability to help others
When the needs for esteem and recognition are met, it is more common for others to spontaneously put their trust in us, which It allows us to help them and thus orient ourselves towards new objectives and motivating situations. that make us feel good.
Types of Esteem Needs
Abraham Maslow established another small classification within the concept of esteem needs, distinguishing between high esteem and low esteem (not to be confused with high or low self-esteem).
High esteem has to do with self-esteem: self-esteem or self-esteem. Have this area of our well-being well taken care of makes us enjoy self-confidence, orientation towards autonomy and independence, believing that we can achieve our goals, etc.
Low esteem is not related to self-esteem in as direct a way as the previous category, since it is based on the respect that other people have for us (respect not in an intimidating sense). Thus, having this specific need covered implies having a good reputation and social status, which translates into numerous advantages in public and private life.