How to take the emotional temperature of any population

As the thousands of students of Mindfields College know, physical and emotional needs are a form of knowledge programmed into us by nature (hence the term ‘human givens’) and every child and adult is genetically driven to try and get these needs met. When they can’t match up physical needs they get too hot or cold, or hungry or thirsty. And when emotional needs are not met sufficiently well enough in their environment, for whatever reason, people become anxious, angry or depressed. Eventually, if the situation persists, this can lead to more serious mental illness.

In a country where physical needs are easy to meet it is the emotional needs that are problematical. So the easiest way to find out if a group of people are mentally healthy is to ask them how well they are getting their emotional needs met by listing these innate needs and asking people to self-rate how well they feel they are met. We call this an emotional needs audit (ENA).

The first results of a survey of over a thousand people from all over the British Isles can be seen on the HGI website, we’ve just posted them there. We would like to know what you think about them!

posted by: Ivan

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4 responses to “How to take the emotional temperature of any population

  1. I forwarded a link to the ENA page to a group in my company. Only one person commented saying that they thought the underlying purpose was “viral marketing for a new form of therapy”! They had a point, although in this case (I assured them) the payload was entirely benevolent. I wonder, though, if it would have been better to have made the link between the ENA and HG therapy a little less direct. Just a thought.

  2. Thanks for your comment Miles – I can see why someone would say that.

    These days, anytime anyone (including me) sees that a project is being sponsored or run by someone it is automatically assumed that there is an alternate motive, a “viral marketing” strategy – obviously because this is often the case.

    To state our position: We started the ENA project partly to provide concrete figures that we could use when introducing our ideas to people and partly to promote awareness of exactly the extent of the problem we are trying to address. There is no denying that there is a direct link between ENA and HG, and the level to which this fact is exposed on our websites is always going to be crucial.

    In running a business blog (like this one) or a project like ENA there is unavoidably going to be some degree of selling involved – we have a business to keep afloat here – but, [particularly] with this blog, I feel (and I have tried to project) that primarily it is promoting INTEREST in and discussion of HG ideas, and then following on from that, providing easily accessible links, information on related products, seminars etc. It’s up to our readers to judge how well I have done this and I am always welcome to any feedback.

    I am all too aware of the negative impact of when people feel they are being preached to, or that we are trying to somehow “convert” them to yet another psychological dogma – because this has never been our intention. I have been thinking loads about how to deal with this issue in the last couple of weeks and I’d be interested to hear from anyone who had any of their own thoughts. I will certainly bear yours and any further comments in mind when continuing with this blog and also for any future projects like ENA.

    as an aside – although HG therapy is still relatively ‘new’ – next year is actually the 10th anniversary of the coining of the term! – gosh doesn’t time fly

    (p.s – Sorry for my frightening use of brackets in this reply.)

  3. I am sorry that the first response was a negative one, because the whole notion of an ENA was/is excellent and I think it collected some interesting and useful data.

    The question about how to project these ideas using these means and yet avoid such negative pattern matches is also interesting. My only thought was to make the link from ENA to stuff that they might have to pay for (books, courses, therapists) less direct. If, after digging through the free information, a person finds this ‘other stuff’, then maybe the alarm bells might not ring.

    But is it worth changing your approach? How big a risk is this? I guess you would need to know how many people who need ET would fail to find it if it was not referred to on the first information page. You would also need to know how many people were put off promoting the ENA project and learning more about HG ideas by the marketing. (How did you test responses to the survey before publishing it?)

    Congratulations on 10 years. You are all doing what I am convinced is a necessary service. I hope I can help.

    (p.s. having never been bitten by a bracket I do not find them frightening at all :)

  4. I found that the ENA project was obviously and therefore transparently a research project that aimed to ‘take the emotional temperature of the population’ from the human givens perspective. I had encountered the term emotional needs audit in the human givens charter already so knew the connection. I didn’t feel that there was any kind of hard sell misuse of the reciprocity rule – as it was research, I was interested and nothing was required or asked of me in return. I was however very keen to see the results, so am thrilled to see the beginnings of these results now. I also found that in taking the audit I became more thoughtful of my needs and how I could change my life in order to better meet them. I would love to use ENA within New Zealand as we are a country as yet unaccustomed to the term human givens. It could be an interesting experiment to assess the emotional health of this country now and then again after human givens becomes more known here. (Going with the brackets theme – I have to admit the obvious here: I am officially an anomaly in your results as I completed the survey from NZ not the UK!)

    There is a lot of free information and resources available on all of the websites affiliated with human givens. These resources, in my personal experience and those who I have suggested read a particular article, have been very helpful in providing a different viewpoint and often practical tactics to manage situations/behaviour. There is much to be found before or alongside investment in ‘pay for’ resources.

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