Right from the beginning, I will disclose this truth: I have a high need for freedom. And, routines are not my thing. I crave the freedom and variety that come from randomness. My sister has commented that she couldn’t learn how to get to places when I was driving since I never took the same route twice.
When there’s a job to be done, and I am confident in my ability to do it, I want to be left alone to figure out how to make it happen. That’s what I loved about teaching in my day. The state and school district spelled out the curriculum and objectives, and I was free to create my own units, lessons, and materials to meet those objectives. I often used students’ questions, interests and suggestions when designing activities.
Glasser says, “The more we are free and able to satisfy our needs in a way that does not stop another person from satisfying his or hers, the more we are able to use our creativity not only for our own benefit but for the benefit of everyone.” (p.40, Choice Theory)
Those of us who have a high need for freedom do not want to be micro-managed. We want to be creative and make decisions about how and when a job is done.
When entering into a romantic relationship, there’s some loss of personal freedom. This can be a big issue if the partners’ needs are far apart. The one with a high need for freedom may desire more room, more space. If he or she feels too restricted by a partner, the couple will have to come to some agreement about the amount of freedom that’s acceptable.
Couples who both have a higher need for freedom cherish being together but also spend time apart, pursuing individual interests and interacting with friends who share them. They “feel secure enough in their love and within themselves to not resent giving each other the space they need.” say William and Carleen Glasser in Getting Together and Staying Together. (p.35)
So what about you and freedom? Low, medium, or high? Are you able to fulfill your need for it? Think about how you extend it to others -- your children, elderly parents, friends, and partner. How does your behavior allow them to satisfy their need for freedom?
~ xo A ~