Anyone ever hear of Maslow's Triangle?

Maslow’s Triangle is basically a pyramid with safety needs at the bottom, esteem and belonging needs in the middle, and self-actualization at the top. In order to get to the top, you have to have the lower building blocks first.

I’ve argued with people who, IMO, get the Triangle upside down. Or maybe I have it inverted. For me, self-actualization is far more important than the grubbier levels below. If we focus all our attention on “survival mode” (safety needs), then we may lose sight of the top of the pyramid.

What do you guys think about this hierarchy of needs? What is really at the top?

well for us mortals there is an actual survival mode to contend with. Housing, food, clothing all have to take priority. So for us that the bottom of our pyramid. Then on a good day when those needs are met when can lick our wounds and try to like ourselves. This will depend on how many people we had to hurt getting our survival needs met. I don’t know what self actualization is, apparently I’ve never made it that far. Do tell.


Self-actualization is different for every individual. It is your own true identity, what you were born to be in this life.

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We learned about it in school.
The point of Maslow’s triangle is to show that if the bottom needs aren’t met, one can’t or won’t focus on the other needs.
If you don’t have your physical needs met, like food, sleep, and health, you might not have the energy to focus on the top needs, like self-actualization.

Sure, we humans have different ways of prioritizing, but in general, the bottom needs are more important for our overall wellbeing.


What if my “self-actualization” is something abstract like sobriety? Isn’t this logically prior, more important, than safety needs?

Sobriety is a matter of health, so I’d say it goes in the category for physical needs.
Insobriety affects one’s health immensely.


sobriety becomes a safety issue


Thanks for your thoughts! Hope to hear more!

Safety first is in the interest of security. Some people say that we are all insecure, that this is just a quality of being alive. But I love feelings of being secure. I don’t feel it enough. I think I need to discuss this matter with my Maker.

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I have a few friends and I think we all are basically concerned with the survival needs. But we all like each other and we do have some interests on a slightly higher plain. My friends are my equals (in terms of the hierarchy). We participate in the same activities, which include eating out, going shopping, or going for walks.
I have struggled with symptoms and side-effects of my meds. I can only do simple work of data entry.
I would dream of more, but I am probably focused on basic survival.

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I remember studying this in school but I thought it was called Maslow’s hierarchy not triangle. I think self actualization is on top.

You need your basic needs to be met first.


Yup. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. :cat::cat::cat:


@Jayster used to talk about this years and years ago!

Your the man for this!

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The base of the triangle is a commonality for all human beings as well as most sentient life forms. We are conditioned to want to climb higher on the pyramid particularly those of us in the developed world. We may all want self actualization and some of us get it but there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to keep it. Only a few things are truly in our control according to Stoic thought.


Note: You ask what’s at the top? I believe that top is infinite. We may never be satisfied.


Hello, @rogueone.

I used to believe it was almost axiomatic that schizophrenics have low self esteem. I used to say that I am a schizophrenic with some self esteem.

I used to argue that love and belonging needs come before self esteem needs,. If you don’t have your love and belonging needs met on a daily basis, good luck on developing self esteem.

I used to argue that I was so careful and dedicated to getting my love and belonging needs met that I had some energy left over to pursue self esteem.

Work is an ideal place to get one’s self esteem needs met. If one hasn’t filled the love and belonging needs, however, one will try to get one’s love and belonging needs met at work. Work is a lousy place to get one’s love and belonging needs met.

I’m too old to do much work now. I’m physically incapable.

I need some new models at this point.



Thanks for all this!

But like some kind of idiot, I’m with Peter Gabriel and Howard Jones, who said:

"We’re not scared to lose it all
Security throw through the wall
Future dreams we have to realize
A thousand skeptic hands
Won’t keep us from the things we’ve planned
Unless we’re clinging to the things we prize

And do you feel scared? I do
But I won’t stop and falter
And if we threw it all away
Things could only be better

Whoa-wo-wo-o-o Whoa oh Whoa-o-o oh-o…"

From a song Jones did in 1985.

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i think you need all of them in order to reach your full potential, i would put my meds as a basic need in order to survive alongside food and drink, air and things like that.

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I told one of my nurses that I was self actualized once. She said she believed me. I still think I am there. Even though I don’t have the love and belonging need met as I have no spouse, lover, friends or close family. I’m still getting that need met by my G-d, (and He meets that need better than any human can).


I wish I could say I’m self-actualized. My spiritual growth has been exponential this past year after starting to study Hebrew and Greek. While I know my journey is still in the toddler stages some things are getting clearer.

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