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Difference between Needed and Wanted

In our day-to-day lives, we often use or come across and use the terms needed and wanted when talking to our friends, at work, or in any other social setting.

But what does it mean when we use the terms wanted and needed?

To begin with, the terms are verbs in the past tense, and need is always associated with things one cannot live without, such as food, while want is often associated with things that are nice to have but are not necessary for existence.

Here are some differences in the meaning of the terms wanted and needed in different perspectives and contexts.

1.  Life

To provide the differences between the two words in the discussion in the context of life, we have to explore their meaning using the present tense, i.e., need vs. want.

Hence, a need is necessary for existence, and a lack of it can cause death, while a want refers to something good to have in life but not a necessity for life’s existence.

In essence, the aspect of existence is widely used to differentiate between the two terms in this context of life.

For example, a need is something that, when lacking, can cause death, while a want does not cause death when absent.

Food is a typical example of a need, while a video game is an example of a want.

2.  Relationship

According to open up, a need must be provided for a relationship to thrive, whereas a want would be nice to have but is not essential to a healthy partnership.

An unreasonable amount of strain can be placed on a relationship if needs and wants are confused.

Thus, it is always important that couples understand the difference between the two words to avoid emotional strain in a relationship.

A relationship’s needs can include love and affection, such as a car and a big house.

From the latter assertion, it is clear that love and affection meet the needs criteria because lack of it can cause a relationship to fail, and lack of a car and a big house do not directly impact a relationship’s failure.

3.  Workplace

Goals that are reasonable and attainable must be based on understanding one’s needs and wants in a workplace setting.

To explain the difference between the two terms in the dissuasion in a workplace context, the perspective of want vs. need is commonly used.

Things considered essential to one’s happiness and well-being are classified as needs.

The needs of the individual usually come first and play a big role in self-fulfillment in life.

 Wants are things one wants but aren’t necessarily necessary to their existence.

Wants are more about improving life, and it is always important to have an equilibrium and common sense to make sensible decisions regarding wants.

An example of a need in a workplace is practical skills to do work effectively, while a want is a big office.

4.  Marriage

A huge difference exists between the terms needed and wanted in a marriage.

This is because wanting someone develops into a long-term desire, whereas needing someone has an expiry date.

Being wanted in this setting means someone wants you in their life through thick and thin, and there is no single day they will want to lose you.

In essence, based on the latter aspect, when one moves out of a marriage, the marriage will end because he is an important part of the marriage that keeps it going.

While being needed is related to occasions that one is needed meaning that other times his/her services may not be needed.

Thus, it is good to remember that in marriage, always strive to be wanted and not needed!

5.  School

The meaning of wanted and needed in a school context is best explained using the need vs. want perspective.

Something is considered a need if it is crucial to the success of an endeavor in a  school setting, while everything that is not required to complete a task but would improve the end product is a want.

Hence, from the latter meaning, an example of need in school is a teacher because lack of a teacher affects success in academics negatively, while example of a want is a computer.

 A computer can help a student in research to excel in his/her studies, but it does not determine the success of a student as one can still succeed without it.

6.  Politics

Choosing a political leader who can rule well and help a community can be challenging as people are often torn between needing and wanting a leader who can meet their demands.

In this setting, a wanted political leader implies that the leader is required because of his traits but does not have any direct link to helping a community.

Such a leader can be sworn in office and fail to perform his duties because the majority wanted him.

On the other hand, a needed leader is linked to a community’s direct prosperity.

Based on the latter view, a needed leader in the community is given the power by the community to rule because the community knows the leader will solve their problems without being told, and he already knows what the problems are and the effective solutions for the people.

For example, a Black –American leader can be needed in a Black community in the USA, while a White leader can only be wanted.

7.  Family

Families are social settings that use the terms in discussion on various occasions.

Thus to explain the difference between the two words, we need to explore the meaning of family needs and wants.

Family needs to refer to the necessities that no household (or person) should be without and contribute significantly to the health of the family unit as a whole.

On the other hand, the family wants are our desires for something that is not essential to one’s survival or the well-being of one’s family.

Families’ needs include food, shelter, and clothing, while wants include cars and family play stations.

8.  Religion

When describing the differences between needs and wants from a religious perspective, religious need and want differentiate the two concepts.

Thus, having a need is a basic requirement for continued existence, whereas one definition of a want is a desire that does not require immediate satisfaction.

According to Bible .org, doing the Father’s will is necessary for Christians to flourish spiritually, as the Lord requires their efforts, making it a religious need.

Christians are afraid that failing to accomplish the latter goal results in too much punishment from God.

On the other hand, a religious want can be associated with the desire to help the less fortunate every day.

The latter is only a desire that may or may not be accomplished.

9.   Society

In a societal setting, the importance of differentiating between needs and wants lies in the fact that the former can be defined as anything necessary to maintain life, social order, or one’s sense of self.

Consequently, needs are indisputable, urgent, existential, universal, and, above all, necessary, while wants are described as purely subjective or something for one’s own benefit.

Society is associated with safety, healthcare, and adequate food supply, while exclusive parks and clubs exist to cater for persons who want a sense of belonging at a higher level beyond the ordinary societal belonging.

Closing Thoughts

 In explaining the meaning of the terms wanted and needed, we need to consider the context in which they are being used as illustrated herein.

 It is also important to note that the meaning of the latter terms can be well articulated using the need vs. want perspective.

From the need vs. want perspective, needs are needed for existence, and lack of them can result in death, while want are things that we desire to have in life but are not necessary for existence, implying that without them, life can still go on.

Thus, the emphasis of the two terms lies in the necessity to have things!

Kenyalogue Contributor

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