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The Need for Affection


Explanations > Needs > The Need for Affection

Need | Example | Related to | Discussion |  So what?



To be liked, viewed with warmth, and treated with care.

We seek affection particularly from our family and those who we want to be our friends. We also constantly monitor the affection we are receiving as a measure of the status of our relationships.

The opposite of affection is indifference, where a person is ignored or even avoided.


A mother shows great affection for her children, who consequently grow up feeling secure and able to love others.

A manager shows affection for his team, although he is also a hard taskmaster. Knowing that they are liked, the team work hard.

Related to


Part of Includes Related to
  Esteem Acceptance




Affection is warmer than simple liking, although they are closely related. It includes a closeness and concern that builds strong bonds.

Affection starts at a very early age with the infant and mother. It then spreads to family and friends and even further. A person with a sunny disposition has affection to share with everyone. A person who was neglected as an infant may find relating to others very difficult.

Affection is a component of love but is not the same thing. For example you can have affection for friends without loving them. Love is a complex emotion that can have strong components such as possession and desire. Affection can be viewed as a softer form of love where the other person is accepted and liked as they are without further complication.

Care is a component of trust. We trust people who like us and care about us. Affection also implies trust and those who have been betrayed may give their affection less easily as well as treating displays of affection with caution and cynicism.

So what?

If people like you, then they are more likely to trust you and listen to your propositions. A simple way to get people to like you is to like them first.

Show affection. Be a 'people person'. Demonstrate that you care. Only then ask them to agree or buy from you.

See also

Bonding principle

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