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The Need to: Hide


Explanations > Needs > The Need to: Hide

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




We have a need to hide from danger.

We also need to hide food and others resources and possessions from others, keeping them safe for our own use. This especially includes one's spouse and children when they may face even a remote chance of harm (or being taken away).

We then also need to hide the knowledge of our hiding places and what we have hidden there.


Someone breaks into my house. My first instinct is to leap into a wardrobe, huddle down and hope they don't open the door. 

A parent hides information about their money from their greedy children.

Related to


Part of Related to
Control, Safety Freedom, Avoidance



Hiding is primitive instinct in the face of danger. We may hence want to hide ourselves away from others who may want things from us or who might threaten us. If nobody knows where we are then we feel safe a secure.

The childhood game of hide and seek plays to this need. In evolutionary terms, it is useful to hide food and possessions from thieves (both human and animal). Hiding from predators, especially when sleeping is also useful.

Lying and other forms of deceptions may be forms of hiding, for example when we hide knowledge we have about things that others want from us, or hide our intent to manipulate them. We all have secrets that we want to hide from others and will lie or otherwise avoid the truth of their existence.

While they may well like other people, introverts get exhausted by company and need time by themselves. In fact we all need our own space, a place we can call our own and where others are only admitted by permission or invitation. This is our nest or cave to which we can retreat when we are tired or the world is too stressful.

Invading a person's hiding place, or even just finding it, can cause a primitive reaction as they defend their inner sanctum. A better way to gain rapport and so persuade is to ask to be invited in, then to treat the place with great respect.

So what?

If you feel like hiding, pause and think rationally about why you want to do so and whether hiding is really the best option.

If you want a person to go somewhere, frame it as a good place to hide, then expose a threat that drives them there.

See also

Lying, Coping Mechanisms


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