Difference between Wanting and Needing

Wanting vs. Needing

What is difference between wanting and needing? When it comes to obtaining or acquiring certain things, people often use the term want and need without any difference. In many cases, the way in which people use these two terms may lead them to perceive that these two terms have a different meaning. But in reality, these two economic terminologies are very much different from one another. Below this post is all about the difference between wanting and needing.

Difference between Wanting and Needing

Need is generally referred to economically to something that is extremely necessary for a person to survive. If that need is not met, this will lead to another problem, inability or not working effectively in society or even death. The needs are categorized in two. There are the objective or physical needs and the subjective needs. The objective needs are those that can be met through tangible things or means and that can be measurable. Some examples of these are the need to eat, to drink, to take refuge or even to breathe.

On the other hand, a subjective need is one that seems to ensure our mental health. Examples of this type of need are self-esteem, a sense of security or approval. A political professor named Gough listed eleven different needs that must be met so that each human being functions well in society and thus survives. The inability to meet these needs can lead a person to suffer from diseases, whether physical or mental or even to die.

On the other hand, wanting is something that a person wants either immediately or in the future. Unlike needs, wanting something differs from one person to another. For example, a person may want to have a car while another person wants to travel to an exotic country. While each person has their list of things they want, each of those things has a certain level of importance. Wanting something can change in a period of time. In contrast, the need that will remain constant during a person’s life

The gray area between these two terms is when the desire to obtain a particular thing can be so extreme that for many people it is misinterpreted as a necessity. In order to know if it is a wish or a need, one must ask: Have you been able to survive without this? If the answer is yes, then what you have is a desire no matter when you have it in mind at this time.

In Summary:

  • Desire and need are economic terminologies.
  • A need is something that is necessary for a person to survive. On the other hand, a desire refers to something that a person wishes to have either now or in the future.
  • Wanting are optional desires, which means that even if you have it, you could live without it. On the other hand, if a particular need is not met, it could lead to a person suffering from illness or even death.