Schools Out -- People Who Need People

Right about now, student attitude is reflected in Alice Cooper’s song, School’s Out Forever, so here is an activity your students won’t mind focusing on in school.  The activity is a Relational Needs Assessment Tool which is an exercise that will enable a person to better identify the priority of their relational needs.  Every one of us has relational needs and whether those needs are met will make a difference in our relationships.  Teens have all kinds of relationships; they have to interact with parents, teachers, peers, people they like and people they don’t like etc. This activity will make / encourage them to think about relationships. What makes relationships healthy or unhealthy?  This activity is all about them, so there is a good chance they will engage.  In this Relationship Needs assessment students will:
  1. Learn that there is such a thing as relationship needs and what they are
  2. Be able to identity their top 3 out of 10 relationship needs.
  3. They may discover that they need approval / support / affection from Mom and Dad, encouragement / attention / appreciation from their coach, and acceptance / approval / respect from their peers.
Barbara Streisand’s famous song from the movie Funny Girl (People Who Need People are the Luckiest People in the World) thou beautiful isn’t quite truth.  The luckiest people in the world are those in healthy relationships.  People do need people because we are relational.  Through people our relational needs are met.

We need air to breathe, we need food and water to eat / drink, and in some climates we need clothes and shelter.  Once these needs are met we need companionship.  A dog, monkey or a cat can provide companionship, protection, loyalty far better than a bear or lion.  However, there is something in us that desires/ needs human companionship. The list below provides information about the 10 relational needs we all have to some degree:

AcceptanceLooking beyond a person’s faults or differences to see their special worth and / or uniqueness in your life and to appreciate them.  

Affection:  A way to show you care for or you are there for someone.  This is communicated through actions (hugging, a kiss,), words (I love you) or your mere presence when others moved away.

Appreciation:  Is a type of thankful recognition that signals someone doesn’t take courtesies for granted; it is grateful and complimentary.  It is focusing on the good rather than critiquing.

Approval:  Is the recognition that something / someone is good and having a real appreciation for someone / something.

Attention:  Is interest without criticism.  It is spending time with someone and being present by listening, conversing and sharing.

Comfort:  Is showing concern for another person.  It is an emotional response to pain in life.  It is providing solace / commiseration when others are experiencing disappointment or pain.

Encouragement:  Is the act of trying to persuade someone to continue a task when it becomes difficult.  Encouragement would result in the successful completion of a task.

Respect:  Showing someone deference / admiration / honor -- Never being dismissive or critical.

Security:  Love, acceptance, honesty, trust, respect, doing the little things consistently in a relationship, feeling important are all things people may desire in a secure relationship.

Support:  Giving the message that you can be counted on when needed.

We all need the above in some measure depending upon our personality and life experience.  However, there will be certain of these relational needs you will enjoy / prefer with certain people.  For example, the relational needs you desire from your Mother, your best friend, your coach, spouse, boss, employee etc. will / may be different.  But, first it is important to learn about and define these healthy relational needs.


  1. You can download a copy of the Relational Needs Assessment Tool with discussion at:
  2. Alternative Classroom Discussion Option.  Please download from Google Docs at:
Have fun and enjoy Alice Cooper’s Schools out for summer

Watch Barbra Streisand's Song “People”

People who need people,
Are the luckiest people in the world
We're children, needing other children
And yet letting a grown-up pride
Hide all the need inside
Acting more like children than children

Lovers, very special people
They're the luckiest people in the world
With one person (one person)
One very special person (one very special person)

A feeling deep in your soul (in your soul)
Says you were half now you're whole
No more hunger and thirst
First be a person who needs people
People who need people
Are the luckiest people in the world

No more hunger or thirst
First be a person who needs people (people need people)
People who need people
Are the luckiest (luckiest) people in the world

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