Distinguishing Between Need & Desire

Key Difference – Need vs Desire

Need and desire are similar concepts, but there is a difference between the two. In many situations, our needs and desires overlap, causing confusion as people often think that needs and desires are synonyms and can be used interchangeably. Needs refer to necessities for survival, while desires are things that people want in life but are not essential for survival. Desires continually grow in an individual as they try to accomplish them.

What is a Need?

Needs are things that we feel we cannot live without. The most basic needs include hunger, clothing, and shelter. Love that we receive from family and friends is also considered a basic need, as without it we can feel neglected and unwanted. Satisfying our needs is crucial for our existence, and we must fulfill these basic needs to survive.

What is a Desire?

Desire is something we want for ourselves, and it could be weak or very strong. If we have a strong desire for something, we work hard to achieve it. Desire is not basic and essential for our existence, and we can live without the things we desire. It is important to remember that desires are endless, and we are never entirely satisfied. Many religions condemn desires as a source of constant trouble for human beings since desires are never-ending.

What is the difference between Need and Desire?

Definitions of Need and Desire:
Need: Needs are basic and must be met for our survival.
Desire: Desire is something we want for ourselves.

Characteristics of Need and Desire:
Need: Needs are necessary for survival.
Desire: Desire is not necessary for our survival.

Need: Needs are mandatory to live; hence, they do not bring sorrow.
Desire: Desires are sources of sorrow for human beings as people begin to desire more and more in life.

Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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