The base of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is the largest because it covers our most basic physiological needs for survival: air, food, water, shelter, clothing, warmth, and sleep. When our basic physiological needs are met, we can devote time, attention, and energy to satisfying higher levels of needs on Maslow’s Hierarchy, which eventually leads to a thriving life.
The next level of Maslow’s Hierarchy is all about safety. Physical safety means that we feel safe from harm or danger. Psychological safety is felt when we feel that we can express ideas, opinions, and feelings without being punished, embarrassed, or made fun of. Essentially, we feel comfortable being ourselves and are more willing to take risks to learn and grow.
Love, acceptance, and belonging are next. At this level of the hierarchy, the need for meaningful connection with others and genuine friendship drives our behavior. Personal relationships and connections with friends, family, and peers play an important role in our well-being, in addition to other group involvement (e.g., religious groups, sports teams, clubs).