“Don’t be needy, you will ruin your relationship” and “I can’t handle her neediness” or “needy people need to see a shrink”, how often have we heard this from our friends, read on different blogs, contradicting theories on being needy.
In another perspective, people fear that if they respond to their partners’ emotional needs, then their partners will become more dependent and keep wanting more. To avoid this fear, they push their partners away.
There is research showing just the opposite—that if a partner is responsive to dependency needs, the partner functions more autonomously likely because they feel more secure. As human beings, we are wired to depend on one another. As humans, we like connecting with other people whether to listen or to be heard. Being on our own has the possibility of hampering our emotional growth. As someone wise said, “You can’t be human all by yourself.”
Wanting to connect and attached is often confused with a person who is emotionally dependent and cannot think or feel for themselves. The shaming which gets done on a regular basis as simple as saying, “why don’t you get your sh** together”, is used conversationally, not realising the damage of insecurity it increases. There is no shame in needing your partner or loved one to be there for you in a relationship. If your partner feels awkward about your vulnerability or shames your need to be loved wholly, accepting as you are without pretences, you might want to take another look at your relationship.
The truth is, at some point or the other, we have all dealt with regret, emptiness and self-hatred in our lives. Whether we accept it or resist, we want to be heard, to be accepted and to be understood.
Accept that you are someone who wants to rely on others, wants to trust, wants to love and be loved as deeply and authentically as possible….which will require you to bare your soul and be vulnerable. Ignore the naysayers who insist, you have to be a perfect, highly functioning human being before you even consider entering into a relationship.
It’s the biggest myth of all….no one is perfect… ever.
You can rationalise your need for space, for doing your own thing on your own, but, people need loving relationships to thrive.
To my credit, I’ve understood few basic things. I understand that it’s pointless to be needy with people with whom you can’t be yourself…people who are not comfortable accepting who you are. My caustic sense of humour has helped me get by as has been my ability to write. That’s the thing about not dealing with your core – your inner being, you forget to take care of yourself – on what works for you, what makes you happy. You get so focused on the other persons needs that you forget you have any needs to begin with.
Sadly, all this does is, develop relationships which are fine on the surface, but if you were to scratch them, they fall apart. The fear to hide your true self, behind the easy, fun to get along with, low key intensity – works for everybody. So, you learn not to dive in too deep in relationships, skirt around the boundaries and emotions. After all, who wants a intense, complex person on their hands? The fear of letting out your neediness and the frustration which by now could have converted to anger is repressed constantly. Don’t let it out, stay cool, stay easy…that’s what people can deal with. Right?
What if I were to tell you, there are people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and work with you on whatever it is that you need? Whether it was fear of abandonment, love – whatever you needed as a child or in during a bad relationship and didn’t receive.
Practice being real, with those few. Even if you feel stupid, incapable of a deep relationship (could be childhood neglect or result of bad relationships) have the courage to open yourself up – bit by bit. People who can see through your bravado, bluster, and pain will hold you close.
Always remember, all you need is compassion and someone who can appreciate you for you are. You are just asking to be seen, heard, validated. And not just general appreciation. Specific appreciation helps, maybe your ability to write beautifully, your wit. Most importantly, your partners ability to reassure you on a regular basis that you will not be abandoned and the fact that love will stay.
No one enjoys or wants to be ‘needy. To deny a need is to deny a fact. By pure definition, it’s an absolute requirement. Need, not ‘want.’ I have never heard people say, ‘you’re want-y.’ Whether we accept it or not, we all have needs, which have to be acknowledged and it helps to know what they are.
Let’s not shame, scoff or worse ignore the loneliness and brokenness. Let’s accept and embrace the knowledge that we are capable of feeling isolated. Let not fear of loss of a relationship stop us to share our stories and ourselves.