What do you do when someone suggests you’re a tad needy?
I’ll tell you what I did.
Immediately, I got very quiet. How could I be needy if I wasn’t talking, right? But the quiet was only on the outside. Inside it was as loud as Christmas-time in Hoo-ville! I blasted myself with a lecture on how unattractive it was to be needy. How weak and repulsive.
Way to pick the most draining way possible to be, Doree. I’ll bet you’ll get the whiner award for sure this time. All your elementary teachers were right. You are the poster child for Attention Seeking. You are a bottomless pit. An energy vampire. Way to go.
Meanwhile, your bold friend gives you a little wave. It’s all you need…
The embarrassment shifts to irritation. Suddenly you can’t believe their nerve. Who do they think they are telling you you’re needy?! Considering all you do for them.
Then you say,
Maybe I’m needy, but you’re high maintenance.
And what a game. Whole lives can get caught up in ego games like this. For what?
I choose to play a different game. The game of taking 100% responsibility for myself and for how I feel. I play the game of Letting Go.
Others have been playing too and today I’d like to feature one of my reader letters. She submitted her letter on my page, Do You Have A Letting Go Question?
Let’s have a look…
I want to learn how to let go of my self-criticism & judgment. In particular, I want to learn letting go of my feeling of neediness. Needing affection, needing approval, needing praise.
I KNOW I’m good. I KNOW I’m worthy of love…. But there are days when I just don’t connect with the FEELING of being okay without being appreciated or validated or adored or wanted or needed by others. And I notice my wanting-ness, and hear my specific requesting-ness, but still feel overwhelmed with neediness and disappointed-ness, and wanting love from someone or somewhere outside myself. In these moments I notice my feeling of neediness and don’t know how to let go in those moments!
I love this topic! Thank you so much for writing and for bravely sharing. When I connect with your words, here’s what comes up for me.
What’s so terribly wrong with being needy?
And who is asking?
Playing the role of asking, “Why am I so damn needy?!” is our inner critic. Also known as the superego (a kind of nasty, authoritative parent) and often at the root of our suffering. And here’s the kicker. None of our self-criticism, none of our judgment is ever true.
So back to what’s wrong with being needy?
You are human and you have needs.
Marshall Rosenberg created a needs inventory. Have a look. My sense is that underneath your struggle with wants and desires, lies a real need. You’re worthy of having these needs met.
The letting go practice can help you here. In the uncomfortable moments you describe, I encourage you to quiet your mind. To breathe. Allow the sensations and if you can, go deeper. One very effective strategy while letting go distressing sensations is to, ask for more. Dive into the shadow and explore the outer reaches of your neediness. Ask yourself, How needy could I be?
Over time life has a way of processing out what we describe as unwanted neediness. Even without your attention the sensations you call, “neediness” will naturally process out of your consciousness. I encourage you to revisit this exact letter a year from now. You’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come. Some of the struggles you describe will be a faint memory.
Thank you for writing and reminding me of my need for connection.