Needs: Friend or foe?

When did having needs become a bad thing? It seems like most of my teenage and adult years, the only conversations I’ve heard about people being needy have been negative. Why is that? When did we forget that we actually ARE human and DO have needs? Some people may have more needs than others, but every single one of us need things. And I’m not talking about a new car or a job or a vacation, but I’m talking about intrinsic things: acceptance, understanding, empathy, someone to listen, someone to be an emotional support to us, someone to (God forbid!) take care of us.

Admitting those needs makes us incredibly vulnerable to the people around us, and it is very scary to do because I think most of us feel that we’re going to be deemed “too needy” if we actually admit what we need. But, if we don’t open up that vulnerable part of us, if we don’t express our needs in a healthy way to the people that we are in community with, what happens? Those needs aren’t met and just swirl around inside of us making us sad, depressed, angry, and maybe a little nutty?

Coming to term with having needs is very difficult for me because I like to think myself Wonder Woman, taking care of myself and everyone around me at the same time, never needing anyone to take care of me. Over the course of my life, the idea that my needs weren’t as important as someone Else’s was reenforced so much that it’s now second nature to me to assume that. I’ve been alone and independent so long, that I have mistakenly ignored a lot of the needs that I have and in doing so, am now paying the price. I have to learn to accept that I have needs, and that they are not bad, that they won’t keep people from loving me. I have to learn how to properly express those needs to the people around me so that they can begin helping to fill some of them.

I know it’s going to be a challenge, but I’m hoping that as I just accept my needs and make myself more open to them, that that openness will flow through me and touch those around me, so that instead of coming across as someone who can take care of herself, I come across as someone who needs people in her life, and that it is a good, good thing.

And I would like to issue a challenge to anyone who comes across this post: Think twice next time you talk about someone being needy. Maybe there’s a deeper issue going on……

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