The ‘needy’ person is a stock figure of caricature. Needy people call excessively, they cry when you leave to get a glass of water, they feel abandoned when you check your phone, they are mad when you watch a movie without them.
We hate needy people a lot.
But, let’s look at this another way. There are, of course, a few pathologically dependent people everywhere. However, significantly more than is generally accepted, the individual who has the problem isn’t the ‘needy’ person at all. We are the problem, we who are doing the accusing.
We will feel someone is sickeningly ‘needy’ when we don’t consider ourselves to be suitable focuses of another person’s need. Some place inside, we don’t trust that we are reliable, strong, dependable, admirable or decent. We are not enough grown-up, and the ones who need something from us therefore come across as deranged and fitting targets for mockery.
At the first sign that somebody is becoming reliant on us, we flinch. We presume that somebody who needs us enough to depend on us for a pleasant weekend or evening must be diseased.
But, what if the problem is you?
At the root of our hatred of so called needy people is actually self-hatred. Apparently, we all want love, but when love really begins to be responded, it may be seriously disturbing if we are not convinced of our own lovability. After some time we can start to think very badly of the individual we liked only a little time before. Feeling they are naive in finding us wonderful, significantly more wonderful than we feel we are.
We think them naive, and too easily taken in by a character we ourselves don’t believe in. The solution isn’t really to attempt to change a lover by telling them to stop asking so much. They most probably aren’t asking too much at all. They just aren’t afflicted with a sense that it is exceptional to be loved or to love.
Put another way, they’re just strong enough to reveal that they are vulnerable and wise enough to like the look of us. Showing need is a precondition of strength rather than weakness.
Change your perspective!
The solution is to revise our perspective of ourselves. To see ourselves as more or less conceivable individuals for another person to remain needing. The fear of ‘needy’ people is only a type of self-hatred rippling outwards to tar our lover.
A reduction of self-hatred doesn’t align with telling ourselves how awesome we are. We should learn to tolerate ourselves not by believing we are wonderful, but rather a secure realization that everyone is both good and sometimes a bit bad. That is sufficient to deserve love. We can be cured of our remarkably horrible self-doubt by a more accurate vision of what constitutes normality.
Of course we are a bit weak, a bit sly and a bit foolish, to put it gently. But so is everyone. We’re no more naive or wayward than others. We can embrace a individual’s hopes for a close and profound relationship with us simply on the basis that we are, in fact, a little bit odd and broken.
The need that the lover has of us isn’t delusional, it’s an precise request that any flawed human might make of another comparably damaged example. We’ll start to find other people significantly less needy, that is, a lot less disturbing when they need us. That is when we can accept with good grace that there is nothing unusually strange or abhorrent about someone deciding they like us.