You Can Change From Being Emotionally Needy
First of all, no one likes to be told or admit that they are emotionally needy. The ego takes it as a direct insult to your ability to control your environment or the lack of it but the reality is that almost all of us have some traces of it in the way we deal with relationships. Sometimes they creep up on you and shock the hell out of you when you feel it or do something desperate. The other side is an out of control desperate emotional vulnerability that kickstarts whether you are in a relationship, alone or just beginning one.
When you are involved in a relationship, being emotionally needy often leaves your partner emotionally tapped out and overwhelmed by the sheer force of your neediness. They get emotionally worn out trying to make you feel secure. And yet, anxious people do the very thing they fear the most will happen, they end up pushing their partner away. Their behaviors are counterproductive, yet hard to stop doing in the moment. For your partner, there is nothing they can do to help you feel secure. They will not be able to encourage growth, compliment you, or reassure you enough. Your emotional insecurity has an insatiable and exhausting emotional ‘neediness.’
Question to ask yourself
So, are you emotionally needy? Ask yourself these questions created by a relationship therapist:
- Do you look at your romantic partner to make you happy?
- Do you look to your partner to fulfill all your needs in love, sex, and support?
- Do you look to your partner for constant reassurance and validation? Are you looking for others to make you feel good about yourself, always looking outside ‘self’ for reassurance? And even if you get it, do you depend on it all the time? Do you feel abandoned if your partner is not available? Are you afraid your partner will not be there for you?
- Do you get upset if your partner doesn’t react in a certain way, doesn’t meet a need?
- If you are alone, do you do things to fill the void with other distractions? Or when alone, do you go over past conversations or worry that he/she might leave? Is it difficult to be alone?
- Is your relationship the center of your universe? What about your relationship with other friends or family? Friends or your kids?
- Does it bother you if you are not included in your partner’s plans?
- Do you get jealous of things that he/she is doing without you?
How to stop being needy
If you recognize yourself in the above list, know one thing for sure, you and only you have the power to change that awful feeling of being attached to having someone always making you their priority. Here are a few suggestions made by the professionals and from my own experience as a counselor.
- 1. Be aware and admit to yourself that you are acting or feeling needy.
- 2. Don’t judge yourself for it, just consciously ask yourself what you can do to stop feeling that way.
- 3. We all have baggage, don’t carry it with you the rest of your life. Then is then, now is now. Learn a new way of responding to being alone, disappointment and change. It’s going to happen regardless.
- 4. Be pro-active in changing the subconscious software that is going on in your head. Listen to affirmation tracks, read self help books, meditate, do energetic release work. But do SOMETHING! to change the broken record of feeling insecure.
- 5. Stop the compulsive and knee jerk responses to get reassured, like texting or calling too many times. If you’ve reached out to someone (via phone, text, email), give them time to respond. There’s no need to do it again. There might be another explanation as to why they haven’t responded. It’s not always about you, so don’t personalize it. Overly needy people cannot wait. Silence is the worst.
- 6. Don’t suffocate them with your closeness. No matter how close you are to another person, it is unhealthy to spend all of your time with him or her. They will feel overwhelmed and start to do things that back them out of the relationship.
- 7. Improve your self-esteem, learn to trust and address your fear of abandonment. Start doing things on your own, learn to be single, focus on yourself. Engage in activities that are healthy for you while learning to feel more secure and confident. Remember: a person can boost up your self-esteem and make you feel good once in awhile, but this is not their job. It is our responsibility to do that for ourselves. Another person cannot be your only source of happiness. That’s a lot of pressure to put on another person.
Susan Z’s Verdict
No matter how many articles I write on changing how you participate in relationships, it always comes back to the same foundations. Addressing how you like and love yourself. Life is a reflection of what we carry within. Change that dysfunctional view of yourself and you will see everything and everyone in a more positive light with happier outcomes.
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