I’m confident that at some time in your life, you’ve encountered a needy person. Maybe there is one in your experience right now? When a needy person leans on you, and you allow that to happen, you might not be doing the best for that individual or for yourself.
What are some of the elements that create neediness? These individuals embody several inaccurate senses, like: “I can’t, I’m afraid, You’re better, or I’m too shy.” They will either have the behavior of whining about their incapability or their joyless life, or they will use attention-getting behaviors in public.
Behind each of these is the key idea: Please Pay Attention to Me. The attention they crave is seldom seen by them to be negative, destructive, co-dependent, or demanding. They simply need attention, and that subjective need overrides all objective understanding of the situation.
We’ll be looking at two key points to understand this neediness and then we’ll be looking at ways to remove their burden from you to free you up to Be the Change you need to be so that you can make progress in your own life without being the source of supply for their needs.
Why Are They Needy?
People who are needy have multiple individual differences which have fostered that neediness. Their reasons are far too numerous to list completely. Some might have lost favoritism with a parent due to the birth of a more-favored sibling. Some weren’t taught how good they were. Some never learned they were capable. Most needy people are insecure, and most require a lot of attention. When they recede into immaturity and overblown emotionalism, they frequently get the attention they crave.
Picture a small child who wants a particular item in a store. Her parent says “No.” She throws herself on the floor, kicking and screaming. The parent, embarrassed in public, buys her the gift to quiet her down and alleviate their own embarrassment. This sets the tone for the child’s next need, because she now knows what she has to do to get what she wants. This is a cycle born innocently enough that grows into other forms in adulthood and it is a cycle that needs to be broken.
Why Do They Continue to Be Needy?
Our needs are all capable of being met individually by each of us. It would be a travesty for us to have been created incapable. Unless someone told you “Yes, you can do it” or “Come on now. How can you make you happy here?” you will always expect another to supply your needs for you. This is the situation where needy people expect you to solve their problems; to provide for them; to listen to them endlessly while they whine. The focus will have to be turned from ‘you’ to ‘them and their capabilities’ in order to stop the leaning.
How Can I Best Help Them?
It may be difficult for you, but in order to help them stop their behavior, the first thing you can do is to stop responding to their neediness. You have to remove your attention from them. It’s wise to take the focus off your ability to solve their needs and place it back on to them. “What do you think you should do?” is a great question to put the responsibility for the solution in their lap. If you continue to provide their needs, they will never become stronger.
The next thing you can do is to encourage them to find their own solutions. Tell them when you hear a good idea coming from them. This will boost their self confidence. It might be wise at this point to share with them that you are highly involved in Being the Change yourself, and let them know that they can Be the Change along side you. You might share your sources of inspiration with them. As you see them getting stronger, tell them that. You will be helping them to overcome this burdensome problem.