November 21, 2015

The Key Difference Between Having Needs & Being Needy.

Mateus Lunardi Dutra/Flickr

Nobody wants to be in a relationship with a needy person; we all know that.

Whether it be romantic relationship, a friendship or a familial bond, dealing with needy people can be draining, exhausting and emotionally depleting. But we all have needs, that is for sure.

We have basic needs of shelter, warmth and nourishment. We also all possess the need to give love and receive love. This need can become demented when we don’t authentically honour it. When we deny our need of love, it manifests in neediness.

What is the difference you may wonder?

A person who accepts their need for love will appear whole unto themselves. A person who denies their need for love will appear as is they need something to complete them. They are not satisfied with who they are and therefore feel that someone or something else will be able to give them what they need to feel whole.

I was on my way home a few weeks ago, halfway up the long set of stairs that lead to my cabin, thinking about how it was going to be so cold inside because there had been no fire all day. I would have to cook myself dinner after a long day of running my own business and eat alone while I tried to quickly raise the temperature of my home. I cried out in my own head “I just want someone to take care of me, I’m tired of being a strong independent woman!”

Almost instantly I answered my own cry, “I love being a strong independent woman and I need someone to take care of me!”.

In that moment, I realized I can exist in both of these realities.

I can take care of myself—and I can be taken care of. But first, I need to discern between my neediness and my true needs.

A relationship that I was recently in for two years, I now realize was based on a lot of neediness. I can’t say for sure who was projecting what needs onto the other, but they were definitely being reflected and projected and left both of us feeling dissatisfied. When the relationship ended, the man I had loved with all my heart told me he didn’t need me in his life anymore because he had finally reached a place in himself, and in his life, where he was feeling confident enough to find his own groove and do his own things—alone.

That’s when I realized just how much neediness had been playing out in our relationship.

I believe we attract people into our lives to help us grow, to help us reach another level of personal understanding of our own strengths and weaknesses. I realized at the end of that relationship that I didn’t ever want to replay the neediness scenario in an intimate relationship ever again. So I had to figure out where I was being needy and I had to figure out what my true needs were.

I started breaking down aspects of my life where I was feeling needy. If I think that I need someone to chop all my firewood for me, I’m being needy. I am perfectly capable of completing this task on my own. If I wasn’t physically capable of wielding an axe against solid fir, I would have a need for someone to do this for me—and I would ask for help. I would honour that need by asking for help.

I don’t need someone to light my fire; I can do this myself as well.

But what I do need is someone in my life that wants to be my warmth when I’m too cold to do it alone. I need someone in my life that wants me to be their warmth when they’re too cold to do it alone.

The need has to have a place to meet up and feel honoured. The need has to be mutually respected.

I do have a need to share nourishing meals with other people. My soul yearns for this. I can cook for myself  and eat alone but when I cook for others and share the meal with them, I am honouring a need of mine to connect with others around food and nourishment.  If I deny this need in myself, it will manifest in seemingly needy attitude with unheard cries “You need to come for dinner and if you don’t I’ll be really upset”.

I’m not upset when I eat alone. I’m satisfied. But when I cook for and eat with others, I feel a sense of gratitude that is my soul saying “Thank you for honouring my needs”.

If I find myself saying “Man I really need a boyfriend, I’m so lonely on my own”—I know I am being needy. When I quiet my mind and hear what my soul is asking of this earthly physical experience, I will hear this: “I am perfectly whole on my own. I have a deep desire to connect with another being to share this wholeness of myself. I need to connect on a deeply intimate level with another being so that we, as another whole unit, can help each other grow and expand beyond where we currently are in the moment”.

With this whispering of my soul, I am honouring my need to share myself with another human on the deepest level possible. To share my vulnerabilities and fears so that I, and they, may evolve into our next level of existence. I am no longer needy, I am honouring my needs.

I used to think that having needs of any sort was being needy. I have only recently come to understand that this is not the case.  A woman once told me “First you have to know what your needs are, and then you have to ask for them to be fulfilled. If you don’t know what your needs are (in every moment) they can never be fulfilled.” 

So I sat with this piece of advice and slowly got to know my needs. I got to know myself on a level never before imagined, and with this I slowly started to understand my own needs. I realized, I have many needs—and these needs need to be fulfilled in order for me to grow.

Now, each day I ask my soul what it needs today. And I listen in order to carefully discern between my neediness and my authentic needs. I honour those needs that are true and I ask the universe to please help me to see the opportunities and the signs that are placed before me that will help me fulfill these needs.

Today, I am ok with having needs. Today, I am no longer needy. Instead I honour my needs.

May we all come to know what our true needs are so that we move away from being needy.

May we all come to know what our true needs are so that we can ask for them to be met.

May we all come to know what our true needs are so that we can be truly fulfilled in this lifetime.



Reasonable Neediness.


Author: Morgan Leigh Callison

Editor: Sarah Kolkka

Image: Mateus Lunardi Dutra/Flickr

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