It could be said that there are true needs and then there are false needs. When it comes to the former, it will relate to needs that other people can meet, and, when it comes to the latter, it will relate to needs that other people can’t meet.
Nonetheless, even though there are two different types of needs, it doesn’t mean that someone will realise this. Consequently, they can spend a lot of time trying to fulfil needs that can’t truly be fulfilled.
Furthermore, there is also the chance that one won’t be completely aware of a lot of these false needs. Still, these needs can drive a lot of their behaviour and define what they do and don’t do.
Taking this into account, these false needs are likely to cause them a lot of unnecessary problems. The trouble is that although this is the case, they are not going to be able to draw the line until they become aware of what is going on.
A Deeper Look
So, when it comes to their false needs, this will primarily relate to the legitimate needs that were not met during their early years. Now that they are an adult, these needs will need to be grieved, as the time of them to be met is over.
With that aside for the time being, they can have the need to be loved, accepted and approved off by everyone. Not only this, they can have the need for each of these things to be unconditional.
The Loss of Self
Now, irrespective of how aware they are of what is going on, one thing is clear is that living in this way is going to make it hard for them to express their true-self. Out of their need to fulfil their ‘illegitimate’ needs, they are going to spend a lot of time focused on what is going on around them.
This will be a way for them to try to do what will allow them to fulfil their false needs. Whereas if they were to focus less on what other people want (and appear to want) and more on what is going on internally, it would be easier for them to express their true essence.
This could mean that they spend most of their time living on the surface of themselves. In general, they could be oblivious to what their true needs are, with their false needs largely being seen as a reflection of what they actually want.
If this is so, it could show that they spend a lot of time in their head and are seldom in their body. Their true-self, along with their true needs, will be found in their body, not their head.
Taken For a Ride
Above, it was said that these needs can’t “truly” be fulfilled and the reason for this is that there can be moments when one will believe that they will be, only to feel let down soon after. For example, one could be given an opportunity that causes them to believe that they will finally be accepted by everyone.
Or, they could be attracted to someone who they believe will provide them with everything that they need. When it becomes clear that their needs won’t be met, in either of these cases or any others that are like them, they can end up feeling helpless.
It can seem as though they have been let down by a number of people or one person in particular. They may then experience a lot of anger and rage and even feel as though the world is against them.
For whatever reason, someone or something ‘out there’ may appear to be stopping them from receiving what they need. It could seem as though other people are able to fulfil their needs, even though they themselves are not.
The truth is that they don't need to be loved, approved or accepted by everyone or for any of these things to be unconditional. Plus, as an adult, they have the ability to give themselves the love, acceptance and approval that they need.
To tap into the nurturance that is within them and to no longer feel like an empty vessel, however, they will need to work through the emotional pain that is inside them. Through doing this, their false needs will start to fall away, leaving them with their real needs.
Back In Time
During their early years, the false needs that they have as an adult would have been real needs. As they were powerless and dependent at this stage of their life, they needed an endless amount of love, acceptance and approval from others.
They were in an undeveloped state and didn’t feel whole or complete; they were an empty vessel. The big question is: why do they have the same needs now that they are an adult?
A Brutal Time
What this is likely to illustrate is that their early years was a time when they were abused and/or neglected on a weekly, if not daily, basis. This would have meant that their developmental needs were rarely, if ever, met.
The years would then have gone by but they wouldn’t have received what they needed in order to grow out of their developmental needs and to have an emotional birth in the process. This is then why they will look like an adult yet they will feel like and have the needs of, a child.
If one can relate to this, and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
What they can keep in mind is that what took place wasn’t their fault and, as an adult, they have been doing the best that they can with what they know. There is then no reason for them to shame or blame themselves.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.