While it is part of being human to have needs, it doesn’t mean that every human being on the planet is comfortable with their own needs. As a result of this, it is going to mean that while someone people pay attention to their own needs; there are going to be others who don’t.
One way of looking at this would be to say that while some people will listen to the feedback that is within them, there will be other people who don’t. This is then going to be similar to one driving a car and when the red light comes on on the fuel gauge, either to driving to a fuel station or to pretend that the light isn’t on.
If they were to take the first option, it might only be a matter of time before they are able to refuel. Through taking this approach it is going to mean that their car won’t just stop working, and they are then not going to end up being stranded somewhere.
And while they might simply be going for a drive and have nowhere in mind, they could also be in a position where they need to go somewhere. They could be on their way to see a friend or they could be on their way to an appointment.
Either way, it is going to be important for them to get there on time, and through doing this, they won’t miss out on seeing someone that they need to see. In this sense, it could be said that it will allow them to not only fulfil their needs; it will also allow them to fulfil someone else’s needs.
The Second Option
However, if they were to take the second option and to completely ignore the fuel gauge, it is not going to be long until the car stops working. And while there is the chance that they are not in a rush to go anywhere, this might not be the case.
So if they don’t need to be somewhere, it might not matter if they break down, but if they do need to be somewhere on time, they could end up experiencing all kinds problems. It could mean that they are unable to spend time with a friend and they could also miss an appointment with someone.
As a result of this, not only will their own needs end up being unfulfilled; it will also mean that someone else will have to go without having their needs met. On one hand, one is going to suffer, but on the other hand, they have brought it on by themselves.
It is not because of what someone else has done that they are in the position they are in; it is because of what they have done. One way of looking at this would be to say that one is sabotaging their own life.
Now, while one might not ignore their fuel gauge in the real world, it doesn’t mean that they won’t ignore their other needs. They could be in a position where it is normal for them to overlook what is taking place within them and to focus on what is taking place around them.
This could then mean that other people see them as ‘selfless’, and they could say that they are only too happy to be there for others. But if they do behave in this way, it is going to mean that they are out of balance.
If someone was to focus on what one does for others, they might come to believe that they are doing the right thing, but if they were to take closer look at their life, they would come to realise that this is not the case. They would soon see that although they are there for others, they are also neglecting their own needs.
Yet if someone believed that other people’s needs are more important than their own, it might not be possible for them to see what is taking place. And as putting other people’s needs first and neglecting one’s own needs is often seen as the ideal, it could be said that this kind of occurrence is to be expected.
Now And Then
This is not to say that one won’t have moments where there needs will be met, but this is likely to be the exception as opposed to the rule. When this happens, it could be because someone else is aware of what they need as opposed to one reaching out themselves.
One may find that the only way they are able to get their needs met is if they do everything they can to please others. Through doing this, there are going to be moments where other people return the favour.
But while this will be a way for them to get their needs met, it is unlikely that it will allow them to get their needs met on a consistent basis. And as it is not going to be possible for other people to read their mind, one will rarely get what they need.
As a result, they could be used to feeling angry, frustrated and as though they have no control over their life. And through ignoring their own needs, they are unlikely to achieve what they want to achieve, and it is then going to be normal for them to feel unfulfilled.
A Closer Look
If one was able to look into why they ignore their own needs, they may find that they feel ashamed of their own needs. Along with this, they could also feel ashamed of themselves, and this is likely to mean that they are carry toxic shame.
So even though one is suffering by not paying attention to their needs, it is also a way for them to protect themselves. As if they were to reveal their needs to others, they will believe that they will realise how flawed they are.
Once other people find this out, one is likely to believe that they will be rejected by others and end up being abandoned. When one carries toxic shame and has this outlook, it is likely to be a sign that they were abused and/or neglected during their childhood years.
However, even though one has this outlook and feels the way they do; it doesn’t mean that it is the truth. So in order for them to realise their inherent value and to embrace their needs, it will be important for them to reach out for support.
This is something that can take place with the assistance of a therapist and/or a support group. During this time, one may need to grieve their unmet childhood needs, discharge the toxic shame that is within them and to receive the positive regard that they missed out on as a child.
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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.