Even though everyone has needs, it doesn’t mean that everyone feels comfortable with their needs. There are going to be people who pay attention to their needs, and this means that they will do what they can to meet them.
On the other hand, there are going to be others who ignore their needs, and this is going to make it hard for them to get them met. And when one can embrace their needs, it is naturally going to have a positive effect on their life.
Black and White
However, when one takes care of their needs, they can end up being seen as ‘selfish’; whereas if they were to focus on other people’s needs, they can be seen as ‘selfless’. Based on this, if one is there for themselves they are a bad person, but if they ignore themselves, they are a good person.
In reality, it is not this simply, and this is because one can be there for themselves and they can be there for others. Through taking care of their needs, it will give them the energy to be there for others.
Point of Focus
For example, if one wanted to give food to someone else, they would have to have food to begin with. If they didn’t have anything, it wouldn’t be possible for them to give anything to anyone else.
In the same way, when one takes care of their own needs before they help others, they will be living their life in the right way. The alternative would be for one to ignore their needs and to be there for others.
Out of Balance
There could be moments when one is able to help another person through doing this, but they are also going to be ignoring themselves in the process. Therefore, it could be said that one will be fixing one problem by creating another.
What this comes down to is that one doesn’t have enough to give, and that is why they will end up paying the price. It would be the same as one giving their lunch money to someone else; this will allow someone else to eat, but it will also cause them to go hungry.
One Thing at a Time
On the other hand, if one was to make sure their needs are taken care of and then they were to be there for others, this won’t need to take place. They will have plenty to give, and this will stop them from having to harm themselves in the process.
This will then allow one to actually make a difference, instead of one behaving in a way that causes them to be another person in the world who is running on empty. Along with this, it can be a lot easier for one to assist others in the right way.
Part of the Problem
As if one was to spend a lot of time trying to help others, they might be doing more harm than good. Instead of giving them the assistance that they need to change their circumstances, they might be keeping them in the same position.
One is then enabling their behaviour, and they could find that the other person’s life ends up becoming even worse. Yet, if one is completely focused on their life, it could stop them from being able to see how much damage is being done.
When one feels comfortable with their own needs, they won’t need to neglect themselves. This is not to say that one will also be able to fulfil them; what it means is that they won’t have the tendency to ignore them.
One can then eat the right food, relax when they need to, exercise, and take care of their need to connect with others, amongst other things. And then when it comes to their job or when another person needs them, for instance, they will have the energy to truly be there, and they won’t have the need to rescue anyone.
But while the ideal will be for one to be in touch with their needs and to fulfil them when they can, there are going to be others who are out of touch with their needs. Or even if they are in touch with them, it might not have an effect on their life.
Instead, one can be in a position where they are generally focused on other peoples needs. Due to how they behave, it can be as if they are simply an extension of other people.
There is a strong chance that they won’t have a strong sense of self; in fact, they might not even know who they are. Even so, all the time they are focused on what other people want (or what they think they want), they are unlikely to realise this.
Focusing on other people’s needs is likely to be something that just happens, and this means that one might not even need to think about doing it. Through being this way, there could be moments in their life when they feel down and even angry.
And while they could look into what is going on, they could simply carry on as normal. The pain that they experience through experiencing life in this way could be offset by the approval that they receive from others.
If they were to look into why they focus on other people’s needs, they could find that this is what feels safe. There may have been moments in their life when they have behaved differently, and it might have caused them to experience fear and anxiety.
Putting their needs first is then going to be seen as something that will cause them to be harmed in some way. It might be hard for them to understand why they would feel this way; especially as this is the healthy thing to do.
What this can show is that their childhood years were a time when they had to fulfil their caregiver/s needs. And if they didn’t do as they were told during this time, they may have been abused and/or neglected.
The pain they experienced all those years ago is then still in their body, and this is why they are unable to experience life differently. Their true-self will have gone into hiding, and what people will be exposed to is their false-self.
Through being treated in this way, there is the chance that one feels ashamed of their needs, and they might also feel worthless. But if they were treated in this way, this is not going to be much of a surprise.
If one can relate to this and they want to change their life, they might need to work with a therapist or a healer. This will give them the chance to get in touch with what is taking place within them and to let it go.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 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.