One thing that can’t be denied about human beings it that they have needs and, while some of these needs can be met without reaching out to others, there are others that cant. This is why human beings have been described as interdependent, not independent or dependent.
But, even though there are people in the world who feel comfortable with their own needs, there are others who don’t. And how someone lives if they feel comfortable with their own needs is likely to be radically different to how someone lives who doesn’t.
If someone does, there is going to be no reason for them to hide their needs from others and to make out that they don’t have needs. They will be only too aware of the fact that they have needs and that they need others.
This doesn’t mean that they will always be able to get their needs met, but what it is likely to mean is that they won’t be used to having them go unmet. If they experience a need, they might soon do something to fulfil it.
Let’s say one is in a relationship and they feel the need to experience physical affection, they could go and find their partner. If their partner is not around, they will have to wait a little while.
Behaving in this way is not going to cause them to experience shame and to wonder how their partner will respond to them. What they are doing will be seen as normal, just as it will be seen as normal when their partner reaches out to them.
One Step Back
If, on the other hand, one is not in a relationship and they want to fulfil their physical and/or sexual needs, extending themselves to others won’t be something that causes them to feel uncomfortable. Or if they do feel uncomfortable, it could just be because they feel a bit nervous, for instance.
But they won’t feel as though actively pursuing their needs is this way is something to be ashamed off, which would cause them to experience extreme discomfort. They will simply have needs, like every other human being on the planet.
One could find that a certain situation is getting them down, and this will be a time when they need emotional support. This can mean that they just need another person to be there for them, to be fully present in their company.
After they have spent an hour or so in their company, they may feel more at ease and have a clearer mind. Reaching out to a friend or a family member in this way will have been the right thing for them to do.
One way to look at someone who behaves in this way would be to say that they are in harmony with themselves. They have accepted that they are an interdependent human being, allowing them to live in the right way.
Maybe they have always felt comfortable with their own needs and have, therefore, reached out to others more or less whenever they have needed something. It might be hard for someone like this to understand why anyone would want to live life differently.
Keeping Everything In
If someone doesn’t experience life in this way, they can end up doing everything they can to hide their needs from others. They can generally create the impression that they are a needless human being.
This doesn’t mean that they will have a good connection with their needs, though, as they could spend a lot of time being out of touch with a lot of their needs. In other words, they can spend a lot of time in their head and out of touch with their body.
A Painful Place
Through living in their head and convicting themselves that they don’t need others, it will allow them to avoid the pain that is likely to be in their body. Being in their body can bring them face-to-face with their needs and the pain of not getting their needs met.
Living in their head will allow them to keep this pain at bay and to disconnect from a lot of their needs. Their emotional and physical needs will then end up being overlooked, setting them up to ignore a number of needs that have a big effect on their wellbeing
If they were to get in touch with these needs, they could end up experiencing a lot of shame. Not only this, the people who they open up to could reject them, thereby validating the view that they have of their own needs.
When they reveal their needs, then, it will be as if they are revealing a part of themselves that is deeply shameful. In order to be accepted by others, they will believe that they need to hide their needs.
If they do have people in their life, they may find that they are drawn to people who have embraced their needs and are incredibly needy. These people will then be mirroring back the part of themselves that they have denied.
Being there for them can also be an indirect way for one to get their needs met. The trouble is that due to how needy these people are, they may rarely even notice that one has needs.
A Deeper Look
If someone is unable to embrace their needs, and to accept that their needs are part of being human, it is likely to be the result of what took place during the beginning of their life. This is likely to be a time when their caregivers, rarely, if ever, met their developmental needs.
At this stage of their life, it would have been extremely traumatising for their needs to be ignored. Their whole system would have been overloaded with shame, along with other feelings, and there wouldn’t have been a lot that they could do to handle this pain, other than to disconnect from it or to be overwhelmed by it and to want their life to end.
If one can relate to this, and they want to develop a better relationship their needs, they may need to reach out for external support. This can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
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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.