To have needs is part of being human and this means it is not possible for one to remove their needs. But regardless of this fact, it doesn’t mean that one feels comfortable with their needs or that they’re able to get their needs met.
Some people are going to view their needs with disdain and see them as being a burden. And then there are going to be others who feel comfortable with their needs and this is going to make it easier for them to get them met.
This doesn’t mean one will always get them met and that they won’t have to go without, but at the same time, they won’t be used to not having them met. Whereas, when one doesn’t feel comfortable with their needs, it could be normal for them to not get their needs met.
So one person has needs and they’re able to get them met; this is what is normal in their life. And then there are other people who are not in the same position, and it is then a challenge for them to get their needs met.
What is normal for them is what would be abnormal for someone else, and this is going to make their life a lot harder. For ones unmet needs won’t just disappear, they are going to affect one’s life.
There is having needs, and then there is being ‘needy’. The former is a normal part of being human; the latter could be described as what happens when ones needs are not met. In the words of John Bowlby - "We're only as needy as our unmet needs’’. Having needs is not something that should push another person way, but being needy might have that effect.
Through having ones needs met, their needs are likely to stay in check and this could stop one from being needy. There could be times when one needs more than they usually do; this is part of life and will come down to what is taking place in one’s life.
So while one person may feel needy from time to time, there are going to be other people who always feel needy. It then not something that comes and goes, it is the only thing one has ever known.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that their needs are not being met, as they could be met. However, no matter what one receives, they still feel the same. It is then like being hungry and therefore eating food, but the hunger doesn’t go away no matter how much one consumes.
Just because someone is needy, it doesn’t mean that they will be able to admit this to themselves. Having needs could be something that causes them to experience shame and guilt.
In the eyes of others, they could be viewed as being selfless and only too happy to help others. They then present the image of being needless and this is going cause certain people to reward them with approval.
However, as human beings have needs, it is impossible to be needless; all this shows is that one doesn’t feel comfortable with their needs. Being there for others, at the cost of being there for oneself, is then an indirect way for them to get their needs met.
Their outlook is: if I fulfil other people’s needs, then maybe they will fulfil my needs. But this is not something that always takes place and one can end up feeling resentful, amongst other things.
On One Side
When someone is always needy, it could be said that they have trouble getting their needs met and how this comes down to the fact they don’t feel comfortable with them. So in order for one to get their needs met on a consistent basis, they need to form a healthy relationship with their needs.
Through becoming comfortable with ones needs, they could soon be on their way. However, if one always feels needy no matter what they receive, it shows that there is more to it.
The reason one feels needy is not just because their adult needs are not being met, it can also be the result of their childhood needs that were not met. These unmet needs relate to what happened many years ago, but the pain of not having them met has remained trapped in one’s body.
What they continue to look for from others adults relates to what they didn’t receive as a child. And if ones dependency needs were not met as a child, it is to be expected that one will feel like a needy child as an adult. This is nothing to feel ashamed of; it is a natural consequence of being neglected.
So how one feels is normal and even though one has looked towards other people to fulfil these unmet childhood needs, what one will need to do is to grieve what they didn’t get all those years ago. Looking towards other people might not be as painful in the short-term, but it won’t change anything in the long-term.
While grieving ones unmet needs is painful, it is not something that will last forever. One can be assisted in this process by a therapist or a healer; it is not something they have to do by themselves.
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Oliver J R 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.