On one hand, one can pay attention to their own needs and do what they can to fulfilling them, and on the other hand, they can focus on others people’s needs and do what they can to fulfil them. If their life is a reflection of the former, it is likely to be far more fulfilling than if their life was a reflection of the latter.
However, just because one focuses on their own needs, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t be there for others. Whereas when one is focused on other people’s needs, they are likely to neglect their own needs.
Out of Balance
It could be said that the ideal will be for one to feel comfortable with their own needs, and this will then allow them to truly be there for others. Unless they can do this, they are going to end up being out of balance.
While being there for others will allow them to receive approval; it won’t allow them to meet their own needs. It can then be normal for them to feel as though they are running on empty.
But even though one is neglecting themselves, they can feel as though they are doing the ‘right’ thing. This is likely to be a sign that they don’t feel comfortable with their own needs.
However, it doesn’t mean they will realise this though, and this is partly because of how the world is. Putting other people first is often seen as the ideal way to live, and if one was to put their needs first, they can be seen as ‘selfish’.
Based on this, having needs is something to feel ashamed of, and this means one will not only need to hide them from others; they will also need to hide them from themselves. Yet as having needs is an inherent part of being human, it is not going to be possible for one to simply ignore them.
The only thing this will do is cause them to suffer, and it won’t matter how much approval they receive from others. In this sense, feeling ashamed for having needs is irrational; there is no reason why one should feel this way.
A Way of Life
Nevertheless, even though there is no reason why one should feel this way, it doesn’t mean they can simply let go of this outlook and move on. They can feel compelled to please others, and even though this is causing them to suffer, it can be what feels right.
Their life is then going to be neglected and it is not going to be possible for them to be themselves. So unless something changes, they will continue to sabotage their own life.
When it comes to the people they spend their time with, they could say that one is ‘easy going’ and only too happy to lend a hand. One might also be described as someone who never gets angry.
If this is the case, how one comes across to others is not going to match up with how they feel on the inside. Even if they were to speak up and to reveal their needs, they could end up feeling guilty and as though they have done something wrong.
From the outside then, one might not look as though they are suffering, but if someone was swap places with them for a day, they might feel as though they are in a prison. Due to how they come across, people are generally not going to realise, and because of how they feel, they are going to find it hard to open up.
It could also be normal for them to feel as though they are being victimised by others, and they can then believe that they have no control over their life. Yet no matter how long one has experienced life in this way, it doesn’t mean they have to continue to experience life in this way.
One way of looking at this would be to say that one has low self-esteem, and this is why they have the need to please others. Therefore, it will be important for them to change how they feel about themselves, as well as the outlook they have.
In this case, the focus could be on what is taking place in their mind, and this can mean that they will need to change their beliefs, as well as their thoughts. During this time, one could use affirmations and positive thinking, among other things.
However, even though one could end up feeling good about themselves through taking this approach, it doesn’t mean they will no longer have the need to please others. This could be what feels safe, and this could then be a sign that they are carrying trauma.
As a result of this, it might not matter what they do at an intellectual level, and it might also be necessary for them to look at what is taking place in their body at an emotional level. If one has an emotional build-up, for instance, it is not just going to be about changing things; it is also going to be about letting go.
A Deeper Look
When one has a strong need to please others, there is the chance that their childhood was a time where they had to overlook their own needs. During this time, it might not have been safe for them to reveal their needs and it would then have been normal for them to disconnect from them
It was then not case of them having the odd moment when their needs were ignored; it was a way of life. Thus, focusing purely on their mind is not going to be enough; they will need to take a closer look at what is taking place in their body.
It could be said that working on the mind is a lot easier than working on the body, and this can be why the body is often overlooked. If one has an emotional build-up and/or if they are carrying trauma, 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.
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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.