On “being needy”
We know the story. We feel shameful or guilty for needing too much from people. We feel like a burden. We put a “time and place” limit on feelings and discussions about the ways in which they show up. We silence ourselves and remain lonely in our quest for love, validation, attention, belonging, connection, and community. We create distance between others and call them boundaries. But why?
How can it be wrong to state your true needs? How can it be wrong to feel your true feelings? Why must our needs be packaged and performed so they are digestible to others? In what ways is being needy actually a strength? Whose needs are being centred when someone is labelled as “too needy?” What are we really afraid of when we say that someone is expressing too much too muchness? Why do we assign a value judgment to the ways in which someone expresses their emotional self? Why do we put a limit on how much support someone can need and take from others? Why do we not extend the same kindness to ourselves that we give to our loved ones who need support?
What if those who call people needy are actually the ones with the most unmet and unexpressed needs? What if the exhaustion people experience at the hands of those who are needy is the result of years of suppressing their own needs? Why do we gatekeep “need” and praise emotional self-sufficiency?
While I have many questions, I also have many answers. Be needy. Need more. Dare to state your needs and ensure they be met. Healing comes in the presence of connection with caring others which means our shared needs must be at the forefront. No matter how big the needs are. People are only as needy as their unmet needs, so we must work to better support our people. Be needy and dare to embrace your needs in their rawest form. Being needy is our truest test of friendship, of love, of connection. Those who will stick around are also those who let you be your most needy without apology.
There is no such thing as being too needy.
Our world has convinced us that needing too much is a problem and it’s not. At the very least, I don’t want to live in a world that teaches us that we must censor and boundary ourselves. I don’t want to have to apologize for parts of ourselves in order to be valuable. I’m not emotionally self-sufficient and I don’t want to be.
So ask for hugs. Give hugs. Kiss your friends. Tell them you love them. Demand attention and validation and praise. Take that selfie and love yourself. Bask in the rays of light that radiate from being who you truly are. Ensuring we have our needs met is a revolutionary act of self love, especially in a world that benefits from us being disconnected from ourselves and others.
By all means, be needy.