Some young children are pretty clingy. Have you noticed? You might have been one of them. It could be because their Mom was sick when they were babies and couldn’t be around, so it takes them a while to trust that she will be around now. It might be for some other reason. The fact is that some of us are needy children. And then we work hard for the rest of our lives to change that.
Then there’s the rest of us – proud of our independence, never thinking for a moment that we’re in need of much from others. These are often the first-borns in a growing family, where Mom is just too busy to pay any attention to us. So, we learn to fend for ourselves, and take pride in this. And that’s great, as long as it isn’t another way to hide pain.
The sad truth is that all of us as adults sometimes feel needy. We may show it openly, or hide it behind a mask of solitude. It’s yucky feeling that way. I’m not talking about those times when you wanted companionship; I’m talking about those times when you felt small and abandoned.
When for instance, your best friend bails last minute on something important to you. Or when a project you’ve put your heart into fails, and everyone – all that suppoort you thought you had – dissappears.
Sometimes, you can’t help but go there in disappointment. But you don’t have to stay there.
There is a way to deal with that yucky feeling of neediness that works every time. It’s a 3-step process that requires nothing other than you.
- Know when you’re feeling needy; when you’re dissappinted and sad. Igonring it will not make it go away; it will only make it go underground, resurfacing later. So, feel it and acknowlege it.
- Give it away. The way to do this is through empathy. If you were in your friend’s shoes, could you see why he or she might have fled? Even if you wouldn’t do the same, it’s helpful to see how it happened. Then, send some forgiveness his or her way, and let it go. You might want to seal it with smudge.
- Turn your attention to something that feeds your spirit. A good book, a good movie, a walk in Nature, a new project or activity that has meaning to you.
This is the essence of self-respect, self-care and self-love. And it will never leave you feeling needy.
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Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist. To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .