Afraid To Be Needy? Neediness Anxiety Is Commonplace
Are you afraid to be needy? Why is that?
Many people have neediness anxiety: aka “worry about being too needy.” Being “too needy” is generally frowned upon in our individualistic culture. And when we--the appropriate, regular human beings we are--desire some help or company, we mistakenly think something is way wrong with us.
We make all kinds of excuses why the other person can't handle our problem on top of theirs; they are too busy or too important to care about us. These are all made up in our mind.
Neediness and Interdependence vs Individualism
We are an interdependent species. Our community is an extension of our selves. We are all one. Individualistic ideas have caused so many problems in our lives. Maybe, I might venture to say, have caused almost every problem. It leads to feelings of guilt and fear and inadequacy and worthlessness, etc. Aren’t these the root of every problem?
People worry their ‘neediness’ will take time away from the other person they ‘need,’ or burden them. They feel like they shouldn’t need. They don’t feel worthy of needing. This judgment and fear has them feel more separate and alone.
Why Neediness Requires You to Reach Out
I have found, however, that people love to feel helpful. It gives them a purpose and makes them feel good about themselves. And when they are appreciated for this, it energizes them and improves their self-identity. Interdependence is synergistic, benefiting everyone. There is an energy exchange, both parties give and both parties receive. You are being generous when you ask for help. You are allowing someone else the blessing of helping. Some other time or with someone else, it will be the other way around. You can count on it!
I’d love to change the connotation of “dependence” in our culture. Dependence, interdependence, co-dependence, have all gotten a bad rap. What if we did away with the negative meanings and embraced them once again? What if we looked at another and saw holiness. What if we thought “dependence” and felt loved and loving? What if we knew that giving to another person is giving to ourselves? And receiving is giving a gift?
There might actually be peace on earth.
What do you all think about this?
You can also connect with Jodi Lobozzo Aman:
Lobozzo, J. (2013, July 10). Afraid To Be Needy? Neediness Anxiety Is Commonplace, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, December 5 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2013/07/afraid-to-be-needy
Author: Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R
[...] all kinds of excuses that they are not worthy of another person’s time. (If this is you, read Afraid To Be Needy?). We are social creatures, humans usually come together to handle crisis because that is how we get [...]
"What if we thought “dependence” and felt loved and loving?" I love this so much because that is exactly how I feel about it and what I see in my behavior that was called "dependence".If I'm happy, upset, angry, if I have a bad or a good news, I feel the need to share it, and I share it with the people I love most. Why would that be called dependence? By sharing it, I rarely expect anything in return. I don't intend to burden anyone with anything and I'm not waiting for a solution that would come. All I need by sharing is to feel connected, to feel that I'm not alone and that the person I love knows. I love to help, and I love and appreciate being helped to.
I'm still afraid of being needy or a burden, because that's how I have always been labelled. I try to tell myself that the people who left because i was needy, only left because they misunderstood my needs or they thought I was expecting something they couldn't give.
You're right, people have left you because they were afraid. But just a few have and they have all had more than their share of issues. Most people stay. Being afraid to be needy is part of thinking that you are, it is the self judgment again.
I only feel good about myself when I'm helping others. However, I'd rather have 4 root canals in 2 days without novacaine than to ask someone for help. The worse thing for me is too appear that I'm needy or can't care for myself, but my whole adult life, the only time I feel alive and worthy and good is when I'm helping someone else. I can give, but not receive.
Then you are not truly giving, as you are not giving others the chance to feel as good as you do when you give. In a way it is selfish not to let others feel that.
I am not calling you selfish, just trying to invite you to a new perspective, where it may be Ok for you to pen up to the assistance of someone else.
I'm definitely "guilty" of not wanting to feel needy. I think it stems from people telling me in the past that because of my condition, I "won't be able to make it" - as in be successful, be happy, etc. So I'm very big on trying to be overly dependent, and that can make it very tough for me to get close to people because I never want to feel like a burden. On the flip side, I love helping people. It truly does make me happy. So it's ironic that I find it so tough to be helped. It's something I need to find a balance in.
Embrace allowing others to help. Love your self through it!
Sometimes I find myself resenting being constantly asked to help someone and I think it's partly due to feeling unappreciated or being taken for granted. But on the other hand I also feel I can't ask for help for fear of being "needy". I am slowly learning to find a balance. Thank you Jodi for pointing out that helping others also helps ourselves. It really is a gift in both directions!
When someone asks you for help and it has you feeling like a victim, it could mean that it is trigger some feeling from the past. In fact you can also feel good about helping them. Ask yourself what the difference is.