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Are You Too Needy In Relationships? 9 Signs You Are And How to Stop

Are You Too Needy In Relationships? 9 Signs You Are And How to Stop
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A healthy relationship should make you feel good about yourself. You should feel motivated, loving, and full of life.

But just because you want to be your best self around your partner doesn’t mean that you always will. Sometimes being in a relationship will make you feel self-conscious, anxious, and needy.

Being needy has its ups and downs. Having the occasional bout of need can remind your partner how special they are to you and make your relationship stronger. But unhealthy need can result in jealousy and stress. It can also make your partner feel smothered and cause you to feel like you don’t know who you are anymore.

Loving and needing your partner is a wonderful part of a relationship. But an over-abundance of need can actually do more harm than good.

In this article, I’ll cover the signs of being too needy and how to stop it from sabotaging your relationship.

9 Signs of Neediness

Here are 9 signs that you are being too needy with your spouse and how to stop these toxic behaviors.

1. Losing a Sense of Self

When you are in a relationship, it’s only natural that you want to spend all of your time with your spouse. But there is such a thing as spending too much time together.

If you spend an inordinate amount of time trying to please your spouse, spend time with them, or agree with them, you will begin to lose your identity.

If you would not know who you were if you and your spouse broke up, you are likely too needy.

2. Overreactions are Common

It’s normal for couples to argue every now and again, but it is not normal to have explosive arguments over nothing.

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If your spouse talks to someone of the opposite sex (or preferred gender) and it sends you into a flurry of accusations, it may be time to start rethinking how close you are with your spouse.

3. Always Texting

Couples who text each other all day are adorable, aren’t they? Yes, checking in with your partner via text is a cute and sweet way to let them know that you are thinking about them.

But if your conversation seems one-sided or consists of you sending more than two or three texts in a row without getting a response, you definitely have a problem on your hands.

4. Extreme Jealousy

There is such a thing as a healthy level of jealousy. After all, jealousy is just the heart’s way of reminding you that something is important to you.

Feelings of jealousy should be used as a gentle reminder to cherish your partner – not as a catalyst to freak out on or control them.

5. Never Missing Each Other

You never miss each other because you are never apart. You have all the same friends and don’t spend a moment apart. This is not a healthy behavior.

Healthy relationships happen when two people are still able to maintain some level of independence.

Having your own hobbies and friendships that bring you joy will help you from being overly needy in your romantic relationship.

6. Social Media Stalking

Jealousy and neediness become unhealthy when they lead you to have frequent anxiety over what your spouse is doing when you are not around.

Instead of working on developing deeper bonds of trust – a quality which is essential for a happy relationship – you use your neediness as an excuse to social media stalk your spouse. You rage against or manipulate your partner into giving you the password for all of their online accounts just to settle your own worries.

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This is very unhealthy, toxic relationship behavior.

7. Moving Way Too Fast

Being needy is often a sign of low self-esteem.

When you are insecure, you quickly attach yourself to your partner. This often leads to moving too fast sexually and maybe even moving in together after only a couple of weeks.

If things are moving quicker than normal in your relationship, it could be a sign that you are being overly needy.

8. A Desperate Need of Constant Reassurance

“I’m so ugly,” you say.

“Don’t say that,” your partner coos. “You’re beautiful!”

Your spouse is always quick to jump to your defense or give you genuine compliments. But no matter how many times your spouse reassures you of their love for your, their attraction to your, or their loyalty to your relationship, you never believe them.

This need for constant reassurance can be draining and damaging to your relationship.

9. Feeling Depressed When Not Being Together

It’s normal to miss your partner if they go away for the weekend without you. But falling into a deep depression or anxiety-filled panic attack at the thought of being away from your partner for an extended period of time is no healthy. This is definitely a sign that you are too needy in your relationship.

You need to start working on yourself and focus on your needs as an individual, not in a couple.

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How to Get Over Relationship Neediness

Being needy is not something you can get over in a single day. It is deep-rooted behavior and like any bad habit, it will take hard work, time, and determination to fix.

Here are three tips for banishing unhealthy neediness from your relationship for good.

Work on Healthy Communication

Good communication is the backbone of a great relationship. It’s how couples learn to work as a team, resolve arguments in a healthy manner, and get to know one another on a deeper level.

If being needy is ruining your relationship, you need to start learning how to express yourself in other ways. Practice talking to your partner. Use “I” statements instead of “You” statements so that they do not feel like they have to be defensive when speaking to you.

Explain your insecurities to your spouse so that they can have empathy for you and understand better why you are reacting to situations in a certain way.

This is sure to strengthen your relationship.

Take a Social Media Break

Social media can be very damaging to our mental health. Studies show that those who spend time on social media tend to have more issues with mental health than those who do not.[1] Not only is this due to the high number of social media accounts (fitness, celebrity, couples) that present an unrealistic and unattainable view of life, but also because they open a window into your partner’s past.

Stalking your spouse’s ex online can drive you into a never-ending web of jealousy and low self-esteem. Watching your spouse interact on social media can also make you endlessly nervous, suspicious, and paranoid about what may be going on behind your back.

Even if your partner has never given you a reason to distrust them, you may still find yourself feeling rotten when you’re online.

Do yourself a favor and take a social media break for a week and see how much better you feel. If your neediness or controlling behavior have lessened over the week, consider jumping off the social media bandwagon for good. Not only will this better your relationship, but it will also improve your mental health.

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Go to Counseling

Couples therapy can be incredibly helpful in banishing toxic neediness from your relationship. Your counselor will help you work through communication issues and discuss any past experiences that may be causing the distrust in your relationship.

MidAmerica Nazarene University surveyed 1000 couples who were either engaged, married, or divorced to learn more about marriage counseling and how effective it is.[2] Results revealed that 49 percent of participants had attended some form of counseling as a couple, with millennials most likely to attend therapy. A staggering 71 percent of participants said that counseling was either helpful or very helpful for their marriage.[3]

Taking an online marriage course can also be helpful, as it will teach you healthy communication techniques that you can use to talk to your spouse instead of having a toxic, needy reaction to certain circumstances.

Going to solo counseling can also be highly beneficial for helping you get to the root of the problem in your relationship or with yourself. Your therapist can help you develop healthy relationship habits and find your true self.

Final Thoughts

Don’t let neediness ruin a good thing in your relationship.

Your spouse deserves your trust and the freedom to have a healthy social life without you always being by their side. Letting go also helps you to live a happier life.

Improve your mental health by banishing needy tendencies for good.

Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] National Center for Health Research: Social Media and Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Mental Health
[2] Marriage: Marriage Counseling for Couples
[3] MNU: 1000 couples

More by this author

Sylvia Smith

Sylvia is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt its principles in their relationships.

How To Resolve Relationship Conflicts without Hurting Each Other How to Leave a Toxic Relationship When You Still Love Your Partner How to Overcome Jealousy in a Relationship How to Stop Nagging And Communicate With Your Partner Better 6 Reasons Why You Should Not Give Up on Love

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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