Advertising
Advertising

How to Satisfy Your Needs Without Being Needy

How to Satisfy Your Needs Without Being Needy

Many people avoid people who are needy and clingy. I surmise you are one of us — people who avoid them like they have communicable, deadly disease. Am I right?

I would understand why if you are. You have to prioritize fulfilling your needs before even thinking of meeting others’ needs. No need for apologies there. That’s a logical thing to do.

On a personal note — needs are needs, whether simple or not. If they’re not met, and sometimes that’s the case, you feel miserable, or at the very least, uneasy. Especially if you’re the sensitive type. You can’t work well when your needs are not met. For instance, you’re a Coke drinker like my wife, and you can’t grab a can of your elixir because the 7-Eleven branch near you ran out of cans of Coca Cola. You can’t have Coke so you can’t put out your usual performance. Your inability to get an instant sugar fix from Coke makes you needy and a poor performer.

Your need for Coke is not being met, thus your work suffers. No-brainer, correct? Wrong! It’s not as simple as it seems. Steve Pavlina can explain further. I have to clarify, though; that Steve has great points about this topic. However, with all due respect to him, I have different sentiments on some sub-topics.

Let’s check Steve Pavlina’s viewpoint on his article “How to Meet Your Needs Without Being Needy”…

On the one hand, we’re taught that we have certain needs as human beings, including survival needs (food, water, shelter, etc), emotional needs (belongingness, love), self esteem needs, etc.

Whether or not all of these concepts qualify as true needs is debatable. The idea of there being a clear hierarchy of needs, such as Maslow’s, is debatable too — and as far as I can tell, that model has been pretty well debunked. But we can probably agree that some non-essential aspects of living can preoccupy us at times, giving us the perception that these unsatisfied elements qualify as unmet needs.

On the other hand, we’re also taught that it’s undesirable to be needy or clingy, as if needy people have been afflicted with a disease that we wouldn’t want to catch.

Needs vs. Neediness

What’s the difference between having needs and being needy? It has to do with how you approach getting your needs met.

There’s nothing wrong with having needs and wanting to see them met. That’s perfectly fine and doesn’t automatically lead to neediness. What causes neediness is when the supply is scarce. This can lead to a competitive stance, whereby meeting your needs requires that someone else must necessarily have their needs unfulfilled.

Advertising

If you need water and there’s a scarcity of water, that can certainly put you in a needy situation. You may experience thirst, and when you’re in that state, you’ll go out of your way to quench that thirst. If other people want water too, but there isn’t enough to go around, the landscape becomes competitive. Someone may end up going without.

What about emotional needs? The same situation can come up. For example, if you perceive that you have a need for touch and affection, then whether you’ll experience neediness or not depends on the scarcity or abundance of people willing and able to help you meet that need.

If you perceive this supply as scarce, you’re likely to feel needy, which encourages you and others to assume a socially competitive posture.

But if you have a need and there’s an abundant supply that you can access, you’re unlikely to feel needy. You can simply go and access that supply whenever you want, and you won’t deplete the supply enough to feel that you’re in competition with others.

Accessibility

Accessibility is a key factor here. For some emotional needs, there may technically be a vast supply available, but you may find that supply inaccessible at times. Often this is due to a lack of skill or some limiting beliefs that prevent you from having full access to the resource.

Suppose you perceive a strong need for sharing touch with other people. The supply is readily available. There are billions of other people on earth, and many of them would love to share touch.

But how easily can you access this supply? Have you developed the social skills to invite people to share touch with you, such that your invitations are accepted often enough to satisfy your needs?

Also, do you have any limiting beliefs that might be getting in the way of accessing the supply of available partners? Do you feel it’s odd or problematic to invite someone to help you meet this need? Would you feel uncomfortable issuing such invitations?

Do you artificially constrain the supply, such as by holding a belief that you can only share touch with someone you’re in a committed relationship with?

Chasing and Clinging

Usually when people feel emotionally needy, there’s a ready supply of people who could help them satisfy their need with ease. The neediness is really caused by self-imposed and/or socially conditioned limitations that artificially limit the person’s ability to access that supply.

Advertising

When a person feels needy, they’ll often exhibit behaviors that can be classified as chasing and clinging.

Chasing occurs when someone perceives a potential supplier for their need, but the supplier isn’t completely willing to meet that need. But since this person doesn’t perceive many other viable options, it becomes their goal to convince, persuade, or manipulate this supplier into a position of satisfying the unmet need.

Clinging occurs when a supplier is secured, but the person still doesn’t feel they have many other good options, so they do their best to cage or trap this supplier, warding off any potential threats to the supplier relationship. The perceived difficulty of replacing the supplier incites clingy behavior.

Both of these behaviors are artifacts of a competitive scarcity mindset. Fortunately they can be overcome, sometimes by building better social skills, sometimes by overcoming limiting beliefs, and sometimes by a combo approach.

Acknowledging Your Needs

One of my emotional needs is that I need to be touched a lot. It’s not a core survival need — without touch I won’t die — but I’ve seen that I function much better physically, mentally, and emotionally when I share a lot of touch. Ideally I like to be in direct physical contact with a woman for at least an hour each day, if not several hours (such as by cuddle-sleeping together at night).

With an incompatible partner who doesn’t like to be touched so much, I could end up being very needy and clingy if we were in an exclusive relationship together. That type of relationship would bring out my worst qualities. I’d feel a sense of scarcity. I’d feel sad, frustrated, or depressed that I’m not getting my needs met very well. I might spend a lot of time talking to my partner, trying to convince her to be more touch-friendly. I might blame myself for being so needy. I might try to let go of this need. In the long run, I might become resentful towards my partner, or numb and apathetic (turning off all my emotions to avoid feeling the sadness and disappointment), or just plain helpless. If I couldn’t meet this need, it could be difficult for me to function at my best. It would feel like something important was missing from my life.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead I could go another route entirely. I could clarify, acknowledge, accept, own, and then broadcast what I desire. I could recognize that if I like sharing touch so much, and if I feel it benefits me, perhaps there are some women out there who are very much like me. And perhaps it would be really nice to connect with a woman like that. Then we could cuddle each other as much as we wanted — for hours per day if we felt like it. I’d be happy with that arrangement for sure. And if she’s like me, then she’d be happy too.

Meeting Your Needs

Now if you have a difficult need to meet, you might conclude that it’s not worth the effort. Maybe you should just do without it and try to let it go. And perhaps with some effort, you could succeed. But this could consume a lot of extra mental and emotional effort.

On the other hand, what if there’s a ready supply available? What if the main obstacles are your own limiting beliefs and lack of skill? Then you just need to overcome those blocks once, and afterwards you’ll be able to meet your need with ease, as much as you desire, whenever you desire.

That’s the approach I used to satisfy my need for touch. I tried the old route of suppressing the need, but I always found that approach lacking — and rather distracting.

Advertising

Several years ago I decided to explore the opposite approach. First, I worked on my beliefs. I was able to release my limiting beliefs about sharing touch largely by acknowledging that if I appreciate touch so much, then probably lots of other people feel this way as well. So all I really need to do is find some of those people (or make it easy for them to find me) and invite them to touch. If they feel as I do, then there shouldn’t be any problems. We share touch, such as by cuddling together. We feel good. And everyone is happy. And we can do this repeatedly as much as we want.

I can also do other things while sharing touch with someone, such as having an interesting conversation… or sleeping… or watching a movie… or holding hands while going for a walk. So I don’t necessarily have to dedicate a lot more time to meeting this need. I can simply adjust my lifestyle a bit to make touch a more integral part of it.

Then we have the skill-building aspect. First there’s the skill of inviting touch. And then there’s the skill of actually touching. Those both seemed like fun and interesting skills to further develop. I embarked on a path of developing both sets of skills.

I practiced inviting women to share touch in a variety of ways. And I got very good at this — and felt very comfortable with it. Even when I was just beginning to explore this, almost every invite resulted in a yes, which was encouraging. So my assumption that many women felt as I did turned out to be accurate. All I really needed to do was to start putting out invitations… and to let that develop into an ongoing habit.

I also practiced the skill of sharing touch, which involved trying different things to see what felt good to me and the other person — cuddle sessions, spooning, light touch, massage, sensual touching, head scratchings, kissing, etc. That was simple, easy, and fun. It was rewarding to develop more experience and confidence in making people feel good through touch… and in teaching them how to make me feel good.

I remember one time when a woman asked me what I liked, and I told her that I loved head scratchings. She then proceeded to give me a really delightful head scratching while I rested my head in her lap — for 30 minutes straight! I was totally blissed out by the end of it and thanked her profusely. She replied, “Well, you told me what you liked, so why wouldn’t I do lots of that?” I told her I wished more women were like her.

It turns out that there are indeed a lot more women like her. I just needed some time to find and connect with them.

Abundance

The result of this approach has been a feeling of abundance. Now my life is rich with sharing touch — full of hugs, cuddling, and more. If I go some days without touching, it’s normally by choice, not because I can’t access the supply of potential partners.

Meeting this need doesn’t require any chasing or clinginess. The supply of people who enjoy touch is vast enough that I can simply focus on connecting with women who already appreciate touch as much as I do. There’s never a need to try to convince someone to share touch. If I perceive any resistance to such an invitation, I let go and move on. I know I can get this need met elsewhere, so there’s no point in getting clinging with a single unwilling non-supplier.

I’ve also noticed that as I’ve become more comfortable with this approach, and as I’ve stepped into the reality where I know how to meet this need very easily, all the neediness has left me. Now I can continue to meet this need abundantly without doing much inviting at all, largely by accepting invitations from others.

Advertising

I’ve had many similar experiences with respect to shifting from scarcity to abundance. The same process plays out with financial abundance, for instance. Learn to release limiting beliefs and develop the necessary skills, and you can eventually earn more money than you need. Then you may find that after you’ve released your financial neediness, the money continues to flow with even greater ease. New opportunities start coming to you, so you don’t even have to seek them out anymore, even though you could if you wanted to.

Gratitude

When I go through the process of releasing some form of scarcity thinking and replacing it with an abundance mindset and heartset, the result is a feeling of gratitude. This helps to lock in the new reality, making it easy to maintain.

One reason I receive invitations to share touch with other people is because I no longer feel any neediness. I expect and anticipate that this need will continue to be well met henceforth, even with minimal action on my part.

Most days people spontaneously offer me hugs. Women frequently offer to cuddle with me. Or a pre-existing cuddle partner is readily available. It’s nice to be on the abundance side for sure, and I’m grateful for it — because I still remember what it was like to be on the scarcity side and how that felt.

The benefit of experiencing scarcity first and then growing into abundance is the gratitude effect. When I’m holding a woman in my arms and we’re both feeling lovey-dovey towards each other, I feel immense gratitude that I’m able to invite and receive that kind of experience. I often tell women this too. These experiences are such a gift to me. I never take them for granted. Every experience of touch is precious to me.

When your needs are well met, you can essentially release them. Eventually you stop thinking about them as needs. Your old needs transform into new sources of gratitude and fulfillment.

By adding an extra thread of gratitude in your life, while simultaneously replacing a previous thread of neediness, you can significantly upgrade your default vibe as well as your overall quality of life. I find a cuddle-rich life to be of higher quality than a cuddle-scarce life. I’ve explored both possibilities, so I speak from direct experience. Cuddle abundance feels better to me.

It can take some time to feel that you’ve completed such an upgrade (often years), but when you reach the other side at least once (financially, socially, or otherwise), I think you’ll agree that the investment is worth the time and energy required.

Where in your life are you feeling neediness or scarcity? Where do you catch yourself chasing or clinging? Are you willing to commit yourself to a long-term, two-pronged approach that includes upgrading relevant skills and releasing limiting beliefs? If so, then I expect you’ll eventually succeed. It may take a while, but those years are going to pass anyway. You might as well emerge at some point in the future with the ability to meet your needs so abundantly well that you no longer perceive them as needs. When that future time becomes your present reality, you’ll be grateful that you made such a commitment.

I’m immensely grateful to my past self for making such a commitment to inviting and sharing touch with willing partners. I wouldn’t say it was particularly difficult, but it did take a certain level of dedication to growth in this area, as well as dealing with some occasional awkward moments. In my opinion it was worth it though. I must say that I absolutely love life on the other side of this need. It’s quite rewarding to land in a country I’ve never visited before and know that even if I don’t make a conscious effort of it, my desire to share touch will be easily fulfilled by delightful, heart-centered people. It’s also nice to know that I’m helping to meet their needs as well. 

:)

    If you want to read Steve’s article in full, please click the link below.

    How to Meet Your Needs Without Being Needy | Steve Pavlina

    More by this author

    Anthony Dejolde

    TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership.

    Feeling Scattered? How to Organize Notes to Stay on Top of Things Drink Water At The Correct Time To Stay Healthy The Art of Tucking in Shirts every Gentleman Needs to Practice 10 Ways to Lace Up Your Shoes Creatively 25 Odd Jobs That Make Good Money

    Trending in Communication

    1 19 Golden Pieces of Relationship Advice From the Experts 2 Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know 3 How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship 4 How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future 5 This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on May 21, 2019

    How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

    How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

    For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

    If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

    Example 1

    You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

    You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

    In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

    Example 2

    You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

    People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

    You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

    Example 3

    You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

    Advertising

    The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

    Example 4

    You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

    Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

    If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

    Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

    • Understand your own communication style
    • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
    • Communicate with precision and care
    • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

    1. Understand Your Communication Style

    To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

    In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

    Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

    2. Learn Others Communication Styles

    Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

    Advertising

    If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

    “How do you prefer to receive information?”

    This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

    To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

    3. Exercise Precision and Care

    A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

    On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

    Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

    I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

    I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

    Advertising

    In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

    The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

    Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

    4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

    Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

    In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

    “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

    Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

    Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

    It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

    Advertising

    It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

    It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

    Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

    Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

    The Bottom Line

    When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

    I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

    More Articles About Effective Communication

    Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next