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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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    Last Updated on July 15, 2019

    41 Beautiful Pictures That Show What True Love Is All About

    41 Beautiful Pictures That Show What True Love Is All About

    Some things in life are hard to describe, yet we can recognize them when we see them.

    Love is one of those things.

    True love comes in many different forms, but here are some that many of us know well.

    True love means supporting those who can’t support themselves

    supportive couple

      A young man comforts his date in Times Square, New York City. Image by mbtrama

      strong hug

        A young man holds his significant other close to him. Image by Brad Fults

        running help

          A young track competitor helps one of her injured opponents over the finish line. Image from ViralNova.com

          feeding kitten

            A soldier in the Korean War takes time to feed a baby kitten. Image from US Naval Insititute

            It’s having the perfect selfie partner

            mom and daughter selfie

              A mother and her daughter take a selfie together. Image by Andrew Fysh

              girlfriends

                Two young girls pose for the camera. Image by Rolands Lakis

                selfies

                  A happy couple takes a picture together. Image by Kayla Heineman

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                  selfie

                    Two best friends take a selfie together. Image by Jason Wahido

                    dude selfie

                      Friends take a selfie together. Image by Glenn Scofield Williams

                      It’s all the warm fuzzies

                      12748262703_84c008f4e5_z

                        A young man spends time with his dog on a beach. Image by Magdalena Roeseler

                        DSC06952

                          A pet owner hugs his dog while on a day trip in San Francisco. Image by Taro the Shiba Inu

                          It means having a friend to photobomb you

                          photobomb

                            A boy makes a funny face as he poses for a picture with his brother. Image by Michael Bentley

                            old man photobomb

                              A man photobombs his wife while their grandson snaps a picture. Image by Frank

                              family photobomb

                                Family members photobomb their relatives’ Thanksgiving day family photo. Image by Beth Scupham

                                boyfriend photobomb

                                  A friend photobombs the photographer and their friend, the woman in the foreground of this photo. Image by Lachlan Hardy

                                  True love means being there even when life gets unbearably hard

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                                  shoulder to cry on

                                    A family watches the Vermont National Guard depart for Afghanistan. Image by The U.S. Army

                                    flood dog

                                      During a monsoon in the Philippines, a boy carries his dog to safety. Image by Romeo Ranoco

                                      A woman is rescued from flood waters by a resident standing on top of her car during heavy rain in Chalandri suburb north of Athens

                                        A man helps a woman out of her vehicle during a flood in Chalandri, Greece. Image by John Kolesidis

                                        lunch

                                          A woman has lunch with her husband every day, even after he’s passed away. Image from ViralNova.com

                                          hug

                                            A woman hugs the mother of 6-year-old Noah Ponzer, who was one of the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings. Image by Spencer Platt

                                            rubble

                                              An Oklahoma couple pauses while trying to salvage belongings from a family member’s home after a tornado. Image by Adrees Latif

                                              sister and brother

                                                A girl puts her arm around her little brother as they wait outside of Sandy Hook Elementary after gunshots are fired. Image by Reuters.

                                                headstone

                                                  A woman sits at her husband’s grave the day before their wedding anniversary. Image from NBC news

                                                  It means taking the time for long goodbyes

                                                  110321-N-BT887-100

                                                    A man says goodbye to his son before deploying. Image by Official U.S. Navy Page

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                                                    national guard goodbye

                                                      A South Carolina man says goodbye to his son before deploying for Afghanistan. Image by The National Guard

                                                      saying goodbye

                                                        A Sergeant hugs both of his sons before being deployed to Afghanistan. Image by The National Guard

                                                        And cherishing reunions

                                                        husband home

                                                          A woman hugs her husband as she sees him for the first time since his deployment to Iraq. Image by The U.S. Army

                                                          boyfriend home

                                                            A young  woman hugs her significant other as he returns home for Kuwait. Image by The National Guard

                                                            mother hug

                                                              A mother drops to her knees as she hugs her son on her return home from the Persian Gulf. Image by The National Guard

                                                              True love is letting yourself feel young when they’re around

                                                              elderly women

                                                                Two friends on their smartphones. Image by Robert Neff

                                                                feeling young

                                                                  A young couple getting their picture taken. Image by db Photograph

                                                                  sprinkler dad

                                                                    A father plays in a sprinkler with his daughter at Millennium Park in Chicago. Image by Ben Forsberg

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                                                                    subway couple

                                                                      A young couple on a subway enjoys sharing time together, while the girlfriend’s father sneaks a photo of them. Image by Gareth Williams

                                                                      wheelchairs

                                                                        A couple holds hands on a fall day. Image by David Amsler

                                                                        It’s letting yourself be silly… just because they’ll enjoy it

                                                                        silly faces

                                                                          A grandfather makes faces at the camera with his granddaughters. Image by Tim Pierce

                                                                          vote for pedro

                                                                            A woman’s father wears a Napoleon Dynamite t-shirt to make his daughter laugh. Image by emdot

                                                                            True love is allowing yourself to show how you really feel

                                                                            date night

                                                                              A young couple kisses in the back of a restaurant in Washington, D.C. Image by Derek Key

                                                                              playing violin

                                                                                Violinist Nancy Dinovo plays at a memorial service for the victims of 9/11. Image by Christopher Morris

                                                                                True love is timeless

                                                                                old friends

                                                                                  Friends spending some time together. Image by Cristian Bortes

                                                                                  sitting around a fire

                                                                                    A group of friends sits around a campfire eating. Image by New Old Stock

                                                                                    elderly couple

                                                                                      An elderly couple walks down a street together. Image by Matteo Paciotti

                                                                                      Featured photo credit: Matteo Paciotti via flickr.com

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