This is something I tell my friends often. When I meet new people, I warn them about my neediness, because I know it’ll come up. My friends know this all too well about me, and they fully accept it.
“You are, but it’s OK,” they tell me.
Of course, there’s a level to my neediness. There have been days I feel an extra surge of insecure energy surrounding my psyche, and if it’s a day I have plans, I no longer hide from it.
“Look, I want to keep to our plans but you need to know that I’m having an insecure day,” I’ll often warn my friends. Some days, I’ll just cancel the plans and let my introvert side take over, and recharge on my own.
I used to hate this about myself. I yearned to change it. I thought it was because I was unhappy. I truly believed that this was just me, and the people in my life would get sick of it eventually because they didn’t have this needy side to them. I fought it, until recently, because I realized that we’re all needy.
Yes, that means you too.
When did it suddenly become taboo to have needs, and heaven forbid, to express these needs to the people around us?
I spent the last 20 years living under the shadow of self-doubt, judging eyes of the world, and the insecurities that covered me, from head to toe. I was afraid to fully accept my needs, and once I figured out what those needs were rooted in, I was too afraid to explain myself to the people around me. I just couldn’t get out of the shadows.
The thing about shadows is that they need light to exist — and I’ve spent far too long wasting my light giving life to the shadows, instead of illuminating the path in front of me.
When I began writing this, I didn’t even have Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in mind, but it quickly came back to the surface as I thought more about the topic. (My AP Psychology teacher would be proud)
We’re all needy, and yes, there are universal human needs, because we’re all more alike then we’d like to admit, but it’s essential to remember that each of our needs manifest themselves in different ways. The important thing to remember isn’t to compare, but instead, understand why you feel the way you do — and surround yourself with people who won’t make you feel judged for expressing those needs.
If what you need is to spend a Sunday on your own, completely unplugged and away from the world, then that’s what you do. On the other end of the spectrum, if what you need is to be surrounded by people, then don’t be afraid to challenge yourself to go out by yourself — without the security blanket of familiar faces. (Just, ya know, be safe and let people know where you’ll be and make sure your phone is charged.)
So, take a few minutes right now, and write down five things that you need. You don’t have to share it with me, or even with anyone else in your life. This is for you. Remember that you are the only person who can identify and fulfill those needs — and it’s up to you to make sure you’re taking the time to do so on a regular basis.
You’re needy. And don’t you forget it.