How to Overcome Emotional Neediness
1.) Become aware
Awareness is the very first step to recognizing there is a problem. This is key. This starts the process of greater insight aware and understanding about how you relate to others. It will also help you recognize how your anxiety and anxious feelings occur and the greater impact they have on your relationships. Take the time and connect the dots with your past with your present. What is your attachment style? What would you like to change? How would you like to act differently? Answering these questions will help you recognize unhealthy relationship patterns.
2.) Sit with your anxiety and the uncertainties of life
This a tough one because people don’t like when they feel anxious. They want to do anything but deal with it. But truth be told, the only to solve an issue to work through it. There ain’t no going around it. Life is full of shades of gray, uncertainty, and unanswered questions. Uncertainty can also be an instigator for change. Even if in the moment it ‘feels like a good idea’, work on thinking about how you would feel if you didn’t do it. If you give into the anxiety and impulse every time, you will never know how it could be different (think OCD tendencies). If the impulse (obsessive thought is there) and you act on it (the compulsion) all you are really doing is creating the same circle and reinforcing the behavior. Sit with that anxiety and anxious feeling and don’t react!
3.) Don’t suffocate someone
No matter how close you are to another person, it is unhealthy to spend all of your time with him or her. They will feel overwhelmed and start to do things that back them out of the relationship. If it’s difficult for you to tolerate alone time, you will inevitably sabotage your relationship. Simply force yourself to back off in order to give both of you some space.
4.) Work on YOU!
Improve your self-esteem. If you struggle with being needy, odds are you probably lack self-esteem. Start doing things on your own, learn to be single, focus on yourself and what you did – or didn’t do – to contribute to the demise of the relationship. Engage in activities that are healthy for you and learn to feel more secure and confident. Remember – a person can boost up your esteem and make you feel good once in a while, but this is not their job. It is our responsibility to do that for ourselves. Another person cannot be your only source of happiness. That’s s a lot of pressure to put on another person.
5.) Learn to trust
Neediness is often associated with not trusting in others and often a fear of abandonment. If you start doubting someone’s feelings for you or fear being abandoned, you will start to put the ‘neediness’ wheels in motion – that actually provoke the person to want to run from the relationship. Do you feel abandonment? Are you afraid your partner will not be there for you? Are you looking for others to make you feel good about yourself – always looking outside ‘self’ for reassurance?
True non-neediness begins when you stop depending on others to take care of you and seeking fulfillment externally – because doing this, only creates a black hole of never having enough. Ask yourself, what do I need to do to become more self-reliant and independent? What changes do I need to make to get me to a better and healthier place?
After all, at a very minimum, don’t you owe it to yourself? Shouldn’t you demand more for yourself? Don’t you want to live your best life possible?
Kristin M. Davin, Psy.D.
Solution Focused Psychologist & Coach
Originally appeared on KristinDavin.com
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