What do you do when neediness and insecurities creep in to your relationship? How do you stop being need or clingy?
What a lot of people don’t understand is that when they get attached to someone, they mistake their longing and their needs for neediness. One of the things I think we’ve been taught from a young age is that neediness is weakness.
And that what you should be aspiring towards is self-reliance. Me included, self-reliance is super important to me and has been for many years. But this is the great thing about learning – you find your own fatal flaws and misguided beliefs. And one thing I’m constantly trying to do, is follow my dharma. Get to the root of things. Unpick & unpack it so I understand myself and other people better.
So here’s what I’ve been learning from studying this and really finding the truth of the matter. What does science tell us? Attachment is not a bad thing – it’s a biological thing. Your brain is programmed to find and develop attachments and this has been proven again and again but people much smarter than me in this field of sociology, and relationship science. The truth is actually that “Most people are only as needy as their unmet needs.” The idea of people being too needy really gained popularity in the 1940s, when parents were encouraged not to over mollycoddle their kids. Distance and separation was kinda the thing that was promoted. The fear was that kids would get too dependent.
Actually what we’ve learned since then has been when those needs aren’t met, a child doesn’t develop into a properly rounded adult. Your brain actually has a pre-programmed mechanism – called the Attachment System. This system means our brains are constantly checking and looking for the support of our partners. That could be physical or psychological.
Just like a baby that’s left in an alien environment without the mother, your brain is naturally pre-programmed to seek out and try and meet those attachment needs. And that’s where this feeling of neediness creeps in. Doesn’t really matter where you are in your relationship, that’s what you’re programmed to do. So yeah, it’s no wonder you feel anxious or agitated sometimes – what we have to realise is dependency is a biological thing. It’s a fact. Just like you need to breathe oxygen or eat food or drink water.
So what do you do from here? Well, first of all, you wanna change your thinking too – “is this the right person to meet my emotional needs? can they meet them? will they?” instead of “do they like me? am I good enough?” which is what most of us tend to do. and secondly…learn to become more self-aware of your own needs through things like coaching and reflection. Then making sure you communicate that to your partner as well as trying to make sure you meet their needs too. Otherwise, you’re just blindly reacting like to the unmet needs of your attachment system.
This is something I hear a lot of people say & believe – that I used to think too. That they’re a “needy” person or that they don’t want to become needy and basically that neediness is bad. Especially for men, I think that we’ve been conditioned to suppress these emotional needs as weak but in actual reality, it’s a biological fact.
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