Neediness is the ultimate repellant that destroys your relationships, autonomy, self-esteem and your well-being in general.
While women can get away with neediness in certain circumstances, men never can. Neediness never goes unpunished when a man does it so it must be completely demolished and eradicated from your existence.
Since non-neediness implies not having needs at all (which is not true), most people don’t even recognize neediness as a problem (it is). Just like losing doesn’t make you a loser (giving up does), having needs doesn’t make you needy.
Needy people constantly have trouble getting what they want out of life and, as a result, they live a life of despair.
If you are needy and reading this article to solve your problem, you are already miles ahead of the people who are not even aware of their own neediness and you will eventually overcome your problem. If you aren’t needy, this article will confirm that you are not needy and help prevent you from falling into needy patterns of behavior in the future.
4 Perils of Neediness
1. Neediness Repels Others
Needy behavior broadcasts insecurity, despair and a lack of self-confidence, all of which repel others, especially women.
Neediness is the ultimate attraction killer. There’s nothing that makes you more unattractive in the eyes of the opposite sex than neediness.
Neediness makes a man so unsalvageably unattractive that even the men of highest status can’t pull it off. Imagine Brad Pitt on his knees begging a woman to give him a chance. You can vividly imagine the disgust on the woman’s face, right?
You don’t even need to interact with the members of the opposite sex in order for neediness to hurt you. Neediness has the potential to ruin all of your interactions with others.
For example, a needy salesman will repel his prospective customers. A needy relative will repel his/her relatives. A needy person will have a hard time making friends and keeping them, and so on.
2. Neediness Causes You to Lose Your Autonomy
Needy people have a deeply held belief of inadequacy which causes them to engage in behaviors to compensate for their real or imagined shortcomings.
For example, if a needy man wants to attract a woman, he will do favors for her that he doesn’t actually want to do in order to make up for the imagined gap between his unattractive self and what he believes to make a man attractive to a woman.
If a needy man somehow gets in a relationship, he will occasionally reward his woman for doing nothing or, worse, for treating him poorly. For example, if she admonishes him for something trivial, he might apologize to her or even buy her a gift. Or he will keep doing nice things for her for absolutely no reason other than existing because he’s secretly grateful that she somehow decided to be with him.
His needy behavior is bound to repel the woman he’s interested in or he’s in a relationship with. If he’s aiming to attract her, he will fail to do so. If he’s trying to keep her happy in the relationship (so that she doesn’t leave him), he will (ironically) make her more likely to dump him.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with rewarding a woman, buying her gifts and so on, as long as she earns it. But the needy man does these things from a position of weakness without her having to earn her rewards, which renders his efforts useless or even harmful.
3. Neediness Makes You A Burden To Your Loved Ones
His or her loved ones are the real victims of a needy person because while strangers can easily run away from a needy one, his or her loved ones can’t, especially if the needy person in question is a relative.
Since needy people tend to lack self-sufficiency, they incessantly pester or coerce their loved ones into meeting their needs. Unfortunately, trying to meet the needs of a needy person is akin to trying to fill a bottomless pit, so the loved ones of a needy person will sooner or later grow tired of him/her.
What needy people fail to realize (due to their solipsism) is that nobody lives a problem-free life. Everybody has their own problems so it’s unfair and even evil for an adult to be a burden on others. A needy person should take the matter into his/her own hands, become self-sufficient and be an asset to his/her loved ones, not a liability.
4. Neediness Leaves You Vulnerable to Being Taken Advantage of
Needy men who are desperate for love, affection and female company are easy prey for frauds who want to swindle them out of their money.
We’ve all heard the stories of love-thirsty men who sent huge amounts of money to women they met on the internet without even meeting them in real life. In many of such cases, the person on the other end of the line isn’t even a woman but some fraud who uses the pictures of some attractive woman to fool the needy man into believing that he’s talking to a woman who’s attracted to him.
Causes of Neediness
Low self-esteem is the primary driver of neediness as it breeds inaction, a lack of options, and a scarcity mentality.
Traumatic childhood (or sometimes even adulthood) events, real or imagined physical or personality-wise shortcomings, or limiting beliefs and convictions are all common causes of low self-esteem.
Examples of traumatic events that lowers a person’s self-esteem (and hence trigger neediness) are rejection (including not having needs met in a timely fashion during childhood), abuse, ridicule, and failure. While these events are often instantaneous, their effects can last for extended periods of time, sometimes a lifetime.
Real or imagined physical or personality-wise shortcomings can also hurt a person’s self-esteem. Physical attributes (such as being fat, skinny, bald, hairy, short, tall, young, old, light-skinned, dark-skinned, and so on) or personality traits (such as being boring, introverted, unlikeable, unpopular and so on) that the person believes to be unattractive might cause him/her to act needy.
Inexperience is another driver of neediness which is hard to solve because neediness often paralyzes a person into inaction which makes it increasingly difficult to accumulate experience.
Laziness can also lead to neediness provided that the person believes that needy behavior is the easy way to get what he wants.
Last but not least, being spoiled will almost always result in neediness because spoiled people tend to be used to getting what they want without having to earn it.
Examples of Needy Behavior
Examples of needy behavior regarding romantic relationships are…
- Incessant calling and texting
- Constant questioning and testing of the other person’s commitment
- Fishing for compliments
- Playing the victim
- Trying to make the other person jealous
- Rewarding the other person for doing nothing or, worse, for bad behavior
- Falling in love with the first attractive person that demonstrates (real or imagined) attention
- Pushing things too soon too fast (which usually freaks out and scares the other person away)
- Lying (to impress)
- Trying to buy someone’s love and affection with expensive gifts
Needy behaviors aren’t confined to the field of romantic relationships. For example, needy relatives might pester or coerce their loved ones into meeting their needs. Needy friends might pester or coerce their friends into spending more time with them. If their friends are busy, the needy ones might throw tantrums. Needy salesmen might be too pushy and scare away their potential customers, and so on.
Needy behaviors can also be passive. For example, putting up with or settling for sub-standard treatment for extended periods of time is common for needy people because they lack self-esteem and they inherently believe that they don’t deserve to be treated any better.
How NOT to Stop Being Needy
There are two types of conventional methods to overcome the problem of neediness, both of which don’t work:
- Cutting down on needy behavior
- Suppressing the needs
Both of these methods fail to cure neediness because they fail to address the underlying issues that breed needy behavior.
Focusing on the “needs” part of the equation is the wrong way to solve the problem because non-neediness doesn’t equal to not having any needs. We all have psychological as well as physiological needs.
Psychological needs can be grouped into 4 broad categories which are security, self-esteem, autonomy, and connection.
Physiological needs are water, air, food, and sleep.
Sex is technically not a physiological need although it’s a physiological act since we don’t die if we don’t have sex. But the physical act of having sex indirectly helps to satisfy the psychological needs such as self-esteem and connection as long as the person we are having sex with reciprocates our desire to have sex with her/him.
Neediness stems from not having our psychological or physiological needs properly met. It doesn’t stem from having needs to be met.
Why Cutting Down on Needy Behavior Doesn’t Work
Cutting down on needy behavior without addressing the underlying issues is akin to symptomatic treatment of a disease without treating its cause.
“Don’t call or text him/her too much”, “Wait 2 days before re-contacting him/her”, “Don’t be pushy”, etc. You want to call (or text) your friend or your significant other but you don’t want to come across as needy. So you consciously prevent yourself from calling or texting that person.
These are all examples of trying to solve the problem of neediness by controlling the final behavior. Calculating your every interaction with others (lest you come across as needy) is tiresome and inauthentic. It consumes your willpower, wreaks havoc on your autonomy, and sucks the joy out of your relationships. It’s not even sustainable either, as you will sooner or later regress back to needy behavior patterns unless you address the underlying issues that result in needy behavior. I’d wager that this approach doesn’t even treat the symptoms as neediness always finds a way to leak out and come through no matter how good you are at hiding it.
Needy behavior is only a symptom. The only way to not come across needy is to actually stop being needy.
Why Suppressing the Needs Doesn’t Work
Religious authorities, political figures, and thought leaders who have the temerity to ask of people to ignore and suppress their needs are dime a dozen.
For example, you wouldn’t act needy to attain sex if you didn’t need to have sex in the first place, right? Duh. But how realistic or desirable is it to suppress your sexual needs? Of course, it’s not realistic but that’s exactly what many religions of the world advise their followers to do. If you are a good boy, you will be rewarded with plenty of sex after you die! Great deal. Where do I sign up?
Or, the so-called “gurus” lecturing you that “money doesn’t make you happy” while swimming in money themselves.
Or, the so-called “relationship experts” lecturing you to calculate each and every action in your relationships in order to manipulate the other party into acting as you wish.
Suppressing your needs is never a good idea because ignoring your needs doesn’t cause your needs to magically disappear. Your needs are still there no matter how much you suppress them and it’s not uncommon for the suppressed needs to burst out and come to the surface in dangerous ways in the form of violence or mental problems.
By suppressing your needs, you sentence yourself to eternal dissatisfaction and unhappiness.
How to Stop Being Needy
The best way to stop being needy is to find efficient ways to get your needs met. This is not easy to do but it’s doable by changing your mindset, attitude, and actions as well as your reactions. Your self-esteem will grow in the process as you improve yourself and start to get results.
The Power of Having Options in Eliminating Neediness
A lack of options is one of the most powerful drivers of needy behavior which makes having plenty of options as the ultimate antidote to neediness.
- Would you put up with an inferior relationship where your significant other treats you poorly if you had plenty of better relationship options?
- Would you live with the fear of getting dumped if you knew you can easily replace the person who might dump you?
- Would you fear rejection if you are confident that you have plenty of options to move on to?
- Would you act needy to get into a relationship with an attractive woman if you had a wide selection of attractive women who are swooning for you?
- Would you be desperate to make a sale if you had plenty of customers to sell to or a variety of attractive products to offer?
- Would you be desperate to find a job if you had a profitable business or you had job skills that are high in demand and employers are racing to hire you?
You see, the problem with neediness is not the need itself but it’s the lack of options, which creates performance anxiety and wreaks havoc on your self-confidence.
Hence, the best solution to the problem of neediness is not to eliminate the need or to scrutinize and calculate your actions but to become a man who has options.
When you have a variety of ways at your disposal to have your needs met, you won’t demonstrate needy behavior towards a solitary prospect.
Since building yourself up to become a man in demand with plenty of options is not easy, most people either gravitate towards shortcuts or settle for the low-hanging fruit.
Building yourself up to become a man with options eliminates neediness because if someone or some institution rejects you, you simply move on to your next option. You are confident of your worth, you have a track record of getting what you want and you will get what you want if not from a particular person or an institution, from someone or some institution else.
Of course, becoming a man with options is easier said than done but since there are no shortcuts, it must be done no matter where you are in life. It’s game on as long as you are alive, and with determination and resolution, any situation can be turned around. Your self-esteem will also grow in proportion to your self-growth and the options at your disposal.
Focus on Attracting Your Objects of Desire Instead of Chasing Them
MJ DeMarco has a great analogy to summarize how this works:
If you chase a mischievous cat around the neighborhood, it eludes you. It hides up a tree, behind the rose bush, or in the garden. However, if you ignore it and focus on what attracts the cat, it comes to you and sits in your lap.
Humans are inherently selfish. Everybody is driven by selfish motives. The question “what’s in it for me?” is always in the back of our minds when we make buying decisions or interact with other people directly (in personal relationships) or indirectly (by media). If you have what people want, they will come to you without you having to chase them.
Paul Stanley, The Kiss frontman, writes in his biography “Face the Music” that at every city they went on tour, girls congregated in hotels where the band members stayed, in order to get banged by the band members with barely so much as an introduction. He says he figured that there were probably guys in towns who had to date those same girls for months to get anywhere.
Since rock stars have massive value in the eyes of women, they don’t chase girls but girls chase them. Of course, becoming a rock star is a long shot that almost all of us will never achieve in our lifetimes but this example goes to show the power of creating massive perceived value that effortlessly attracts what you need or desire.
Focus on what you bring to the table. Become valuable. Have what others want.
People who bring value to the table are “assets” whereas people who bring nothing to the table but ask for everything in return are “liabilities”. Every person is busy dabbling with the problems life throws at him/her. No one wants another liability in their lives.
A sizable portion of the needy people that I know are liabilities who bring nothing to the table. Become a person who is an asset and other people will line up to meet your needs. Self-sufficient people who offer value are rare and as it is with most rare things, they are in demand.
Develop an Abundance Mentality
Scarcity mentality is closely correlated to neediness because if you believe that your options are limited you will hold on to them as if your life depends on them.
The only thing that’s scarce is your time. There are 7 billion people on this planet and trillions of dollars of money. When you develop an abundance mentality, suddenly the actions of one person or one entity ceases to be important and loses its power over you.
Remember, a lack of options is the main driver of needy behavior no matter the lack of options in question is real or imagined. Developing an abundance mentality doesn’t automatically increase your options but makes you aware that the options are there. If you have plenty of options, failures and rejections suddenly lose their importance and they become opportunities for growth.
Develop an Internal Locus of Control
Neediness is closely related to despair which in turn is closely related to a feeling of a lack of control over the trajectory of your life.
An internal locus of control is believing that you have control over the events in your life whereas an external locus of control is believing that your life is directed by external forces beyond your control.
Develop an internal locus of control. Aim for complete self-reliance and self-sufficiency. The more control you have over your own life, the less needy you will become. If you are in control, you can change your life for the better.
Eventually, all tactics and strategies to eliminate neediness boil down to becoming a resourceful person who brings a lot of value to the table.
People go out of their way to accommodate winners. People run away from liabilities and flock to assets. Incongruent tactics can work in the short run but if you are a liability your true colors will sooner or later be exposed.
Become valuable enough and you will never have to act needy.
Be sure to read:
- 24 Ways to Get Rid of the Victim Mentality and Adopt a Victor Mentality
- Be a Better Man in 30 Days Program, Action driven, intensive self-improvement program to improve your value as a man. (Warning: Lazy men who never take action aren’t invited.)
- “I’m not good (enough) at anything” – How to Stop Feeling Inferior
- How to Get Your Life Together
- 21 Ways to Stop Being an Effeminate Modern Man and Be More Masculine