A lot of sites discuss tips and secrets about how to get ahead in the job, find new careers, find love, and so forth. What a lot of people forget is that the main factor with most of these topics involves your “neediness threshold”. Quite simply, the more you desire things from other people, the more turned off people will feel about your company, and ironically–the less likely you’ll receive the things you want. Let’s elaborate.
In college (or high-school), everybody knew the people who were “hangers-on”–they always tried to get in to the best parties, hang out with the people they considered the most socially valuable, and generally try to siphon as much value from every situation as possible. Obviously, these people were never very popular, and they usually experienced the exact opposite of what they were seeking (attention, acceptance, etc).
Most people get over this behavior, but some people don’t. I feel like the reason it’s not easy to shake this behavior is because in society it’s typical that we are taught to “get” as much as we can; get the job, get the raise, get the girl / boy. Needy behavior derives from people who are continually in a “get” attitude wherever they go, and become profoundly insecure if they don’t receive what they want.
Here are some ideas to stop “needing”:
Focus a Day on Giving Back .
No matter your circumstances or mood, when you wake up next, think about how you can give back to people around you. It doesn’t have to be in terms of physical goods, but simply providing positive energy to people around you. If you can cheer up your office mate, or make a barista smile at Starbucks, then you’ve done a good job. Giving out of positive energy is one of the best things you can offer people.
Do an Inventory Checklist: What Do You Really Need?
Here’s some food for thought: how much stuff do you want, that you really need? As most Zen experts will tell you, after a while your stuff will begin to own you, and not the other way around. Fortunately, experiences are free. Do you feel like you desperately “need” that new flat screen? Well, maybe it’s not as important as you think. Look for a free alternative that you may find fulfilling, whether a hike or a get-together with friends. You’ll find you “need” new stuff less when you begin to shift priorities.
Identify Mental / Emotional Neediness
Whether the desire for acceptance or approval, this stuff isn’t easy to crack, and many of these thoughts could be tied up in years of mental cobwebs. The opposite of emotional neediness is acceptance. Learning to add a greater degree of acceptance to your life will go a long way toward “curing” your tendency to desire things from other people. Unfortunately, emotional neediness can be a major hindrance on both your personal and professional life.
Focus Less on the Outcome
Finally, a major source of neediness is over-emphasis on the outcome of actions. Desiring too much in return for your time could lead to an unhealthy fixation on goals, and desperate neediness to achieve your desire.
Needy people and behavior is very easy to spot, and it’s a universal turn-off. Whether it’s a needy desire for material goods, or constantly seeking attention or approval from your fellow humans, one of the best things you can do is to become aware of your actions and to focus on discovering the root cause of what’s making you feel absent. Learning self-acceptance and completeness are big topics which we’ll discuss in future articles, but they’re your best in eliminating these behaviors.