Unless we are a puppy, neediness is not cool. Neediness in humans over the age of five is not a winning approach to life. There is a difference between seeking and asking for what we truly need and neediness as a character trait.
At one of the dance studios I attend, there was a lady who had her lesson around the same time as me. I noticed she was well-dressed, refined, quiet, eager to learn, and grateful to her kind dance teacher. One other thing I did notice about her was that she never seemed to look directly at me and if I smiled at her, she didn’t seem to want to respond. I felt she must be very absorbed in her lesson and didn’t want to engage with anyone else. One day, after about a year, I decided to speak directly to her. I suddenly realized she was completely blind. My estimation of her went up enormously. Many completely healthy, able people balk at any new venture, let alone dancing which most people would find quite confronting. Here she was, totally blind, and tackling the demanding task of ballroom dancing with never a suggestion that she should have any concession. I was impressed. She asks for help when she needs it but she understands that life works much better with an independent and gracious approach rather than a needy one. She may be dancing in the dark but she still keeps trying.
One of America’s greatest presidents was paralysed with polio at a time when he was totally engrossed in a highly promising political career. Overcoming the challenge, Franklin Roosevelt went on to become four-time president of the most powerful nation in the world. Yet he couldn’t walk a step without pain and tremendous effort. There was no neediness there. He focused on what he had to give. Roosevelt was in a wheelchair but he had a highly attractive presence. It is interesting that one can be an attractive person by virtue of one’s inner qualities alone.
We have a tendency to be repelled by needy people. They make us cringe. The reason we find neediness such an offensive quality is because we are repulsed by own secret vulnerability to neediness. There is a hidden part of us all (for some, not so hidden) that would love to crawl up in a little ball, on the sofa, with a blankie and call out to Mummy to feed us and Daddy to protect us. Most of us refrain from doing that, most of the time anyway. However, the desire is there and we are somewhere on the scale of neediness, trying to develop within ourselves that wonderful and attractive quality of being genuinely emotionally independent. It is interesting that attractive people are never needy people. What is coolness other than the quality to be a leader, not a follower? And the leader is not needy.
The most trustworthy assurance against neediness is an emotional and spiritual maturity which gives us a calm, quiet confidence. We know that there is a Higher Power or Life Principles which we can lean on, so as not to lean too heavily on others. We accept everything wonderful in life which comes from other people. However, we do not demand, coerce, beg, or passively manipulate people into giving us anything. We get what we need from life by allowing the positive principles of Life to guide our steps.
This article is from Love’s Longing