About a month ago I was sitting in a bar with a few of my guy friends and my brother. Something came up about me being “needy” (I put quotes around this word because I am not at the point in the article where I can admit that I am this word yet). I was immediately offended and persistently inquired as to why they viewed me this way.
While the comments that were thrown my way were primarily in jest, it got me thinking about what it meant to be needy. It also had me contemplating if I was a needy person, and if that was a good or bad thing.
We learn, as people, from an early age how to protect ourselves.
Whether it be from something physically painful like falling on the ground, or emotionally trying like falling in love. We create defense mechanisms and intangible shields to prevent our peers from finding out all of our truths –– because once those truths are exposed, we allow ourselves to become vulnerable.
I discovered about a year ago that vulnerability is a good thing. I used to be convinced it had the potential to be either really bad or really good, until my dad made me watch a TED Talk by Brené Brown. It was then that I finally understood that no matter the outcome of vulnerability, it is always good.
If you don’t throw yourself into life without the fear of being spat back out, you will never get to feel the great things either.
So, what I’ve learned during my last semester of college is that yes, I am a needy person by definition.
I need my boyfriend to text me back in a timely manner. I need to receive a certain amount of attention from people. I need my jokes to be laughed at. I need to not be completely alone sometimes, but I also need to be completely alone other times. I need certainty in life.
We all need to be exactly who we are and be okay with not only getting what we need from other people, but giving ourselves what we need too.
Being needy is perceived as negative by society because we are trained to not need anyone, in case it doesn’t work out in the end. I had a friend once tell me that every relationship ends –– either death, divorce, or a breakup. And he was so right.
We can’t fear what may happen, or what has happened.
Yes, admitting to the person you love that you have a hard time not being with them is terrifying. Yes, vocalizing your fears of the bleak and unknown future to your friends not knowing if they want to listen to you is scary. Telling anyone you need them is horrible while you wait to receive their response.
But, it’s the moments when the people in your life feel the same things as you that make it worthwhile. Because now you get to need each other.