Needy people are the worst.
If you’re one of them, it’s time to learn how to stop being needy and be a person worth hanging out with.
Now, when I talk about needy people, I don’t mean people who have gone through trauma or other experiences that leaves them needy on that sort of level.
I mean the people who can’t seem to go to bathroom without asking you to accompany them, the friends who need your constant validation, the partner who can’t seem to enjoy a night by themselves while you go hang out with your buddies.
Being needy is a symptom of having a low self-esteem, or fearing being alone with your own thoughts.
You don’t feel good enough in yourself, so you basically beg for that self-esteem boost from other people (which only works temporarily because it’s called self-esteem for a reason!)
Here’s how to stop being needy in your friendships, your relationships, and in your life.
Must-Read Book for Finding Your Confidence
After scouring the world of self-help books, I’ve found the best one for embracing who you are, not apologizing for what you do or what you believe, and achieving more.
It’s called “You Are a Bada**: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.”
This is seriously going to change your life, and you can find it here.
This self-love workbook is a fantastic way of realigning your own thoughts and outlook on yourself, which is important to do before you can really deal with anyone else’s feelings or thoughts about you.
1. Identify What it is You Really Want
When you call your boyfriend 8 times in the span of an hour, are you really wanting to talk to him each time?
Or are you compulsively searching for the attention that the call will bring you?
If you’re finding yourself asking your friend over and over again if they really like you, are you wanting the honest answer or are you hoping they’ll say that they do so you get a boost?
You need to figure out why you’re needy to figure out what it is that you’re really looking for so you can start finding those things in healthier ways.
It could relate to something in your childhood or just your overall personality, but be honest with yourself and try to get to the root of the issue and why it is that you feel needy.
2. Practice Behavioral Therapy by Changing Needy Habits
Even before you get fully to the root cause of being needy, you can start changing your needy behaviors and bad habits by training yourself not to do them.
So let’s say that you are the kind of person who finds it very difficult to hang out by yourself.
You always have to be around someone, and absolutely hate it if you find some friends of yours have gone and done something without you.
You call and text them 86 times during the outing so that you feel “seen”.
Instead, the next time you feel the compulsion to do this, put your phone away and go watch a movie or do something for yourself.
It will feel incredibly difficult at first, but with practice, you can retrain those needy behaviors which will in turn boost your self-esteem.
The same goes for the kinds of questions you ask your friends, partners, or families.
Are you the person who is always asking them if you look good in something, not to get real feedback but so they’ll say that you look great?
It can be tiring to be on the other end of this, always having to validate someone, so train yourself over time to stop asking.
Come up with something you’ll do instead if you have the compulsion to ask, or if you do ask and it slips out, follow it up with, “actually, never mind, I think this looks great on me!”
You have to work on your own self-talk and how confident you feel in yourself to stop being so needy around other people, and that is a habit that you can work on.
3. See a Therapist
A therapist is well placed to help you with their neediness.
In fact, in some therapy offices and in some ways of therapy, that neediness may play out within you and your therapist’s relationships and their reactions will be a part of helping you build yourself up rather than being so needy.
You can also, of course, talk about your neediness in therapy and address the reasons for it and they’ll help you find ways to boost your self-esteem and not rely so much on external validation.
If you feel like you would prefer to see a therapist online instead, check out Talkspace.
I love them for how easy they make it to find therapy even if you don’t have the time or money to see someone in person, and their counselors are certified and trained to help you through your issues.
4. Start a New Hobby to Make New Friends
Sometimes, neediness is when you are always relient on the same person or people, and you need someone else to always be the one making plans or inviting you to places.
You’re the person waiting at home for a call to hang out, instead of being in charge of your own life.
To avoid this, force yourself to start a new hobby or join a group to make new friends.
The catch is that you need to do this on your own!
It’s no use tagging along with someone else.
You need to be the one taking responsibility for your own life, your own hobbies, your own friendships and do some sort of activity that means you can make some new ones or learn something new – it’s something to put in your schedule that relies on you, not on other people!
If you’re nervous about going and doing something in person, you can always do something like blogging or crocheting or something solitary, but connect up with other people through the many Facebook groups dedicated to these topics.
5. Practice Reaching Out to People to Give Them Love and Attention, Not Receive It
Part of neediness is constantly taking more than you give from other people, emotionally.
It’s something that happens without you realizing because you’re so desparate for that validation.
But try to practice turning it around!
Be conscious to get in touch with people to ask about THEM, and actually listen.
Give people compliments.
Be the shoulder they can cry on.
The best relationships are balanced ones.
Each person has a somewhat equal give and take in the relationship, and while there may be times one might be more needy, it’s not a constant thing and the balance will right itself again.
This is the best way to start to give back to the people who have stood by your side through the years, even when you weren’t the most fun to be around or you drained them with your neediness.
It’s never too late to pull yourself up, find your self-worth, and start to help!