I watched a movie once about a family who farmed for a living and they were about to lose their home, their animals, and their land. Land that had been in their family for over 100 years. It was very hard on the head of the household because he felt like he could no longer provide for them and he took it very, very hard. So hard that he lost himself for awhile in his self-pity. The wife looked at him and said, “This is hard. But you’re a farmer. All your life has been hard!” What she meant was – you can do this. You’ve done it before and you’re stronger for it.
I think some of us have (without realizing it) found that being a victim, helpless, unloved, not cared for enough – whatever it is they “label” it – I think that that “vice” has become a friend to us in a strange way. I don’t think everyone knows how to truly live free. I’ve found that most people who act needy always have the choice of a different attitude and course of action. They just seem to find that course of action is too inconvenient, hard, or out of reach (by their standards.) They don’t truly want it. They would much rather have the love and attention of good natured, compassionate folks doting on them and telling them how sorry they are for the rotten dose of luck they’ve had in their life, than they are at reaching up and outward to become a strong person, themselves.
Life can make us stronger or weaker depending on how we choose to react to it. We can choose to get love and attention based on others feeling sorry for us all of the time, or we can get it by healthy respect instead.
Most people who come across as needy, probably don’t view themselves that way. They probably think they are very strong, courageous people for going through whatever it is they are going through. But in reality, they whine, complain, utter hints, and cling to those around them…quite often and quite regularly. No one can seem to appease them or give them that sense of self esteem and inner joy that they seek – at least not permanently.
They say some children act out in order to get attention from their parents when they’ve felt neglected. I think the same is true for adults who are needy. They want attention. The thing is, they can get hooked on bad attention and then that becomes a way of life without them even realizing it. They may not realize how often they feel that everyone should hear how they had a bad day or how something hurt them. They act as if they have been singled out to experience this. The thing is? We ALL experience bad days and hurt feelings. We ALL cry and feel left out or neglected at times. We ALL get a raw deal at times. No one is more special than anyone else to feel these things.
I don’t know what the secret is to help needy people. I think it just might be to get them to help other needy people. Because then they will stop thinking about themselves and their own pity party and after awhile – they will form new healthier patterns of living. Patterns of giving, loving, and offering up their lives to help others.
I’ve seen truly needy people in my lifetime. People who have deep hurts, real concerns and visible problems. I’ve seen these same people show courage, independence, deep faith, and joy amidst those problems and I admire them for it. They made the choice to live and love fully without thought to themselves - despite their trials.
They were physically needy, but not emotionally. They persevered, loved, laughed, and grew – despite the obstacles and challenges in their life.
The question is – will you?