You may have heard the term emotional neediness before, and why emotional neediness harms intimate relationships. Maybe you have been told that you are too ‘needy’ or ‘clingy’ in your relationship. What does it mean to be needy? It means you require a lot of attention and closeness from your partner and you depend on him\her to make you happy. Of course partners are supposed to make each other happy. But being emotionally needy means you are preoccupied with your relationship and you are constantly looking for approval or attention from your partner while feeling unable to feel good or secure about yourself without them.
How can you tell if you are too emotionally needy? It’s very easy to tell, there are clear behavioral and emotional signs.
1.You Want a Lot of Closeness
Most people want closeness in a relationship. But people also want space. Feeling bad about yourself or afraid about your relationship whenever your partner wants more space and spends less time with you is one of the biggest signs of neediness.
2. You Are Afraid That Your Partner Will Leave You
Even if you don’t have any evidence for that, you are constantly worried that your partner is going to leave you. We all worry about abandonment sometimes but being always preoccupied with the idea possible abandonment is unhealthy and indicates that you have past wounds of abandonment.3.
3. Sometimes You Feel like Your Partner Doesn’t Really Love You\Like You
You are insecure about yourself and feel unlovable. You may wonder if your partner really loves you and likes you. You are constantly afraid he\she is going to find a better partner than you.
4. You Get Jealous Easily
It’s common for people to get jealous in relationships. However excessive jealously is a sign of personal insecurity and fear of abandonment.
5. You Expect Your Parent to Know Your Needs and Wants Without Expressing Them
Needy people can be very uncomfortable with expressing their needs because they don’t want to appear needy. But they are also very sensitive when their partner fails to identify and meet their needs.
6. You Neglect Your Hobbies, Family and Friends
Because you feel like your partner\your relationship is your only source of happiness you start to neglect other people and even your hobbies. You are afraid to explore your life independent of your partner.
7. You Are Constantly Looking for Validation from Your Partner
You are insecure about your actions, decisions and views of life. You want your partner to agree with everything you say and do and that is unrealistic.
Where Does Emotional Neediness Come From?
Past Relationship Experiences
Past relationships and attachment experiences can affect how we connect with people in out present life. If you have felt and learned at some point in your life that you can’t rely on other people to be consistent with meeting your needs you may develop and insecurity and a strategy to meet your needs. Often those strategies that we create in our minds can cause us to seek constant closeness and reassurance in our partners.
Personal insecurities and low self esteem can cause us to look for validation in other people and in our partners. That can also cause us to feel unlovable,needy and hungry for love and validation.
Having Unmet Needs
Sometimes we are needy because our partner is too cold\distant and in such cases your neediness is justified. So make sure you are not with an emotionally cold and distant partner before you accuse yourself of being too needy.
How Can You Overcome It?
Emotional neediness stems from insecurity and past wounds. It is not only bad for you and your health but it can also drain your partner’s energy and make him feel unhappy. Your relationship will grow much happier if you are a secure person and if you love yourself and take care of yourself. Being needy also makes you an ‘unavailable’ partner because you are only focused on your needs and don’t think about the needs of your partner.
The more you focus on your needs and take action to meet them by yourself and make yourself happy, the more you will reach to yourself to be happy and your happiness will stop being dependent on your partner
Be with a Supportive Person
Avoid relationships with people who are afraid of intimacy and who avoid to acknowledge your feelings and needs. Those types of relationships can make your relationship insecureities even worse and leave you with more emotional neediness than before.
Be Mindful of Your Emotions
By paying attention to your thoughts and feelings you can gain better awareness of them and separate them from reality. Ask yourself what is currently happening in your relationship and compare that to what is happening in your mind. By doing that you can compare and contrast and get a better grip on reality without jumping to negative conclusions.
Don’t Be Afraid of Your Neediness
Needy people who are conscious of their own neediness are very afraid of appearing needy because they know it drives people away. Be aware that the more you fear that you appear needy, the needier you probably are. At the end of the day we are all needy in one way or another. It’s ok to express a need and if you are with a good partner they will respond well to you.
See also: 8 Myths About Happy Relationships