“Squid is my word for people who seem to be missing their backbones but possess myriad sucking tentacles of emotional need.” —Martha Beck
Another phrase for ‘squid’ is ‘energy vampire.’
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When your intent is to get love, rather than to be loving to yourself and share your love with others, you are a ‘squid.’ When you are not in the moment-by-moment process of learning what is loving to yourself, and taking loving action for yourself, then you are in the process of creating an empty hole within. This empty hole needs love, and you will try to get it from others in any way you can.
Others might not be fully conscious of the energy pull from you, but they will generally back off nevertheless — as your pull unconsciously feels yucky to them. Of course, you might find someone who is such a caretaker that they stay and let themselves be drained by you, but you need to know that people who allow themselves to be drained and used have strings attached. They have a huge expectation — expecting you to love them and fill their emptiness as well. Both of you will inevitably be very disappointed.
The whole issue centers around beliefs regarding who is responsible for your feelings, and whether or not you are responsible for another’s feelings. As an adult, you are 100% responsible for causing your wounded feelings of anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, anger, jealousy, and so on, and for managing the existential painful feelings of life — such as loneliness, heartache, heartbreak, grief and helplessness over others. When you fully accept this, you will stop either being a squid or caretaking a squid.
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Over and over, I see so much suffering because people will not accept responsibility for their own feelings, and will not accept their helplessness over how others treat them or treat themselves, which may be causing their suffering. I see people spending years and years doing everything they can to try to have control over getting love, attention, approval, validation or sex from others, wondering why they never feel happy.
I spent the first 45 years of my life in this very situation. My ‘squid-ness’ was not as obvious as those who are addicted to sex or talking or blaming or complaining. I gave and gave with the secret hope that if I loved enough, I would receive love in return. And sometimes I did, but it was never enough to bring me the solid inner peace, joy, sense of worth and fullness that I sought. And all I knew to do was to try harder to get love. Until Inner Bonding.