I am giving you permission to need love. What is your reaction when you see it stated as a need? I know that I get a little uncomfortable. I don't want to need anyone or anything. I should be able to satisfy my own needs and not depend on others, right?
Well not necessarily.
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This is good wisdom for someone who is learning to be responsible for meeting their own needs, but it doesn't mean that we don't need others. It sounds a little confusing so let me try to clarify.
In our overly psychologically sophisticated culture, we have gotten confused between codependence and interdependence. Codependence is when care-taking reaches unhealthy levels and when you put others needs first before considering the impact on yourself. You have a strong need for others approval and acceptance which underlies the 'giving'.
Interdependence is both mutual dependence and independence. How can this be? The dependence is based on free choice, not on the sense that one cannot be okay without the other. It takes a certain maturity to be able to allow yourself to be vulnerable enough with another person to be interdependent. So you have to be independent enough create this mutual dependence.
In our confusion, we have pulled back, fearing any type of dependence on another person. The truth is that we all need each other. And we need to feel nurtured, connected and valued. Here's "Ellen's rule for dependency"
As long as I am meeting my own needs for nurturing, connection and feeling valued, it is okay to need or want to receive them from others.
I believe there is a negative consequence for not needing love. We can fool ourselves into believing this and then push love away or keep it out of our lives. I have coached men and women who believe that it is 'too needy' to acknowledge that they are lonely and want to be loved. It is actually part of being human to want/need to be loved.
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Sometimes when a client tells me that his/her partner says they are too needy, it is actually a case of choosing someone who is unwilling or unable to meet their needs. Of course this leads me to explore how willing they are to honor their own emotional needs.
And what about the fact that many of us do have wounds and unmet needs from the past that sometimes spill into neediness? This can lead some to shut down all needs for connection with others. This is not how we were meant to live our lives. We are here to have relationships. Instead of trying to shut down your needs, why not take them seriously and begin developing relationships with people who are willing to respond lovingly to you!