Giving to avoid seeming “needy”

And why embracing your needs means understanding your worth for love

Fear and loathing — and hunger for love

So many of us are terrified of needing too much and then being rejected, judged, or abandoned. We’re afraid of caring too much, getting our hopes up, and getting burned.

It’s not easy to invest in others only to be ignored, forgotten, or dismissed.

And what’s worse is that these feelings only affirm our deepest, albeit untrue, insecurities and suspicions that we’re undeserving of love.

“Giving” as a bargaining chip for love

And insurance against “taking” or “needing” too much. Because “neediness,” as all women come to understand, is seen as the worst “take” of all.

So many of us are paralyzed by that delicate balance between need and neediness. So many women pour love and care on our partners and yet feel terrified to come across as needy.

We compensate for this fundamental fear of unworthiness by being attentive and responsive to the needs of others. Some of us endlessly give to cover up the feeling that we aren’t worthy of deserving — or worse, that we ask too much.

But there’s a difference between need and neediness.

Love avoidants are guilty of denying themselves either one. Love addicts are guilty of leaning too heavily on the latter. And all of us could probably benefit from a little more balance in how much to give and how much to let our partners give in return.

Need vs. neediness

“‘Needing’ is openly reaching out and asking for support from [a partner] in a trusting manner, one that assume that he will do his best. This empowers him. ‘Neediness,’ however, is desperately needing support because you don’t trust you will get it. It pushes [partners] away.”

Need is open and vulnerable and available. Neediness is closed and victimized and attached.

Need is constructive. Need is caring enough about the other person to let them in. But most importantly, it’s caring enough about ourselves to feel worthy.

“Need” and worthiness of love

Sometimes we think that by giving we will become more worthy of love.

But at some point, we have to realize that we have always been worthy of love.

You don’t have to give endlessly for a good relationship.

And you don’t have to give everything just to get anything back.

When we stop giving “too much,” we also have to stop using it as cover for our own emotional needs. And when forced to sit quietly, we also make space for our partner to fill in on his or her own accord.

“When we are truly ready to receive, what we need will become available.”

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