How to Show Vulnerability Without Feeling Needy

Charlotte Howard, a therapist at Deep Eddy Psychotherapy in Austin, TX, talks about neediness and the differences between vulnerable and needy.


Needing People is Not Neediness

A lot of my clients fear being needy and so they don’t open up and show their vulnerability. They don’t ask for what they need from people. The truth, though, is that we really do need people and that’s not neediness.

Neediness: An Inability to Receive

People can tolerate giving and giving and giving to someone without thinking that they’re needy as long as the person is receiving. The way I define neediness is an inability to receive. If you’re coming and asking for something, but you’re actually feeling, “No, no, no!” and you’re not taking it in, it’s not really going to help and it’s going to turn the other person off.

Learning to Receive in Therapy

What happens is that the other person starts to feel inadequate, which people don’t like to feel. So their help, their care, is not working and then they’re going to judge you and push you away. That’s when they say, “That person’s needy,” because they feel bad about themselves.

An Immense Capacity to Keep Giving

If you can learn to receive and really take in what people offer when they care for you, then they will have an immense capacity to keep giving to you and they’ll feel good about themselves and love doing it.

We really do need each other.

Starting Therapy in Austin, TX

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