What to Do When People Think You are Too Needy

Video by Dr. Charlotte Howard

Article by Dr. Kyler Shumway


“Why are you SO needy?”

Many people worry about being vulnerable because they fear coming across as too needy.  Instead, they try to hold it all in.  They don’t open up with friends and loved ones.  

But when we stay silent about our needs, our needs can’t be met by others.  

Too many of us feel caught in a bind, a catch twenty-two.  Do I open up and ask for my needs to be met and risk seeming emotionally needy, or do I ignore my needs altogether?

Thankfully, the solution to fearing neediness is simple.  

Learn more by watching this clip by Deep Eddy Psychotherapy owner and co-founder, Dr. Charlotte Howard.  

If you are interested in learning more or getting help for your emotional needs, contact us today – we would love to hear from you.  Or, read on to discover some additional self-help tips for neediness.  

Worried about being needy?  Try these tips.

Tip #1 – Express Gratitude

As you’ll learn from Dr. Howard’s video, the simplest solution to avoid seeming needy is to clearly and consistently express gratitude for the care others give you.  

Sometimes when you express a need and someone tries to meet it, you might not feel that the need is fully met.  And yet, they still tried, and that’s worth being thankful for.  See, folks who find themselves being labeled as needy (unintentionally) tend to make those who try to help them feel inadequate or unwanted.  The other person gets the message that “what you gave wasn’t good enough, and so now I’m still in need despite what you did.”  

When this happens, people get discouraged.  They might stop trying to help you because they believe, no matter how hard they try, they can’t do what you need.  

In a way, you might be training the people around you to distance themselves from your needs.

The best way to counteract this is to reward them with your thanks.  Be as clear as possible that you are thankful that they tried and that it was useful in some way.  That way, they’ll feel good about continuing to try and help you as best they can.  

Tip #2 – Get Resourced

No single person can meet all of your needs.  While some people in your life may meet many needs, such as a romantic partner or a best friend, we can’t expect them to meet all of your needs all the time and always.  

So, it’s important to be resourced with lots of social and emotional support from multiple sources.  That way, if one person is overwhelmed or seems to be frustrated with trying to meet your needs, you can always turn to someone else.  We call this “diffused dependency.” Have a large group of people responsible for meeting your dependency needs instead of a smaller one so that each person holds less and your needs still get met.

As a pro tip – while a therapist can’t meet all your needs, they can provide help with many unmet psychological and emotional needs.  If you don’t have a therapist or have never tried therapy before, please feel free to reach out to us.    

Tip #3 – Embrace the Care

Our third tip is all about moving away from a mindset of scarcity.  

Needy people aren’t bad or broken – they have needs just like anyone else.  But there might have been a time (or many times) in their lives where their needs were neglected or abused.  Those kinds of experiences can leave a person with a scarcity mindset, which tells them that love, acceptance, and help are limited resources.  

You might remember how people acted at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, where shoppers fought over toilet paper and hand sanitizer.  That was a scary time of scarcity.  And in that same way, people who feel scarcity with emotional resources may also act in drastic ways, even when things are provided in abundance.  The best way to learn to do this is in the safety of a therapeutic relationship with a therapist who specializes in relationship issues.  

You deserve to have your needs met.  You deserve to feel safe, secure and fulfilled.  And we want to help you get there.  

Contact us today to get started.

Go deep with one of our therapists.