Neediness can be destructive. We typically associate neediness with relationships and street beggars. "He's just too needy" or worse off, "Spare change? Can you help me?"
Where do we acquire our neediness from? Why is it more dominant for some people and less for others? Well, research from this Wall Street Journal article suggests that it may be hereditary. In other words, having parents that "inconsistently nurture," as Bernstein puts it, can often times make you a more anxious and clingy person.
So, what can we do? How can we control this urge better? I have two recommendations:
(1) Still afraid of rejection? Good. Time to get rejected a whole lot more. It's common to find needy people exhibiting cases of approach anxiety. They're afraid that people will find them weird, thereby "rejecting them" in a sense. They'd rather not approach strangers, or even colleagues that they have not formally been introduced to. It's a defense mechanism that protects their vulnerability to neediness. Forget about that. Embrace your vulnerability. Approach just for the sake of good conversation. Approach people that you find attractive and people that exchange a friendly smile with you. Speak up and say "Hello!" Don't have any expectations. Just talk for the sake of good conversation.
But what if the conversation doesn't go anywhere? What if they don't care to talk, or worse, find me repulsive? Isn't that just a waste of time? Absolutely not. Conversation can relieve you of those incessant thoughts probing your mind all day. It's a great exercise in listening, mindfulness, and presence. And if the other party prefers not to talk with you, well then that's their problem. Just proceed to socialize with somebody else. Perhaps only 1 out of 10 people will converse enthusiastically. You'll have the best conversation of all with that one person, and rejection from the others will start to matter less the more you do this.
(2) Ever try intermittent fasting? As I write this, I'm 63 hours along on a 72 hour fast. It's just as exhausting as you think. Migraines and cold sweats are just the least of it. More grueling is the mind constantly telling me to quit this fast and just eat. I'm not going to get in a debate about whether or not a 3 day fast is healthy for human beings. Some doctors agree it is, while others do not. It's their business to continue hypothesizing and debating. Nevertheless, I can conclude that it's a great exercise in calming down your "needy personality." If you can make it past Day 2, what you will find is that your body begins to adapt. Better yet, that hunger urge will begin to subside. The human body can handle a lot. Asking it to fast for 3 days, while not the easiest thing in the world, can be accomplished (of course, please consult your doctor before trying this if you have health problems).
That's it, people. This is my formula for calming down your needy personality, and it seems to be working. Have any other suggestions on how to combat our needy personalities? Please comment below if you do.
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