Is It OK to Be Needy?


The word “needy” has always gotten a bad rap, but is being needy really such a bad thing?

“Give to the needy,” is a familiar phrase during holiday food and toy drives, with needy referring to those less fortunate than ourselves.

“You’re so needy,” is a statement I’ve heard one person tell another in a variety of circumstances:

  • parent to child
  • partner to partner
  • friend to friend
  • employer to employee

What they’re really saying is, “You’re expecting too much from me” which connotes something negative and refers to a relationship that has gone out of balance. In some cases this is true; but not always.

The video clip features Dr. Sue Johnson, a respected psychologist who specializes in couples therapy. With her is a panel of therapists discussing the issue of neediness between partners. It’s only a bit over six minutes, but touches on the important points of healthy relationships that I believe carry over from specifical couples to ALL relationships:

  • Humans are wired for interdependency
  • Dependency needs vary from family to family; therefore, couples must learn to strike a balance
  • The ability to be a part of a team AND an individual, at the same time, take maturity and skill
  • Oftentimes people view needing another as a sign of weakness when in reality having someone we can trust and rely on makes us stronger
  • Codependency is an unhealthy, out of balance state, whereby one person regulates their emotions based on their partner’s behavior

Healthy relationships

As long as our needs don’t cross over the boundaries of the other person, they’re probably within reason. If our expectations allow them to remain an individual and true to themselves, then that relationship stands a good chance of success!   🙂