Meeting your emotional needs. Sometimes YOU should come first

Posted on: January 18, 2009

j0439568Like many people with co-dependent issues, Mary had no idea about her own emotional needs. She never bothered focusing on them because she was so busy focusing on what the needs was of other people around her. She focused on the needs of her husbands and her children and gave little thought to her own needs.

Being self-sacrificing sounds so noble, doesn’t it? After all, aren’t we all taught, time and time again, to do for others instead of ourselves? Isn’t the very essence of parenthood all about self sacrifice? Have you ever noticed that people who are self sacrificing and seemingly selfless often end up getting the short end of the stick just about every time they go out to play? While those who come across as selfish seem to end up on top? Why is that?

The reason why some people do not end up getting their emotional needs met is because they are taught that it is selfish for them to think about themselves and that they should put others first. While it is desirable to put your children before yourself, constantly putting other people’s needs before your own is pretty much saying to the world that your own needs do not matter.

They have no merit and neither do you. Often, those who experience this type of lifestyle in which they are never getting their emotional needs met, like Mary, have no idea what their emotional needs really are. They are not clear on them with others because they are unclear about the needs themselves. In order to thrive as an adult and be able to resolve conflicts, you have to be sure that you are aware of your emotional needs and make sure that you get them met. Mary often talked about Ken as if his needs were the only ones that mattered. She saw little reason to focus on her needs in the relationship. As a result, Ken also saw no reasons tofocus on Mary’s needs. He took her support for granted and she saw him as self absorbed. Inreality, he just didn’t value Mary’s needs because she didn’t value them herself.

People will often treat us as we demand to be treated. If we have no value on ourselves, others will also treat us as if we have no value. Then we tend to get frustrated and wonder why, like the late comedian, Rodney Danger field, we “get no respect.” It’s because we don’t ask for it. We allow others to treat us the way that they see fit without any regard for our own needs.

Getting our own emotional needs met is important whether you are in business or in a personal relationship. You are going to have to get your own emotional needs met if you are to thrive as a human being. If you go through life not attending to your own needs and not getting them met, you will wind up feeling frustrated in just about every aspect of your life.The first thing you need to do in order to get your emotional needs met is to figure out exactly what your emotional needs are. Some people really have a very difficult time with this exercise,mainly because they have never been taught to consider their own emotional needs.

Think about what would make you happy in a relationship. This can be any type of relationship- be it business or personal. Envision the perfect relationship in your mind. How would the other person treat you? Would they be with you all of the time or would they allow you your own space. Take this exercise so far as to write down the details of the perfect relationship.

After you have described the perfect relationship to yourself on paper, you need to break down the details of the relationship with regard to your own needs. For example, if you put down that the person of your dreams would allow you to have your own personal space and not be around you 24/7; this means that your emotional needs are that you be allowed personal space. Someone who wants to be with you all of the time would be smothering. You are better off with someone who has other interests and will not be so needy.

If you find that you need constant reassurance from the other party about the relationship, you are going to have to find someone who is willing to do this. While this may be seen as “needy” by some people, some people may be more than willing to provide this type of maintenance so that you feel secure in the relationship.


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