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sometimes i’m “needy” – and what’s so wrong with that?

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I’ve been thinking a lot about being a needy person, which is something I’ve been called before, usually by a guy.

It’s happened after I’ve called someone when they haven’t responded to a text, or requested a lift home when stuck somewhere freezing. Sometimes I’ve texted after having had too much to drink. Perhaps it’s because I have too much of a hunger for positive reinforcement. I am only too ready to doubt a person could care about me.  I am also extremely impatient, and don’t do well with waiting around for someone to call.

Now, if you are about to peel away from wherever you are reading this and head for the hills, stay with me. Let me explain.

I was stood up today by an old work colleague who is visiting the UK from Australia. I felt needy then, waiting outside Oxford Circus station, outside the mammoth Nike store. It was muggy for London. I was hot and sweaty in my black work clothes and in pain from shoes that pinched at a corn on my little toe.

I needed that person to show up. But I also needed to sit down, have a drink of water, smoke a cigarette. Charity muggers and beggars walked past me. All they did too was need, need, need. We are all intrinsically needy. To be needy is to be human, to be alive, right down to sucking oxygen (or nicotine) into our lungs.

We call each other out on being needy as though it is an insult, perhaps because sometimes we are unable to show others the affection and care they deserve. But we feel guilty about it. So it becomes their problem.

Any half-baked attempt by women’s magazines to tell women what men really like in a lady will include the suggestion “don’t be needy”. Don’t be needy, because it makes men run the other way. Men running the other way equates to no love, no sex and you dying alone.

‘Men hate “needy” women.’ Like “needing” someone is a bad thing; like it makes you weak. Well I say fuck that to all of them.

I will not apologise for needing someone I care about.  Because it is an investment to care about someone. It’s like taking out 20 year mortgage sometimes. And more often than not, you don’t get a lot back, only “you’re needy” spat in your face.

When I was younger and in a bad relationship, I had those words thrown at me by a private school boy whose real name is Richie. He acted as though he wanted me bad, but then cooled off when I grew concrete feelings for him. He sent me a text message once that read: ‘You’re so fukn [sic] needy – it’s like opening the floodgates every-time I just try and be nice to you.’

My crime? Trying to organise a night I could take him out for his birthday. After I got that message I felt like the worst person in the world. No-one likes to be called “needy.” But if my slightly more grown-up self could’ve had a hand in events past, I would’ve told him where to go, rather than writing the grovelling, pleading bullshit I probably wrote back to him.

So here it is, after 25 years on this planet: be needy. Need and love and care all over the place. Demand the respect from the people you care about.

Because if you don’t need, well, you’re not alive.

4 thoughts on “sometimes i’m “needy” – and what’s so wrong with that?

  1. You should become a baker, and if anyone ever says “don’t be needy” to you, you could say, “I’m a baker. Kneady is who I am. That dough won’t knead itself, kid”.

  2. Thank you for this piece! I have come across this exact reaction (as I’m sure all women have at one point or other). It’s ridiculous for anybody to expect that someone can provide stability, support and love in any kind of relationship without any sort of emotional buy-in. It’s another tough label to trudge through, but at least know that you’re not alone!

    I keep working to whittle down my group of friends to the keepers, and this is a quality I will be more mindful of. Thanks!

  3. Pingback: Welcome to Monday (evening) ~ 22 July 2013 | feminaust ~ for australian feminism

  4. Whenever someone tells me I am “too [something]” or “not [whatever] enough” I mentally add the words “for you.”

    The amount of [something/whatever] I am seems to suit me to a ‘T’! There are plenty of people who think I am just the right amount of [something/whatever] for them, and they love me because of it.

    “Hmmm… oversentitive you say? Did you ever consider the possibility that perhaps *you* are in fact being INsensitive?”

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