You're Not Needy, You're Starving


You are not needy. You are starving.

A while back I was working with a client and we began to talk about the prospect of her finding a post-divorce relationship.

She shared her fear that she’d be too needy.

I’ve heard this before. Many times.

And I say: NO. You are not needy, you’re starving.

This client had a 5 year old boy.

I explained it to her like this...

If her son skipped breakfast, lunch, and dinner and then said “Mommy, I’m too needy for food.” I know she’d reply:

“No sweetheart, you aren’t needy at all, you’re very hungry. You haven't gotten what you need. Now let’s get you something delicious to eat.”

Something about this needy feeling has us feeling like it’s bottomless, insatiable. That no matter how much we “eat” we’ll never be fed.

Not so. I speak from experience. Mine and many of my clients.

Yes, it feels like we’ll never get enough.  Just like, when we are starving for food, at first, we think we really could eat the whole kitchen. Not so in either case.

We can find satiation. Here are just a few things I often hear women saying they are too needy for:

love, being seen (often confused with attention), touch (the way they uniquely like it), affection + adoration, being desired, a circle of women friends, companionship, being listened to + feeling understood, validation…

You’re not needy. You’re starving.

You certainly do not want for too much.

These are all entirely normal, natural, its-your-birth-right, your-parents-probably-didn’t-give-you-enough things.

So you’re starving.

That’s okay.

You can begin there. Begin bit by bit. or bite by bite.

Begin by renaming this 'neediness' with a more accurate term: hunger.

Begin by asking for what you want.

Begin by honoring your hunger and by feeding yourself.

Begin by receiving the cravings with kindness, instead of shame.

This hunger of yours. It’s so very wise.

You’re not needy. You’re simply starving.

Now darling, let’s get you something delicious to eat.

Note: I use the word ‘starving’ here to refer to often first-world emotional deprivation. Not to be confused with actual lack of nutrition needed for physical survival, which is a very real problem in our world.