All my life I’ve been a deeply feeling person. I feel empathy and love quite strongly. Because of that, because being alone hurts, I need love and affection, attention and encouragement, from other humans. I am not ashamed to admit that, but I used to be.
All my life people have tried to toughen me up. They have tried offering advice, they have tried shaming me, they have tried making me feel guilty about it, they have even tried beating it out of me. In the end all they accomplished was making me wish I didn’t feel so deeply. I wished I didn’t need other people so damn much. All that guilt and shame didn’t change how I felt deep down. All it did was make me waste a whole lot of time trying to be something I wasn’t.
“You are not clingy, or needy, or silly for having needs for affection and affirmation and attention within a romantic relationship. Those needs aren’t an embarrassing outgrowth of your low-self esteem or depression or whatever messy emotional issues you may have going on, that’s just basic shit that people need from each other. We of course should not make our partners responsible for meeting all of our emotional needs – it’s not someone’s else’s job to make you happy. But inside a healthy relationship, being able to show affection, pay attention, and demonstrate “you are amazing and important to me” is a pleasure, not some task or burden.”
— Jennifer Peepas
Every thing we are taught as children is meant to prepare us for a world that is harsh. We are taught that other people will treat us badly. They will use and abuse us and leave us high and dry, sad and alone. So we go about the world endeavoring to take what we can from every one we meet before they can take anything from us. Every interaction and every relationship is nothing more than a game of chess. Do your best not to leave yourself vulnerable, but do make sacrifices, do allow yourself to be open, but only when it will get you something of value.
Compliments and admittance of emotion become currency we barter. We play a game of getting others to love and care for us without having to risk our own hearts. We play out the very prophecy our elders warned us about. We endure the pain of isolation in order to protect ourselves from feelings of isolation. How fucked up is that? And who should really be the ones to feel shame?
I believe the world needs more vulnerability. I believe the world needs open hearts and understanding. I believe everyone needs praise and to be told that they matter. I believe that the world needs more people to admit they need it too.
If we all just gave up the farce, if we all went to that person whose attention and affection we crave and just told them how we felt and what we needed. If we all opened our hearts and let ourselves love as hard and as sweetly as we all wish we could, imagine how the world would be then? I believe it could still be that way if we all changed a little bit, one by one. A good starting place is to allow those around you to express their own need and resist the temptation to belittle or invalidate it.
Humans are social creatures. It is natural and beautiful and, in this world, it’s also very brave to show you natural need to be with others who care, protect, and encourage you.
The world needs more needy people
Post inspired by Musings of a Creative Spirit