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What are you saying when you call someone "needy"?

In one of my favorite movies, "What about Bob?", Bill Murray plays the role of Bob. Bob is obsessed with getting help from his therapist (Richard Dreyfus). There is a scene in which Bob pleads with his therapist,

"I need, I need, I need. Give me, give me, give me!"

You might say, Bob is acting needy.

Needy, as I define it, refers to a situation in which someone is lacking effective strategies for meeting their needs.  Bob behaves in ways that don't consider others and don't consistently meet needs for himself.

He also has just a few strategies for meeting all his needs. These strategies usually interfere with his other needs as well. Desperation, anger, and intolerance come up when the few strategies he knows get blocked.

If you have someone like Bob in your life, one thing you can do is interrupt to connect. Interrupt to connect with their needs and to express your own. Then offer a request that might meet both.

Interrupting in this way is a gift to the person working to develop giraffe consciousness. It doesn't mean harmony will be the immediate result. NVC isn't about maintaining harmony. The road to a deeper more fulfilling connection with yourself and those around you can be pretty rocky and uncomfortable.

It's your willingness to express compassionately the truth of what's alive in you that helps us all to shed our confusion and live with clarity and peace.

The next time you notice that you are calling yourself or someone else "needy", take a moment and ask yourself if particular needs have been attached to one or two specific ways of meeting those needs.  If so, come up with five other ways those needs could be met.  In this way, you can move from "needy" to need responsibility.


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4 Responses

  1. Jun 30, 2012
    Steve Solomon

    You 'made' my morning! ;) by sharing real love!!! Wise Heart is a good title...YUM!!!

    Excellent; you meet my need for REAL LOVE and not labeling others with the dumb 'needy' label... we are all just trying to get our needs met the best we know how.

    I am impressed by your wisdom; you are obviously coming from your heart something I long to find in an avail. single woman.

    Thanks for sharing this article.

    Steve Solomon 503-895-0278
    A loyal and enthusiastic NVC fan and supporter!!!

    Is Empathy Now coming back online soonfrom rebuilding their website...its taking a long time. Do you know about it?

  2. Jun 30, 2012

    Could you give some examples of this? I am not sure what 'interupting' means. Thank you.

  3. Jun 30, 2012

    I wonder if this article would be helpful:

  4. Jun 30, 2012

    Thanks LaShelle, that helps...I think I have negative connotations about interupting. And sounds like important to get in touch first with both your own need in the moment and the other person's. And I like the focus on connection vs. harmony..

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