The sky is falling, the sky is falling!

You’ve heard the term “needy,” right?

It makes my skin crawl now, to think of myself as needy, but I was. Maybe you have been accused of the same characteristic and don’t have a clue what was meant, someone spitting the word out as they walked (ran) away from you. I had suffered a serious blow to my ego as a woman and as a person worthy of love. Because of that devastation, I needed constant validation, I needed love, I needed attention, I needed, I needed……

I know people today who are in constant need, yet they have no idea why people scurry away from them like roaches when a light is turned on at night. So, let’s educate these folks…..since they need someone to do that, I’m sure:

You ALWAYS need something. You seem to be incapable of tackling a project, a situation, or someone else’s need without assistance. You cannot make a decision, something as simple as what to order in a restaurant. And you are exhausting to be around.

I recently asked someone to enlist a neighbor to help take my trash out to the curb each week. With working full-time right now, it is a task that would be best done by someone else. In fact, last week that monstrous bin the city insists we use did NOT get pulled out, so I have two weeks’ worth now. The plastic bags filled with this week’s garbage are now on the ground encircling the bin like supplicants surrounding a wise sage.

So, the person I asked to take care of this for me informed me when I got home from a long day at work, fighting traffic and construction that seems to never end, that a young man in the neighborhood was approached with this proposition. But rather than nail the deal down and make it happen, I was told that I must talk to him to finalize the arrangements. Really?? Now I’m involved after all, when what I needed was YOU to help me.

“How will he get the gate key every week?”

“When do you want him to take the bin out: in the morning or in the evening?”

“How much money do you want to pay him?”

It’s almost as if these people are afraid to make a move without high level clearance. I’ve had bosses like this. They were so fearful of the senior command chain that they drove the rest of us crazy with their indecision and inability to move forward without specific permission to do so.

I have come to understand that needy people are actually seeking  attention. If you are engrossed in a good book or taking care of your own projects, they are no longer your focus. One way of drawing your attention back to them is to put lots of needs in front of you. They also lack any confidence in their own ability to make decisions.

“Should I park here….or there?”

“Which way would you go from here?”

“How does this [enter any conceivable device here] work?”

“What kind of [enter anything here] do you want me to get?”

We all need help on a regular basis. It’s a good thing to be able to understand our limitations, our strengths and weaknesses, and then occasionally turn to those around us for assistance. But with these people our attention is constantly being dragged back to…..them. We can’t concentrate or get anything done that we have on our TO DO list, because of this unending stream of needs being dumped on us.

Each of these questions is innocuous in isolation (which is where we will want to be soon), but after enough time and dozens of questions, we realize that the true intent is not the get specific answers. The real motivation is to get our attention, and to put the burden of the decisions on someone else. No one can point to them later and say, “It was YOUR doing!”

Unfortunately, my personal way of dealing with needy people is to become deaf while appearing to hear all, to be somewhere else mentally even though my body is right there soaking up all that poisonous need.

And this is unfortunate because we all know what happens when the sky really does fall, right?

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