Last Updated on April 30, 2022.
Is there someone in your life that constantly needs your attention? I’m not talking about your young children but other people who always seem to need you for something? Maybe they are always asking for approval, maybe they need you for financial support. It’s nice to feel needed but when it becomes so much that it takes away from your happiness, it’s a problem. Here are a few ways to deal with needy people.
“You shouldn’t always be available for someone who doesn’t even ask how you are doing.”
Dealing With Needy People
1. Be Honest
Sometimes you just have to put your foot down and be honest to deal with needy people. Tell them, “hey, you are stealing my joy and stressing me out.” Just nip it in the bud so to speak and be done with it. There was a guy I went to college with. We weren’t close friends but he was part of a group of friends that I had. He was a quiet guy but when I went off to the Army he started writing me and writing me. I tried to write back as much as I could but I was serving in Korea, I had so much to do I could barely keep in touch with my own family.
One day I received a letter from him telling me that I was a horrible friend and I wasn’t writing him enough. He kept trying to make me feel guilty for not putting in the effort. I felt guilty so I tried harder. Then I received letters about how my letters weren’t long enough. I started dreading checking the mail and it just stole my energy. He needed more attention than I could give. I finally just said, “ya know, I’m not even really this close to the guy.” I sent him a letter apologizing but told him I am no longer interested in this friendship. Sometimes you just gotta pull the plug and be honest.
2. Deal with Needy People by Being Less Available
If you can’t cut them off completely, then at least make yourself harder to reach. Don’t answer the phone. Take longer to answer text messages. Make it more difficult for them to reach you. Sooner or later they will stop trying so hard to get what they want from you.
3. Set Boundaries
Deal with needy people by setting boundaries. Sometimes the person being needy doesn’t understand that they have crossed a line. It is your responsibility to spell out your boundaries to others. Do not assume they should just “get it”. The person needs to know what you are willing to do and not do.
4. Deal with Needy People by Managing Your Guilt
Many times we continue to let needy people steal our joy because we feel guilty. Needy people are experts at making us feel guilty. That is their power. Without it, they can’t get you to do what they need you to do. Guilt just gives you puppet strings. You have to learn to deal with your guilt if you want to deal with needy people. Cut those strings. You have one life to be as happy as you can. Don’t let someone else steal your joy.
5. Empower Them
Needy people often feel like they cannot succeed without depending on others. Try to change their limiting beliefs and mindset by empowering and encouraging them. Hype them up and remind them of their great qualities and traits. If you show belief in them, then perhaps they will start believing in themselves as well.
If you struggle with people in your life who need your constant attention, try these strategies. Be honest, be less available, set boundaries, manage your guilt, and empower them.
How have needy people affected your life? Let me know in the comments below.