Neediness, Friendship and Last Night’s Christmas Party


No one wants to be labeled as “needy.” No one. And yet when this word came up in a conversation last night, I was momentarily mortified that I might be experienced as such. After all, I did hog a friend of mine the moment she came through the doors to a Christmas party we attended. But does the fact that I hadn’t seen her in 6 months make my “neediness” justifiable?

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

This I know, I knew few people at the party and when my long-lost friend appeared, I knew the conversation would be stimulating and enjoyable, and I sincerely wanted to catch-up which would take longer than 10 minutes, for sure. Plus, her presence meant I no longer had to be a spectator to the other conversations that were happening around me. Yes, I could have interjected here and there, but it was easier to stand to the side and talk about the stuffed mushrooms. After all, I wanted to remain relaxed and festive and not have to work very hard at making conversation with strangers that were more-than-likely to remain as such. So, I guess, in some sense, I was needy.

A needy person is one who derives her identity from another, and without constant interaction with and encouragement from that relationship, she feels lost and rejected.

In light of this definition (as per myself), needy I am not. At least I like to think I’m not.

I view myself as independent, self-assured, and self-confident. And while I do love my friends and crave the company of others from time to time, I also enjoy spending time with myself and my own thoughts. Furthermore, when a person whom I consider a friend doesn’t seem to want to spend as much time with me as I may want with them, I may feel a bit slighted, but mostly I understand that they either don’t have the time or desire or whatever that would necessitate a healthy friendship. Not every interesting, captivating person I meet is meant to be a bosom friend for life. It would be unhealthy to view relationships any other way. Also, I am more than willing to share my friends with others and take delight in the stories my friends share about their other friends; needy people don’t like to share. Therefore, I’m stickin’ to my self-assumption. (Maybe I view myself differently than others experience me, so if you happen to think otherwise, please respond.)

Nevertheless, needy or not, friendship comes with a level of neediness. ALWAYS. We are hard-wired to desire relationship. We are hard-wired to need people. And when we find that person or those people with whom we connect as friends, we are drawn to those individuals to share, trust, converse, edify and visa versa. That is the nature of friendship.

We are not complete unto ourselves. We need others to contribute to our wholeness. Also, no ONE person can be everything for us either. My husband can not, nor was he meant to, satisfy my every desire. Neither can Rachel, or Jayne, or Megan, or Robin, or Heidi, or Stacey, or Shara, or . . . the list goes on. Each and every person contributes something or brings out an attribute that another may not. And the combination of them all creates a beautiful mess of me that would otherwise be impossible if they weren’t in my life. I need them to help create ME!

Succumbing to the neediness of friendship actually renders me less needy, and therein lies one of the many beauties of friendship! With them, I am more me than I ever could be without them.

Maybe “needy” isn’t so bad after all. Let the neediness–in the best, most balanced, most beautiful sense–reign supreme!

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