It used to scare me to feel needy – and especially to risk appearing that way to someone else.

Maybe you can relate….

The man I was dating would express a need for space, and I’d pretend I was too cool to care. Or, a new girlfriend would blow me off for a lunch date, and I’d act like it was no problem at all. Crazy! It was completely inauthentic to how I felt inside. And often, my true feelings would come out later in not-so-pretty ways.

Thankfully, over the years I’ve learned to trust my needs from the get-go – not only are they natural, but they offer important insight and direction. Now when that small child inside me feels really needy and wants to convince someone in my life to show up differently, I don’t shut down. I welcome it as an easy-to-read sign that something’s out of balance.

The next time you find yourself feeling needy, turn inward for more information. Here are some helpful questions to ask:

  1.  Have I been taking care of my basic needs for sleep, healthy food, alone time, fun, etc.?

When we neglect to take care of ourselves, it’s only natural that we begin wanting others to give us their energy and attention. Sometimes the best thing to do is to schedule a night alone for ourselves to take a bath, eat a good meal and get a good night’s rest. This is really important if we want to show up in a healthy way for our partners, families, clients and co-workers.

  1. Has my world become too small? 

Spending a lot of time with the same person or group of people can make it easy to forget there’s a big world out there. Reconnect with old friends, reach out to new ones, get outside and do something you love. It can completely change the way you feel and free you from the sense that your happiness or value depends on any one person or group of people.

  1. Can I be my best self around this person/these people?

Sometimes we just need to communicate more often and more clearly with our loved ones and they will happily be more present, supportive, loving, and so on. Other times, that may not be the case. If we’ve repeatedly asked for what we need in a self-responsible, healthy way, yet aren’t being heard, seen or taken seriously, then of course we’d feel off-center and needy. The best relationships – and the ones most worth your effort – are those in which you feel nourished and empowered.

The next time you notice feeling like your happiness depends on how someone else behaves, ask yourself these questions. If your answers don’t lead to immediate shifts in the way you feel, or if they bring to light a deeper personal pattern (e.g., fear of abandonment, repeated experience of rejection, feeling like you don’t belong), then you may consider doing some healing work to transform the pattern.

The bottom line is this: The more you view your neediness as a symptom, instead of a problem, the easier it will be to develop a strong sense of trust with yourself and to act in ways that helps the universe shower you with support and abundance.