The Need to be Needed
My last post has turned out to be a lead in to this post. This mostly because it inspired me to think about a specific part of this quote. That quote touched on an element of our humanity that doesn't get talked about all that often. Our human need to be needed.
Our need to be needed is stronger than many of our needs and touches all of our relationships from our parents to our children to our partners to our bosses to our friends. We need to feel needed and useful and of some importance. It makes us feel good. We need to feel important and needed in all aspects of our lives. For if we are not needed what are we worth? Which is why abused children grow up feeling worthless.
See in most families parents need their children just as much as children need their parents only in different ways. Perhaps you haven't thought of it that way but the child brings so much to the parent and the parent needs for the child to do well and be well and to grow up and be well and do well.
Think for a moment about how the need to be needed touches all aspects of your life. Don't you feel good when you are performing a task that you feel is needed. For example doing something at work and feeling good about how you perform the task makes you feel needed, useful and of some importance. Taking care of your offspring or loved one makes you feel needed, useflul and of some importance. Tenderly caressing your lover makes you feel the same way. All of these things are integral to our happiness and self esteem. Hence the key to good self esteem is finding your place in all of your relationships and performing the necessary tasks that make you feel proficient, useful, needed and of some importance and hence good about who you are to that person, people or institution,
We are all most happy when we are needed because we feel good about who we are. Sometimes we think we'd rather not be needed we may push others away and avoid being needed so that we wont have to deal with the responsibility. However we are never more unhappy than when we have less responsibilities and are less needed.
As much as we like to be needed its much more fulfilling to us if we are needed in different capacities, our jobs, our lovers, our children, our friends our fellow hobbiests. Because to feel really good about ourselves and to experience much more contentment we must maintain balance.
Now it has to be a genuine need you can't go out and provide for others that don't need it or that should be providing these things for themselves. You must balance this otherwise it backfires and shoots down your self esteem. All that you do must come from good will and for the good of all involved otherwise you will know deep inside that you are not really needed and it will hurt your feelings of self esteem.
Somewhere inside of us all we know we must fulfill this need in ourselves. Some of us take shortcuts and try and make ourselves feel needed when we really aren't others try to push themselves on others again trying to force the act. Others still boast and lie and try to make themselves sound more important than they are. And then there are those who just give up and believe themselves to be worthless and give up the fight either hiding from society or lashing out. Sadly too there are those that achieve it too fast and too large. They don't believe they deserve it they are still stuck believe that that are not needed and suddenly feeling needed, wanted and important makes them sick to their stomach and they tear it all down. No it works much better if it can be slowly gained to give the person time to believe in themselves and to believe that they truly deserve it. Then of course there are those that have simply pursued that which would fulfill this need in a healthy way, probably not all in one shot as we all must learn on our journey. However basically they learned to form good relationships, they found jobs they enjoy doing and do them well, they did their best raising their children and the list could go on.
We all have the need to be needed, to feel useful to feel of some value. It truly makes the world go round. At worst we thirst for it like a thirsty man in the desert. We destroy ourselves or others for our lack of it or if given too suddenly we drown ourselves in it. At best it drives us to do what we should do so that we may sample that luscious dessert. I ask you how wonderful is it that in doing so we make this a better world for all.