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I Need Others to Need Me

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This week’s question from our portal “Ask Us Anything” comes from Alexis.

You asked us why we want to be successful and why we want to have a company? I thought about this in terms of my law firm. My big “why” is, I want to change the way criminal defense is practiced. But I also want to provide financially for others.

I have a need for safety—I have to feel “needed” by other people. I feel good when I help others. My financial goal is to provide for other people—the people in my company, a home and wedding for my fiancé, a home and material things for my father, my sister, for everyone. My question is… is this an actual goal? Or is this stemming from a core wound where I feel like I have to fix and help everyone?

It’s probably both. Sure, it’s an actual goal. Is it healthy? The one thing I don’t hear you saying is what you want for YOU.

Everything you’re talking about is around taking responsibility for others. You’re essentially saying, “I’m going to take responsibility for all these people in places where they should be taking responsibility for themselves.”

I would question that. Push back on that. Really look at why that is, because that’s not healthy.

When you take something off of a person like that—where it should be their responsibility—you make them weaker. You don’t make them stronger. They become more needy, more dependent upon you.

If that feels good to you, then that’s a core wound issue.

I’d ask yourself: “How can I fulfill this need to be needed, without involving other people? What is it that I actually need?”

It’s not just safety that you’re getting from them. (By the way, the need to be needed doesn’t make you “safe.” There’s nothing safe about that.)

But the part where they need you—that’s something different. That comes from value. What are those values, and how could you give them to yourself?

What are the values you’re getting from being needed?

Write those down. Then ask yourself: “How can I start giving these things to myself, so that I don’t need them from other people?”

If you come from a place of emotional need with another individual, that’s slavery. If both people participate, it’s co-dependence. There’s nothing healthy about that at all.

If two people come together and amplify each other’s greatness, that’s healthy. But neediness isn’t healthy; it weakens two people.

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