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#254378 - 10/11/08 08:01 AM people who need people are.........
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
remember the song 'people' from funny girl?

what is your take on this?

what is the difference between 'needing' and 'needy'?

thanks

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#254408 - 10/11/08 12:29 PM Re: people who need people are......... [Re: Sans Logos]
Hauser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 2962
Loc: United States
Hi Ron. I can weigh in on this.

In my experience, there are two different types of "needy" people. I'll get to them shortly.

We all need time to "re-charge", and relax and relieve ourselves from the constant reminders that life is full of obligations and responsibilities. There are two distinct types of environments that we can seek out when we do this. One way to do this, is the way that most, for example, teenage girls, do. A typical teenage girl will constantly talk on her cell phone and ALWAYS want to be around a large circle of friends and be constantly engaged. When she does this, she's helping herself forget all of the mundane or less interesting aspects of her life. This is how she "re-charges", so to speak, and relaxes.

Then there are the personality types like myself, who spends 95% or more of his time away from work alone. I "re-charge" by playing video games, watching movies, reading, cooking, etc. I've come to believe that I'm a LITTLE too isolated, and that I need to be involved in the lives of others if I'm to find more satisfaction and fulfillment in my life. Be that as it may, even when I DO become "more involved" in the lives of other people and develop more/stronger friendships, I'll STILL be one of those types that likes to spend a majority of his time alone, the way I see it, that is still perfectly healthy and normal. And this is why I've decided to respond to this thread, because it's an issue that I'm sure is shared by at least many of the other men that come to this site.


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#254410 - 10/11/08 12:51 PM Re: people who need people are......... [Re: Hauser]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11183
Loc: Denver, CO
Needing - to me is facing the legitimate need for relationship we are born into. We are relational beings, so we need to connect with others, to share, to know and be known. It's nice to know there is someone somewhere who gives a flip about my existence, so to speak.

Needy - to me (and speaking for me only) is having leftover legitimate emotional needs from childhood that affect the adult me in my relationships, and not in a positive way. Often in my teens and twenties I felt like this emotional vampire ready to drain the life out of anyone who showed me an ounce of niceness or friendship.

_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

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#254424 - 10/11/08 02:00 PM Re: people who need people are......... [Re: FormerTexan]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
I think that Andy's definition of Needy went on a lot longer than just my teens and 20s in my own experience. As I have said before, my parents were both abusive in my childhood, so I had to seek out emotional support outside of my family certainly by junior high school. It used to be that I had a fairly large number of people that I could draw support from, but as we aged and their developmental paths gradually took them away from me, I was left with an ever smaller circle of friends to lean on, all of whom were needy too. Because of this, I became increasingly socially isolated over time.

During my first attempt at therapy, I was married to a friend who also met this definition of Needy. She picked me up, not the other way around. And, when she found out what my problem was, there was no room in her need left for my problems. My relationship with her had burned a few social bridges and within 16 months after my divorce I lost 3 out of 5 of my remaining group of socially-needy guys. Over time, I was eventually left with only one guy that I could lean on and that was because he was leaning heavily on me too. It was a relationship that most likely wasn't good for our personal social growth as our peers continued to advance away from us.

Immediately after my 2nd trip to Hazelden living in the recovery community in St. Paul, I quickly found a new needy social outlet, unfortunately to the detriment of my sobriety. I made a lot of progress there, but my effort eventually ended with failure. It took another attempt inpatient with outpatient aftercare to get to the point where I was able to begin to appreciate the calm of living alone and begin to move in the direction of establishing a healthy opposite-sex relationship. I still had my one needy friend, and we continued to play golf every week, ski together, gamble together, and even vacation together, but I had made such progress in my own life that I began to feel his neediness ever more. After I met my wife in 2006, my needy friend began to become more needy and actually became jealous enough of my relationship with my eventual wife to try to break us up with a violent emotional outburst at a restaurant.

The end result of his action has been that the relationship between my wife and I has grown stronger and I have made good social progress towards developing healthy social relationships. My 32-year relationship with my needy friend has been scaled way back, and he has transferred his neediness elsewhere. Currently he is in therapy for the reasons behind his neediness, and I have hope that someday he will find his way to his own freedom too. I have become much more confident and outgoing and now approach social situations with relative ease. Gone and almost forgotten are the reasons that led me into my social neediness and restricted my social growth over the years.

Part of my growth through recovery was moving away from withdrawn and anxious neediness towards developing healthier relationships and eventually acquiring social confidence in my life. So that is how I would view the difference between unhealthy social neediness and healthy need in relationships.

Thanks to Andy and Alan with helping me to think about the differences between normal human needs and abnormal social neediness.

My growth away from where I was socially to the point where I am at now is a large part of my growth in recovery and my personal freedom.

Thanks Ron for asking this question.

Have hope,

Mark



_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#254429 - 10/11/08 02:17 PM Re: people who need people are......... [Re: Trucker51]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
guys i really appreciate your comments. i have always been the opposite of needy, more like alan was saying, and wanting to be more on my own, than around others. being around others takes its toll on me, and i find i desire to be alone, in order to recoup the energy spent being in the company of others.

one thing that i have been noticing lately, and has aroused my curiosity, is that i have very low tolerance for things that differentiate myself from other selves. i am trying to inspect the mechanism that seems to trigger the unconscious tendency to flight from hit and run encounters, the thing that automatically locks the door to the next stage in human connection. i'm not even talking about 'relationship romance-wise'.

thinking about this has led me to wonder if i am suffering from a kind of 'reverse neediness', ie, isolation. is this simply a defense mechanism for avoiding what may well be a deep unresolved neediness. i guess if i had a therapist i could talk about this too, but i don't have one at the time, and probably won't be able to enjoy that luxury for at least a year.

so in the meantime, i guess i could pick your brains and somewhere along the line confront my own issues as i recognize them in the mirror of your own experience.

thanks again for your time and input, it is very valuable to me,

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#254447 - 10/11/08 04:46 PM Re: people who need people are......... [Re: Sans Logos]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
When I was suffering the worst of my CSA effects and was a heavy hard drug addict, I was very isolated and withdrawn and only had a small circle of needy friends and other addicts to use with. I found any kind of social contact with those people near my own age enjoying normal development to be increasingly fraught with feelings of inadequacy often exascerbated by their rude comments. Even in 1997-99, after Hazelden, I was still withdrawn and isolated though I had substantial sobriety, and moved away from the sober community into an eventually destructive relationship with another needy drug user who had also abandoned the recovery community.

As a part of my early success in sobriety, I had to discontinue relationships with many people who were not supportive of my recovery. And for several years, I lived alone, enjoying the freedom from making my own decisions without negative influence from the outside social world. My entire life had been one lost friend after another and a drift away from normal socialization. So one of my goals in recovery was to recover normalacy in my social confidence and social life. I wanted to get to the point where I wasn't isolated from others and anxious or constantly worried about what might go wrong with a particular social encounter.

Your situation may be different. There are people that seem to be happy and who function well living alone and avoiding all but superficial social contact. There are those who have fears that their personal life might be used against them in a negative manner. What I have told you is just my situation and how I tried to get from where I was to where I'm at. In my own opinion, working towards greater social normality and social confidence has been a worthwhile goal for me.

I'm going to be away until tomorrow afternoon so let me know what you are thinking then.

You can enjoy greater freedom and confidence if you try.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#254457 - 10/11/08 08:12 PM Re: people who need people are......... [Re: Trucker51]
ineffable Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/08
Posts: 1371
Loc: state of holeecrapdood
This is a great topic & it is really complex
Oh if we'd only been born baby cobra's eh?
No needing or needy then & don't f*ck with me either fella/stella
(watch out for mongeese)

There are age specific needs & there are hierarchies of needs
(thank you Maslow)
When they get thwarted we carry them inside like FormerTexan commented
& we might go looking to still have them met by someone either consciously or ulp unconsciously
(or we can hide out in caves & hermitages hoping that someone might find us?)

It is only when having those needs met involves someone else that "needy" ever enters into the picture
either by their judgement or later our own self reflection
We find people who can't or won't meet them/us on our terms & they feel we are "needy"
Or they project their own thwartedness on us?
(I think shame hasta figure in there bigtime as well)

Then to further complicate things we can talk about what's the difference between a "want" and a "need"?

I need food but do I need to gorf a whole cheesecake or is that a want?

Identifying your, my & our needs is crucial
as is knowing the distinctions between wants and needs.
(thank years of advertising for blurry boundaries on this)

Would say more...
but I need a hug so gonna go look for arronb or SEVEN ARROWS
(I'm one of those people who needs people & have been lucky enough to find a few that don't tell me I'm needy for admitting so)

C


_________________________
:: "Anyone who can handle a needle convincingly can make us see a thread which is not there" ::


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#254591 - 10/12/08 11:43 AM Re: people who need people are......... [Re: ineffable]
ineffable Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/08
Posts: 1371
Loc: state of holeecrapdood
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ivutYT-4AU

Maybe it is because of the "age appropriateness" or "inappropriateness" as the case may be.
The consciousness or unconsciousness.
Might that be where "needy" comes from?




_________________________
:: "Anyone who can handle a needle convincingly can make us see a thread which is not there" ::


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#254594 - 10/12/08 12:31 PM Re: people who need people are......... [Re: ineffable]
LN3(SS) Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/20/08
Posts: 486
Loc: MD
I like Andy's definition on this topic and will use that. Alan's examples made a lot of sense too. So thanks guys.

To me, the difference between needy and needing depends on where I am at emotionally in any given day. Some days I just have a need for legitimate emotional contact with people. The days that I am feeling OK with myself I can do that.

Those days where I am not OK with myself, where my recovery has stalled or turned hard about, I am needy. My friends are where I turn to and I totally relate to Andy's comment about being a "vampire". However, my friends for the most part are supportive and understand this distinction.

Thanks for the food for thought on this topic.

Brian

_________________________
"When we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off, and I will leave no one behind. Dead, or alive, we will all come home together." LTG Hal Moore, Jr., USA (Ret.)

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#254626 - 10/12/08 04:00 PM Re: people who need people are......... [Re: LN3(SS)]
ineffable Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/08
Posts: 1371
Loc: state of holeecrapdood
Don't we also need to have it to give it?
I needed to be esteemed so I could self esteem & esteem you.
Be approved of so I could approve of myself & you?

Today I was walking past a coffee shop where a father sat out front giggling with his two kids...
"Mommy's gonna ground all of us!" they said

I needed to hear that, because it was sincere.

I need to see a father openly loving & encouraging his son that might grow up gay.

Does that make me needy?

I frigging love this thread!!

C as in completely needy (well not really)

_________________________
:: "Anyone who can handle a needle convincingly can make us see a thread which is not there" ::


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