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S2 EP112 – Beyond Neediness

Episode Summary

Do you know when you are being needy? Do you know the difference between needs and neediness? We all have needs that can only be met by another person, and this is vastly different than neediness. Learn what creates and heals neediness. 


Hi everyone. This is Dr. Margaret Paul with the Inner Bonding podcast. Today I want to talk about what creates neediness and what heals it, and what the difference is between needs and neediness.

You are being needy when you need someone else to make you feel that you’re okay, that you’re worthy, safe, secure, and lovable. You’re being needy when you need somebody to fill up an empty place in you. You’re being needy when you expect another person to give you what you’re not giving yourself, and what is your responsibility to give to yourself.

It’s not that we don’t need others – we do. We need others to share our love with, to laugh and play with, to learn and grow with, to have our back, to be here for us when we are ill or injured. We need others who truly see us to reflect us to ourselves, along with our higher guidance, so that we can see, value, and love ourselves.

But we become needy when we abandon ourselves. When we judge ourselves rather than open to compassionate learning about ourselves when we mess up, and when we stay up in our head rather than being present in our body, in our heart and soul, with our feelings, and when we turn to various addictions to numb our feelings and avoid taking responsibility for them. And then, when we abandon ourselves in all these ways, we further abandon ourselves by making somebody else or others responsible for our feelings.

We have a little child inside of us, which is our feeling soul self, and our inner child needs love. We all need love. And when you’re not loving yourself, which is what practicing Inner Bonding is all about, then you will inevitably pull on other people, in various ways, to give you the love that you’re not giving to yourself.

The problem is that as an adult, there’s likely is not a single person on the planet who wants the job of filling up your inner child with love. This was the job of our parents. And most of us didn’t have parents who did this for us because they didn’t know how, and they didn’t do it for themselves. They they weren’t full of love to share with us, so they didn’t know how to love us in the way we needed love, and they didn’t role model for us how to fill ourselves up with love. And if your needs were not met for love, and you didn’t learn how to love yourself, you are likely needy for love, approval, and attention. Most of us grew up believing that we needed to tap into another person to get the needed love, attention, and approval.

What happens is you’ll meet somebody and you look at them and say to yourself, “Oh, they have a lot of love to give. And I need that love. I don’t have any inside and I need their love.” And then you go about trying to get their love. That’s what neediness is. And that’s what self-abandonment is, because as healthy adults, we are all capable of learning to give love to ourselves. And when we do, we get filled up with love to share with others.

But love is not something that we manufacture ourselves. Love is something that we open to and invite in. Love is what spirit is, what God is, what the universe is. When we don’t have any kind of spiritual connection, then we don’t have a source of love to tap into. It doesn’t mean that love isn’t there for us, but it means that we’re not open to it, so we can’t feel it inside.

And it’s the love that we open to from spirit that fills us up and heals the neediness and enables us to take responsibility for ourselves, for our feelings, and for filling ourselves up with love to share with others.

When you learn and practice Inner Bonding, you learn to create your spiritual connection so that you can bring love inside. That’s what heals neediness. You heal neediness when you practice Inner Bonding and learn to love yourself. Many of you who listen to my podcasts already know about Inner Bonding and are practicing it, but many of you don’t, so I will briefly go through the Six Steps of Inner Bonding, and why practicing this process heals neediness.

Step One is about moving out of mind focus and getting present inside your body. It’s a mindfulness practice of breathing, where we breathe into our body, and we get present, and we notice what’s happening inside our body. What are we feeling physically? What are we feeling emotionally? This is what loving parents do with a baby. They’re always tuned in and the moment and the baby cries they’re right there. They pick up the baby and they try to tune in to what the baby needs. Does the baby need to be held or changed or fed? That’s what we do on the inner level. I call it having your inner baby monitor on – listening for our feelings which have important information for us about whether we are loving ourselves or abandoning ourselves, or if there is a person or situation we need to tune into and be aware of. The very act of getting present with our feelings starts to make our inner child, which is our feeling self, feel loved, because now we’re paying attention to ourselves. On the other hand, if you have a feeling of anxiety or fear or emptiness and you don’t attend to it, and instead you go to somebody else to try get them to take care of you, that’s the self-abandonment.

And that’s the neediness that comes from not taking care of ourselves, not attending to ourselves. In Step One, we’re learning to get present with our feelings and we make a decision that we want responsibility for how we may be causing some of our painful feelings, and for lovingly managing the painful feelings of life. We decide we want to learn to take responsibility rather than hand our inner child, our feeling soul self, off to somebody else. That’s the neediness.

When you make the decision that you want responsibility for learning from your feelings, then your inner child starts to feel cared about, starts to feel that he or she is important to you. You want responsibility instead of handing that child off to everybody who comes along and looks like they have some love in them,

Then in step two of Inner Bonding, we move into our heart. We put our focus in our heart and we invite the presence of love and compassion, strength and wisdom into our heart. We just say, would you please come into my heart? And we breathe that love in, which is what enables us to be a loving adult, which is what we need to be in order to take care of our own feelings.

Once we are operating from love and kindness and compassion for ourselves, then we move into step three, which is about wanting to learn what we’re telling ourselves, how we’re treating ourselves, and what we are doing or not doing that’s causing our wounded painful feelings of anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, anger, aloneness, emptiness, jealousy, or envy. Are we putting ourselves down by judging ourselves? Are we scaring ourselves with dire projections of the future, such as telling ourselves we’re never going to make it? That we’re a loser? That we’re always going to be alone? That we’re going to lose this person and we won’t be okay? All these scary thoughts create a lot of anxiety. Are we ignoring our feelings and making others’ feelings more important than ours? Are we numbing our feelings with addictions? Are we trying to control others into giving us the attention that we are not giving to ourselves?

We all have an ego wounded self that is programmed with so many false beliefs about ourselves, about others, and about being able to control people. And all of this creates a lot of anxiety or depression or guilt or shame or anger within us. So in step three, we’re opening to those feelings and trying to understand what we’re doing to create them. Once we understand what we’re telling ourselves and how we are treating ourselves, we open to learning with our ego wounded self and take a look at the beliefs that are behind how we’re treating ourselves and where we got those beliefs.

In Step Three, we’re also opening to understanding what might be happening between us and another person or a situation that may be causing painful feelings, such as loneliness, heartache, or helplessness over others. And we want to learn to manage those as well. Once we get a clear picture of what we’re doing or what’s happening, then we turn to Step Four – to our higher guidance.

In Step Four, we ask for the truth about any false beliefs that we’ve uncovered in Step Three, and for what is the loving action that we need to take. We’re asking about what is in our highest good. And with some training and practice you can learn to access that information. Your guidance is always here for you. When you’re open to learning and you really want to know what is the truth and what is the loving action, and you also keep your body clear with healthy food, your frequency is high enough to access the wisdom of your guidance. You can start to tap into this huge, vast source of wisdom and information that can help you learn to take loving care of yourself.

When I started practicing Inner Bonding, I certainly did not know how to do that because I’d had no role modeling for loving myself. So I learned, through practice to access that information, which we do in Step Four of Inner Bonding.

Then in step five, we take the loving action, whatever it is we’ve been guided to take. This can mean many different things. It can mean just sitting and holding a doll or stuffed animal that represents your inner child with a lot of love and compassion. It can mean starting to eat better, or it can mean getting some exercise or stopping smoking or speaking up with someone or getting out of an abusive situation. It can mean changing jobs, getting training, cleaning up clutter, learning to be on time. It can mean asking for help, going into therapy. It can mean a whole lot of things. Taking loving actions on your behalf is what makes you your inner child start to feel cared about and important to you.

You’re not waiting for somebody else to take care of you, and that’s what takes away the neediness.

Once you’ve taken the loving action, then in Step Six, you go back in and see how you’re feeling. Are you feeling some relief? Are you feeling fuller inside? Are you feeling safer? Are you feeling less shame, less guilt, less anxiety, depression, or anger? Are you feel some inner peace and fullness? If you’re some relief and more peace and fullness, then you know that you’ve taken a loving action. And as you practice these six steps over and over throughout a day, anytime you feel anything other than peace inside, this becomes a natural way of being where you’re naturally attending to your feelings. You’re naturally staying connected to spirit. You’re naturally bringing in love. And after a while, you start to feel a lot of peace and a lot of joy, a lot of fullness inside your being.

When you feel peace and joy and fullness inside, you are not needy of somebody else’s love. You’re bringing love into yourself and now you have love to share with others. And truly the greatest experience in life is the sharing of love. But you see, we cannot truly share love until we’re bringing love into ourselves, until we’re loving ourselves and filling ourselves up with love.

And there’s often a huge confusion between the joy of sharing love and trying to get love. When you’re trying to get love, you are needy. You are not loving yourself. You are handing your inner child away to somebody else and expecting them to love you. And you think that that’s what’s going to make you feel great, but if you’ve never practiced Inner Bonding and learned to love yourself, you have no idea how wonderful it feels to bring love into yourself and to share love.

Inner Bonding is such a powerful process for learning to love yourself and moving beyond neediness.

One of my clients, Barbara, complained to me that her seven-year-old daughter was always demanding her attention. “I’m a loving, nurturing mom,” she said, “but it never seems to be enough for her.” What Barbara didn’t realize that being a loving and nurturing mom to her daughter is one aspect of being a loving parent, but she also needed to role model being loving to herself and taking responsibility for her feelings. This isn’t what she was doing. She was caretaking her daughter and sacrificing herself.

Often when a parent just gives and gives to the child, taking care of their every need and not allowing them to take care of some of their own needs, that child grows up with a big sense of entitlement, especially if the parent is not role modeling personal responsibility.

That child will likely grow up to either be a caretaker like the mother, or with a lot of narcissism and entitlement issues. Children need the parent to be there for them, but to also allow the child to do as much as they can for themselves, at whatever age they can be doing that for themselves. And the parent also needs to be taking responsibility for themselves and role modeling what it looks like to be loving to themselves.

My clients often say to me that there seems to be a thin line between neediness and the actual needs we have. As I’ve said, there are needs we have that we cannot meet for ourselves. Like for companionship, for affection, for somebody to support us and have our back in challenging situations, the need for somebody to comfort us at times, the need to just talk and share with someone, and to share love with someone.

But there’s a whole group of needs that come under the category of needs that you need to meet yourself. We need to see and value and love the essence of who we are and define our own worth. We need to own that we are deserving of love – our own love, love from others, and love from spirit.  It’s our responsibility to embrace the beauty that’s within us and learn to value the spark of the Divine that is who we are. When you learn to value and really love yourself for who you are, you won’t be confused regarding needs and neediness. The issue of asking someone for what we need doesn’t even come up as an issue when we’re loving and valuing ourselves, because part of loving and valuing ourselves is to ask in a caring way for what we need. And, of course, we need to learn to take responsibility for our own feelings and bring comfort to ourselves. It’s one thing to need another’s help, and quite another to make another responsible for our feelings.

If we ask for help and we don’t receive it, we need accept our helplessness over the other person and do what we can to take care of ourselves.

My clients often tell me that they feel lost, and they think they feel lost become their partner left them, or their last child went to college. But that’s not why they feel lost. April told me in a webinar that she felt lost because her husband left her. What I said to her is, “You need to go inside and ask that little girl in you, ‘How am I rejecting you? How am I causing you to feel lost? How am I not showing up for you? How am I abandoning you? Am I ignoring you? Am I judging you? Am I numbing you with addictions? You obviously gave your little girl to your husband to take care of, so of course you feel lost now. You need to take her back and adopt her and learn to take loving care of her. Rejecting yourself in any of these ways makes your inner child feel lost. And the more you reject yourself, the more you feel rejected by others, because others often treat us the way we treat ourselves.”

Ashley asked me in a webinar, “How do you determine in a new relationship with a man if you’re being needy? Does it mean that wanting those nice feelings or hearing the nice things he’s going to say or having a lovely conversation or just wanting to hear his voice is neediness?”

What I told her is that “It depends on your intent. If you’re waiting for him to do all that because you’re not giving those things to yourself, then yes, you are being needy. If you’re saying those nice things to yourself and enjoying those things with him, then those experiences are the icing on the cake, but not the cake itself.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying hearing nice things and sharing things with a person. That’s wonderful. But if it’s the cake – if you need to hear those things in order to feel okay about yourself, then that’s needy. If you’re bringing love inside yourself and you’re feeling full of love, and you’re looking forward to seeing him to share your love, that’s not needy, but if you’re abandoning yourself, then you’re feeling this yearning for him to give you something that you’re not giving yourself, and that’s needy.”

Ted contacted me because he felt betrayed by his church. He said, “I do a lot of things for my church. Volunteer a lot of time, give money, and assist in many ways. After years of hard work and effort, the people running my church are making changes, which makes me feel excluded, unappreciated, and unwelcome. I now feel angry and resentful after all I’ve done for them. I feel I have a right to be angry. I gave so much to them and to the church. I believe my church is responsible for my spiritual welfare and I was taught to believe that the church is my salvation. That is why I gave so much to it.

“Now I feel betrayed by my church after everything I did for it. But is this neediness?”

 What I told Ted is that when we give from the loving adult place, we have no agenda. We give from the heart because we are all filled up with love and that love comes spilling out. And we give for the joy of giving with no expectation of getting anything back, and no expectation of appreciation. We just give for the joy of giving. The fact that you feel unappreciated now, and the fact that you’re angry, says to me that you were giving to get, you were giving to get something. You were giving to get recognition or appreciation.

And you are making the church responsible for your spiritual welfare, but nobody else can take responsibility for your spiritual welfare. Your spiritual welfare is one hundred percent your responsibility. This is between you and God. It is your responsibility to develop your personal relationship with God. And this is what practicing Inner Bonding teaches you to do – to not hand that responsibility to somebody else. So you gave and gave with the agenda that they would take responsibility for your spiritual welfare and they would appreciate you, so yes, that is neediness. Anytime there’s the anger and resentment, this is coming from your wounded self, blaming somebody else for the choice you made to give in order to get them to take spiritual responsibility for you and to appreciate you.

What Ted would need to do is go inside to his inner child, the one who’s angry and resentful and do an Inner Bonding process. He would need to go in and say to his inner child, “How am I treating you? What am I telling you that’s making you feel angry towards me? How am I abandoning you that’s making you feel angry and resentful towards me?” Anger and resentment are generally projections of ways that we are abandoning ourselves. In the Inner Bonding process, we don’t dump the anger and resentment and blame on to others. We turn it around and we bring it inside and see how we’re treating ourselves that is causing these feeling. I know that may be hard for Ted because he worked so hard to give and give and now he’s not getting what he expected to get, but that’s what happens when we give in order to get.

Sometimes people ask me if they can learn Inner Bonding on their own or if they need to take a course or have a facilitator. There are many, many people around the world, thousands of people around the world who are learning Inner Bonding on their own. I hear from them all the time. You can go on the Inner Bonding website, and you register for the free 7-day course. You can read the many, many articles and you can read the books and listen to these podcasts and watch the YouTube videos. There’s many ways of learning Inner Bonding on your own. If you’re not somebody who is disciplined enough to do it on your own, or if there’s abuse issues that need to be dealt with, or relationship issues that you haven’t been able to resolve, then you will need facilitation. Many people need some facilitation at some point, but not everybody. You can also receive inexpensive help in Inner Bonding Village.

Healing neediness is essential for creating loving and fulfilling relationships, so I hope you learn and practice Inner Bonding and heal your neediness.

I hope you join me for my 30-Day at-home Course: “Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships.”

And you can learn so much about loving yourself and creating loving relationships from my recent books:

And, of course, we have much to offer you at our website at

I’m sending you my love and my blessings.

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