Do you suck the life out of others, trying to get the love you need, or do you allow others to suck the life out of you? Do you often feel empty inside? Do you believe that others should be filling you up with their love and attention? Discover the real cause of inner emptiness and what to do about it, and how to distinguish between legitimate needs and neediness.
Today I want to talk How to stop being a needy energy vampire. Energy vampires are people who are completely abandoning themselves and then try to suck the life out of others to get the love they are not giving to themselves. They are deeply emotionally needy.
When your intent is to get love, rather than to be loving to yourself and share your love with others, you are an energy vampire. When you are not in the moment-by-moment process of learning about what’s loving to yourself, and taking loving action for yourself, you are abandoning yourself and creating an empty hole within. This empty hole needs love, and you will try to get it from others in any way you can.
This neediness creates an energy pull.Others might not be fully conscious of the energy pull from you, but they will generally back off because your pull unconsciously feels yucky to them. Of course, you might find someone who is such a caretaker that they stay and let themselves be drained by you, but you need to know that people who allow themselves to be drained and used by you have strings attached to what they give. Their giving is attached to an expectation that you will love them and fill their emptiness as well. Both of you will inevitably be very disappointed.
Inner emptiness is the awful, hollow feeling in the pit of your stomach and is a common experience for many people. It is a feeling that is so distressful that it often leads to numerous addictions in an attempt to fill the empty, alone place within. Food, alcohol, drugs, TV, shopping, sex, busyness, gambling, and fantasy are some of the common addictions used to momentarily fill the emptiness. They become addictions because they do work for the moment, but because the fullness is short-lived, you have to keep doing them – more food, more sex, more shopping, and so on. They never completely fill you or fill you up permanently. They are just Band Aids.
They are flimsy substitutes for what you really need, which is love. The inner emptiness is due to a lack of love – not a lack of food, sex, or TV. Yet trying to get love from another person is just another addiction. It feels great for the moment, but what about the next moment when the person is not there, or gets angry, or withdraws his or her love? Back to the emptiness and other addictions as you frantically try to avoid feeling so empty and alone.
As long as you believe that something outside of yourself can fill you – a substance, a process, or a person – you will be seeking the love you need in all the wrong places.
This issue centers around beliefs regarding who is responsible for your feelings, and whether or not you are responsible for another’s feelings. As an adult, you are 100% responsible for causing your own inner emptiness, and for learning to fill your emptiness with love for yourself, and love to share with others.
Over and over, I see so much suffering because people will not accept responsibility for their own feelings and will not accept their helplessness over how others treat them. I see people spending years and years doing everything they can to try to have control over getting love, attention, approval, validation or sex from others, wondering why they never feel happy and fulfilled – why they still feel empty inside.
If you feel empty, you are certainly not alone in feeling this way.
Most people who feel empty have some deep false beliefs regarding why they feel empty. I’ve heard many false beliefs from my clients about why they feel empty, such as:
• I feel empty because My partner is not giving me enough love and attention.
• I feel empty because I don’t have a partner.
• I feel empty because I’m bored because my partner doesn’t provide me with enough stimulation.
• I feel empty because my work is unsatisfying.
• I feel empty because I’m not successful enough.
• I feel empty because I don’t have enough money.
• I feel empty because I have no one to play with on weekends.
• I feel empty because nothing excites me. Life is boring.
• I feel empty because I don’t get enough love, attention and approval from people.
• I feel empty because I don’t get enough sex.
Notice that all these reasons have to do with what you are not getting externally. None of these are the causes of inner emptiness.
What do you usually do to try to fill the inner emptiness? Do you try to fill up externally with:
• Substances, such as food, sugar, alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes?
• Do you try to fill up with Processes and activities, such as TV, Internet, sex, computer games, work, shopping, spending, gambling, phone, email?
• Do you use manipulations such as anger, blame, over-talking, story-telling, caretaking others to try to get the love you are not giving to yourself?
As I’ve already stated, these may work for the moment, but not for long. Very soon, the emptiness is back and you are looking for another fix to temporarily fill up the black empty hole within you.
The problem with all these behaviors is that they only address the symptom of inner emptiness, not the cause.
There is only one thing that truly fills the emptiness. Love. There is only one cause of inner emptiness: a lack of love.
But it is not a lack of someone else’s love that causes your emptiness. Inner emptiness is caused by not loving yourself and being disconnected from your spiritual source of love.
Inner emptiness comes from a lack of connection with your spiritual Source of love – from not opening to the love-that-is what our universe is, and bringing that love to yourself through your thoughts and loving actions.
Just as a young child feels alone when there is no one there to love him or her, your inner child also feels alone and empty when you are not there to love him or her. When you abandon yourself by judging yourself, ignoring your feelings by staying in your head, numbing your feelings through substance and process addictions, and making others responsible for your feelings and for loving you, you will feel empty. You are causing your own emptiness by your self-abandonment. This is when you become a needy energy vampire, pulling on others for the love, attention and validation that you are not giving to yourself.
We cannot get filled externally with what we really need, which is love. Love is a what Spirit is, so unless you learn to connect with your higher guidance, you will likely often feel empty and needy and pull on others’ energy.
As long as you believe that who you are is your body and your ego wounded self – you will feel empty inside. Your body and ego mind is not you. Your body is the physical home for you while you are incarnated on this planet, but it is not you. Your programmed ego mind isn’t you. You are Spirit. You are the love, joy, wisdom and peace of Spirit. You are an individual manifestation of God, created in the image of the love that is God.
The emptiness is there when your ego mind has dominion over your soul. When, through the practice of Inner Bonding and the development of your loving Adult, you learn to open to your essence and experience your connection to and oneness with Spirit, you will feel the fullness and joy within of who you are.
However, you cannot begin to feel the fullness of love within until you decide to release your individual ego will to the higher will of your higher self. As long as you are devoted to your programmed false beliefs and concepts, you will be stuck in your wounded self. As long as getting love, and trying to have control over getting love with your various manipulations coming from your emptiness and resulting neediness, is more important to you than loving yourself and others, you will be stuck with emptiness. As long as you attach your happiness and worth to your performance, looks, and to how others feel about you, you will be stuck in your pain. As long as you believe that you can know what is in your highest good from your own ego wounded mind, you will continue to try to have control over what you think you need to feel happy and full.
Releasing our own will and opening to the higher will of our higher guidance,is a simple concept. Yet it is the greatest challenge we have. Most people are so stuck in believing that it is their own mind that keeps things going, that keeps things together, that they are terrified to let go to being guided by their higher power. Yet when you open to learning about loving yourself and others and take loving action based on what your Guidance says rather than on what your mind says, you find that things do not fall apart at all. In fact, they get much better. Learning to love yourself through being guided by your higher guidance brings great joy and fullness of being.
Your Inner Child needs love – your love – to feel full inside. Loving yourself and sharing your love with others fills the inner emptiness. It is the only thing that does.
Now I want to talk about the difference between needs and neediness, because sometimes there is a confusion here. Sometimes it’s a challenge to know what are reasonable relationship needs and when we are being needy.
My client, Klarese, asked me this question:
“I am currently dating a wonderful person who I care about greatly. A challenge for me is his job is very demanding leaving us little time to spend together. I am aware my childhood triggers of abandonment are being triggered, however, I am having a difficult time figuring out if I am being reasonable or unreasonable with my need for attention. How do I discriminate between my codependent ‘neediness’ and my true need to love and be loved while living my own fulfilled life?”
Each of us has the right to want whatever amount of attention we want in a relationship. Some people love to spend a lot of time together and others need less time together. There is nothing wrong with wanting more time with a partner.
The problem for Klarise lies in wanting this from her current partner, who is not available to give her the attention she wants. She asks if she is being reasonable or unreasonable with her need for attention.
The answer is that she is being reasonable in what she wants, but unreasonable with her current partner, because she is expecting attention from someone who is not available to give it to her. She is not accepting that her wonderful guy is too busy in his job to meet her need for time and attention.
Klarese has a choice to make. She can accept that she is in a relationship with a wonderful man who doesn’t have much time for her, and learn to give herself the attention she needs, or she can seek a relationship with a man who doesn’t work as much. The choice she doesn’t have is to try to have control over getting her boyfriend to work less. Trying to control another to get your needs met generally leads to power struggles and distance.
Also, if Klarese is abandoning herself and expecting her boyfriend to give her what she is not giving herself, then her need is coming from neediness. If Klarese has learned to love herself and feels ready to share her love, then her need is coming from a healthy place.
Klarese states that she wants to love and be loved while living her own fulfilled life, so her desire to spend more time with her boyfriend may not be needy. But she is having trouble accepting that he isn’t available in the way she wants and needs.
Just because we have a reasonable need doesn’t mean that our partner is obligated to meet it. For Klarese to find an appropriate partner, she needs to fully validate and accept her need for time with a partner, and also accept that she has no control over another’s time.
Klarese might be with a wonderful man, but he may not be a match for her regarding available time to share love. So she either needs to accept that she doesn’t have – and may never have – the kind of time with him that she wants, and make herself happy in other ways, or she needs to move on and seek a relationship with a more available man. Only she can know which choice is most loving to her and is in her highest good.
The wounded self in all of us is needy. The wounded self, in one way or another, is always pulling from others for love, attention, approval and validation. When there is no loving Adult present to attend to these inner needs, then the wounded self has no other options but to try to have control over getting what it needs from others.
We choose not to show up as a loving Adult and take care of these needs ourselves when we operate under the false beliefs that we can’t do it, that another can do it better for us than we can for ourselves, and that our best feelings come from getting love rather than being open and loving with ourselves and others. These false beliefs can keep people stuck in attempting to manipulate others into giving them what they want, and never experiencing the incredible joy that comes from opening to Spirit and feeling the love that is always here for us.
The needy person operates under another false belief – that others cannot tell when they are being pulled on and manipulated into caretaking – that they can fool others into thinking they are open when they are actually trying to control.
For example, Joseph came to an intensive because his marriage was falling apart. His wife had finally declared that she was no longer willing to be constantly pulled on to fill him up and take responsibility for his feelings. Joseph had never been any other way and had no idea what to do differently. He came to the intensive hoping to discover how to do it “right.”
When Joseph was working with me, his intention was to figure out how to do it right so he could get my approval. Part of my job as a facilitator is to help people become aware of their intention. Joseph had no intention to learn about loving himself. He just wanted to learn how to better manipulate getting approval from others.
Joseph tried one form of manipulation after another to get me to be his loving Adult. First he was charming and complimentary regarding me and my work. Then he went into story telling and explaining. Then he plunged into his self-judgments. Then he withdrew and became silent. Each time he tried a new manipulation, I would gently ask him what he wanted from me and if there was anything he wanted to learn about loving himself. Each time he said he was open and he wasn’t.
How did I know he wasn’t open? There is a huge different between action and energy. While his actions might have looked open when he was asking questions about how to take care of himself, energetically he was completely closed. The only way we can know a person’s intent is to feel it within our own bodies. I could not feel Joseph. He was in his head rather than in his heart, so no open energy was coming from him.
Finally Joseph decided that he could get me to take care of him if he went into deep pain, so he started to sob and sob. He was in victim pain, the needy pain of the abandoned child that says, “Take care of me.” I looked around the room. No one was moved by Joseph’s pain. No one felt his pain in their own bodies. This is how we know whether or not a person is open or closed – by what we feel in our own bodies.
I did not move to comfort Joseph and caretake his pain. While I felt deep compassion for his abandoned child, it was he who was doing the abandoning and causing the pain. When I offered him this information and told him that his sobbing would not work to get me to take care of him, he became enraged. He screamed at me like a little child having a temper tantrum. I lovingly invited him to try every manipulation he could to get me to take responsibility for his feelings. I encouraged him to notice that he was not wanting to learn about what his abandoned child needed from him – he just wanted me to do it for him, just as he had been doing with his wife.
Joseph did try everything to get me to take care of him, and when nothing worked he finally chose to learn about loving himself. He left the intensive in a completely different place than when he came, determined to learn how to take care of himself. His marriage greatly improved and he is still married, many years later.
Neediness is a common cause of relationship problems.
Neediness is the foundation of codependent relationships: takers demand that others take responsibility for their happiness and wellbeing, and care-takers accept this responsibility in the hope that then the other person will love and approve of them. Neither is taking responsibility for their own feelings, and they are therefore abandoning themselves, creating their neediness.
“I already see – many times a day – when I am needy and having unrealistic demands from friends. Still, the tendency is to want to react needy with pulling and so on. I see it now more, and can stop myself more often now, but what are the next steps in this process of not ‘acting it out’? How can I stop feeling rejected a lot?”
I said to Erin that the key to understanding the next steps lies in the fact that you feel rejected a lot. Feeling rejected by others indicates that you are rejecting yourself in numerous ways. One of the things you are doing that is self-rejecting is you are making others responsible for your feelings. Imagine you have a child and instead of loving this child, you try to keep giving her to others to love. Wouldn’t she feel rejected by you? Your inner child feels deeply rejected by you when you pull on others for approval and attention.
“When I feel needy with my partner, I sometimes feel indecisive between asking him to hold me and attending to my feelings on my own. I’m not sure whether to cuddle next to him or go do something by myself. I am uncertain why I have this internal conflict and how to decide what to do in those times.”
I told Jacqui that we all have legitimate needs for being held and receiving support. When you come to your partner as a loving adult, wanting responsibility for your feelings, but needing extra support, you are not being needy. When you come to your partner as an abandoned child, wanting him to take responsibility for your feelings, you are being needy. It’s all about your intent.
Ask yourself, “Do I want him to do it with me or for me? If you are honest with yourself, then you will know what to do.
When you learn and practice Inner Bonding – learning to take responsibility for your own feelings – you heal the self-abandonment that results in neediness. You CAN move beyond neediness!
We do not thrive without love, so I consider love a basic need. Even though we might muddle through without love, many people get ill and die from a lack of love.
Most of us know that infants and small children need love to survive. Many babies have died due to not being held with love. “Failure to thrive” is the term used when an infant dies due to not being held with love.
There are times when we need another to hold us and empathically help us through existential pain, such as heartbreak and grief. There are times when we are ill and need another to help us and soothe us. This kind of loving care is a basic need.
The sharing of love is also a basic need. However, there is a huge difference between trying to get someone else to love you, and your need to share love.
We all need to learn to bring love to ourselves through our spiritual connection. It is only when we can fill ourselves up with the Source of Love that we have love to share. When are not taking responsibility for developing our spiritual connection and learning to fill ourselves up with love, then we are needy.
When someone is not taking responsibility for their own feelings and pulling on you for attention and approval, they are being needy. You know they are being needy because it feels like they are draining you rather than sharing with you.
The difference between need and needy is mostly about energy. We are needy when we are empty because we have abandoned ourselves by not taking responsibility for our own feelings. We are expressing a need when we are taking loving care of ourselves and sharing our love with others, or reaching out for legitimate help. While the actions of need and neediness may look the same, the energy behind the actions are completely different, and the result in our relationships is completely different.
I encourage you to learn how to love yourself in my 30-day course, Love Yourself, which you can find on our website at innerbonding.com.
If you are interested in a very deep and profound experience in learning how to love yourself through Inner Bonding, consider taking my upcoming virtual Intensive that starts August 11th. You can find information about this at https://www.innerbonding.com.
I send you my love and my blessings.