Friday, September 2, 2016

To Needy Girls: You Have An Unknown Advantage

When was the last time someone looked you in the eye and asked, "Are you okay?"

When was the last time someone asked about your day and actually wanted to know?

When was the last time you answered honestly to these questions whether the person was asking out of empathy or obligation?

For me? It's been a long time. Recently, I have been so overwhelmed with how few people I know who are like me. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, until I felt like very few cared.

I am the epitome of a "needy" girl. Not in the sense that I'll text you eight thousand times a day or stalk your whereabouts or anything... But I'll be the first to admit it: I am deeply sensitive. I require way too much attention. I can be wounded to tears by the simplest statement and I can take one sentence and analyze it until I've made it the complete opposite of the way you intended it.

Likewise, I never share what's on my mind because I'm always called needy. I've been called overdramatic. And maybe I am. But those statements hurt, too, because to me, it's all so real. It's all so valid. It's all so important. 

Being "needy" implies such a negative connotation in our society. So I looked up the definition of a "needy person" the other day. Turns out, a "needy person" is "someone who has needs and feels comfortable sharing, expressing, and communicating those needs."

News flash: everyone has needs, but "needy" people are better and stronger about communicating those needs. The biggest problem I've seen in my own experience is that those who were once confident in expressing those needs have been told to sit down, shut up, and keep hidden because the non-"needy" people don't want to deal with those needs. Are "needy" people really needy? Or are non-"needy" people selfish?

Perhaps a little bit of both.

You see, I'm one of those people who's either all in or all out. I don't just "like" things. Nothing is ever "okay." I'm either totally in love and deeply passionate about something or I'm completely indifferent. I can't blow things off. If something has impacted me {positive or negative!} I'll think about it for hours. Days. Weeks. It will consume me.

What a terrible life... you say. Always thinking. Always dreading. Always worrying. 

Yep. My brain is like an internet browser with 7,372,864 tabs open all at once. But I ask that you look at it differently for just one moment...

What if you were the topic consuming my mind? What if you were that important to me? What if I asked how your day was, and even though it had been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, you said, "Oh, it was okay," because you don't want to feel like a burden...but what if I actually wanted to know? I'm the girl who really wants to know what happened. I want to know who hurt you. I want to listen to you talk about it, or hold you while you cry, or let you vent until all the steam is out of your ears.

I totally suck at being low-maintenance. But when the tides have turned and you need to talk, you won't feel the need to be low-maintenance. You won't feel needy, emotional, or over-dramatic when you're confiding in a needy, emotional, over-dramatic person.

But no one sees it that way. And if you're like me, I'll bet you get tired of being called needy. Emotional. Over-dramatic. 

You are nothing of the sort. You may seem that way to those around you. For example... A few of my friends? Definitely not nurturers. After a bad day, they prefer to lock themselves in their rooms and unwind. They do not want to talk about it. To them, I'm sure I'm too needy.

But to me? Sometimes they're too insensitive.

Today's post is an ode to the needy girls of the world. The girls who are just like me. The ones who have been ignored and insulted for the way they approach others, when they were just trying to love the best way they knew how.

Needy girls? You have a definite advantage, and it is overlooked every day. You are such a rarity. A true diamond in the rough, if you will. While others are stuck ignoring problems, concealing pain, and struggling silently, you are there when life catches up to them. You are there when the problems get too big. You are there when the pain crushes them. You are ready, waiting in the shadows, when their deepest, darkest struggles become to heavy to carry on their own.

If you've ever called one of your friends "needy..." I urge you to think about where you were when they needed you, and where they were when you needed them. I urge you to look at life from their perspective every once in awhile. I urge you to get to know those you love so you will be able to love them better. The way they need you to love them, rather than the way you think you should love them. Sometimes what you think they need isn't what they need at all.

I've found so often that we express love in the ways we need to receive it. Instead, we should attempt expressing love in the ways they need to receive it.

Many times, in our genuine efforts to make life easier, better, and brighter for those we love, we fall into the trap of looking for ways to "fix it." We find ourselves asking, What can I do so she won't hurt as bad? or What will make this pain subside the fastest? The intentions are golden, but the results will falter.

Sometimes it's not about the fastest way to heal. It's about the most thorough way to heal. It might take awhile. You might have to pray for more than a couple of weeks. You might have to check in on them more than twice. The process might require a little more selflessness on your part.

Sometimes people don't need to be fixed. Sometimes people need to be loved.

If you need love today, know that you aren't too needy. You aren't too emotional. You aren't too overdramatic. You just aren't afraid to admit when you need a little help. Sometimes, when you admit you need something from someone, it annoys them. Sometimes, it frightens them. But the way they respond to you is not your problem. They might not know how to handle it. They might not be ready to handle it. And it will be easier for them to make it your problem. It will be easier for them to call you "needy" or "high-maintenance" or "over-dramatic" than it will be for them to love you.

So try not to take it too personal. Because when you take a step back, it's not always about you being weak and needy. It just might be about them being too afraid to tackle the depths of your heart.

We would like to give a special photography shout-out to Wendy at Wendy Dunn Photography for capturing and allowing me to edit & redistribute this photo on the blog and social media! 

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