How to Address the Desperate and needy Soul


Needy and desperate individuals are people who drain your energy because they constantly require your attention, affection, or affirmation.  In fact, they are desperate for any type of support you can give them.

They are generally demanding of your time and effort, and it is tiring to be around them.  If you ignore or avoid them, they will be hurt by your rejection, and may get frantic, desperate or spiteful.

The needy or desperate person has an overwhelming anxiety regarding rejection.  They are sensitive to any indication that someone is withdrawing their attention from them.  They will view people who ignore them with intense dismay.  They will try to change such a person’s opinion by falling over themselves to please them.

But if such attempts fail they get bitter, and even nasty.  For the needy person those who ignore them are enemies.  They will be obsessed about such individuals, often bad-mouthing them to others.

There are a number of reasons why people become so needy and desperate for love and attention.  Most needy people either did not have enough emotional nurturing in childhood, or had too much!  It is easy to see that if a person is reared by cold, unresponsive parents they will be denied a basic need in childhood, and never grow past the stage of needing to have their worth confirmed.

A needy person is in an arrested stage of development, still looking desperately for the emotional support they lacked in their younger years.  People who grow up without the presence of their parents, often have issues about knowing that they have “worth” as adults.

We all get needy at certain points in our life!

There are days when we feel especially vulnerable.  There are times when we crave encouragement, when we need to vent our feelings, or when we just require someone to tell us how special or wonderful we are.  Nothing is wrong with that!

But if we require such constant validation and extra special attention from every person we meet, then we have an unhealthy need.  If we become angry or hurt every time someone fails to pay attention to us, then we are caught in an unhealthy struggle that can bring us only suffering.

There are many key behaviors that that define unhealthy neediness.  It is first, totally never satisfied or at rest.  No matter how much confirmation or praise you give the needy person, the next day they will demand the same all over again.  They seem to have a never ending need for attention and affirmation.  The reason is that they won’t stop needing affirmation until a basic but very real inner transformation takes place.  That is, until they love themselves!

Making such an impossible request for support makes needy people very frustrating to deal with.  Their need is absolute.  You just spent an afternoon reassuring them, and perhaps helping them with a problem.  But a few days later you don’t pay careful attention to their complaints because you are just too busy or tired.  They will be disappointed, surprised or even distraught that you deny them such attention!  They see your behavior as a dismissal! You can support them till the cows come out, but the next day is like starting over.

Another unhealthy behavior of needy people is that it is driven by anxiety.  Their major fear is being rejected.  Such a fear makes the unhealthy needy soul behave irrationally.  They will interpret events and actions through the “filter” of this fear.  They will judge you and your behaviors through the filter of their anxiety.  So, if you pay less attention to them because you are busy, they believe (unconsciously) that you don’t care about them any more.  They quickly start to panic as a result.

One last example of extreme neediness is lack of insight.  Needy people are usually not aware of their unhealthy tendencies, and would not even describe themselves as needy.  Particularly if they are a martyr type, they will never admit to themselves that their behavior is extremely selfish.

They expect something in return for their caring or helping behavior.  They are manipulative, and will use guilt or emotional blackmail to get attention or praise.  Yet they have no clue that their behavior is destructive, and that they are sneaky and deceitful in their dealings with people.

The only way to be delivered from this lifestyle of destructive behavior is to work with skilled and godly professional counselors who can’t be manipulated or fooled by the patterns of escape or blame that many use to avoid addressing (and being free) from the heartache and prison of desperate neediness.

“Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray,”   Proverbs 10:17.


~ Mary Lindow ©

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” THE MESSENGER ” ~ Mary Lindow

Mary Lindow imageMary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others in all generations and careers or vocations to live and express excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She is a sought after keynote inspirational and humorous speaker and teacher throughout the United States internationally in Ministers conferences, International Spiritual leaders Conferences, and in National and International training seminars for various organizations.


How to Address the Desperate and needy Soul — 2 Comments

  1. I give thanks to The Lord that he turns no one away and judges no one in this time of favor.

    He will send help from heaven to rescue me, disgracing those who hound me. Interlude My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness. (‭Psalms‬ ‭57‬:‭3‬ NLT)

    He sees neediness in another light. A way to love and bless,not to judge and breakdown. Praise be to Our Lord for His unfailing love.

  2. I am moved to respond because I have and am overcoming such a struggle and would like to encourage from this perspective. I found in the psalms “Lord come quickly to meet me for I am in desperate need” and again “when my mother and father forsake me the Lord will take up my case” even this morning will I pray that as I respond to this. I Rarely tell anyone my testimony and here I go posting on www I lost my mom at 4 and my dad i met once when I was 40. You can imagine that I cannot remember being told I am proud of you or I love you. I never was going to marry or have children but God…I have 4 beautiful children 25 years now…I look back a couple things I could have done better and that is won’t tell u the denomination but church was supposed to be my family! I also read that is the acceptable religion take care of widows and orphans. I have always felt like a burden and suicidal since the age of 10. The prayer of jjabez encouraged me to see how God would answer!

    Can I please be honest and tell you yes I am poor and needy I had no one pour into me and those who tried I suspected or rejected. I also was angry at those who had family and took it for granted. Then I realized we are all so needy desperate and getting our needs met through Christ ! Please remember his very own words Father forgive them they know not…please gentle patient love and most of all faith