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Needy & Clingy People in Your Life - Why Keep Toxic Relationships?

By Ed Rigsbee, CSP, CAE

(417 words)

Danielle, a member of my Facebook Relationship Glue Group recently posted an answer to my question about "need verses want." She stated, "I think a 'needy' person can have a healthy, fulfilling relationship, but it involves them being aware of their 'neediness' and making an effort to really look at themselves and find out why they are needy."

This is a good time to talk about needy people. And while I am on the subject I'll also cover clingy people. They are considered one in the same by many.

Needy People

If you are the kind of person afflicted with the "Savior Complex" then a needy person is your saving grace. You can do so much for them, denying yourself, and feel oh so good about yourself...until...they heal, and no longer need you. That is so sad. Then the relationship is over. For the needy person, he or she will hang around--as long as all their needs are being met. Danielle makes a great point that alludes to the needy people being aware of their neediness. However, I'm not convinced that these needy persons can overcome their pathology...and I could be wrong. My pathology...I'm a control freak, I know it, I try to overcome it, and yet frequently its ugly head pop up when least expected. It has been a problem my entire life.

My belief is that I manage my controlling nature rather than overcome it. If you know you are needy, you have a lot of work to do if you desire a mutually beneficial relationship. Try fulfilling your neediness by DOING for your special someone. Take that "hole" and fill it with activity that serves your spouse in the method they prefer to be served and your need to be loved, nurtured, and appreciated will be fulfilled.

Clingy People

Needy people are frequently also clingy people. To most mentally healthy persons, clingy equals suffocation. Control freaks like me can also be clingy, just ask my wife (and I've been working on it for our entire 35 years of marriage). For clingy and needy people, if you can (metaphorically) hold your special someone to you like you would hold a fencing foil or a bird; just tight enough not to lose it, but not so tight that you strangle the life out of it--you have a chance.

This idea is encompasses both the science and the art of successful relationship development. For successful and fulfilling relationships, it's all in the implementation. Happy loving...

Copyright 2010-2013 Ed Rigsbee

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Ed Rigsbee, CSP, CAE, for over two decades, as the speaker on relationships has been helping business individuals and organizations of all sizes to grow their market through smart alliance relationships--while at the same time helping individuals to develop what he calls Relationship Glue for their personal lives. He is also the author of PartnerShift-How to Profit from the Partnering Trend and The Art of Partnering. Rigsbee has over 2,000 hard-copy published articles to his credit and is a regular keynote presenter at corporate and trade association conferences teaching North America how to access their Collaborative Advantage through the steps he shares in his writing and lectures. You can access all Ed's Web Sites and Blogs through


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