For the past month it has been no secret that I have been spending all my time with my cousin in hospice. Knowing his days were limited, I took every advantage of being in his presence. I had no problems letting people know that I was not going to be as available until he passed, which was only a matter of weeks or days. I learned something very incredible in this journey about people. People can be unconscious and become needy people.
During the 4 weeks of making a choice to spend time with my cousin, I was amazed at how people reacted to me not being available for their beckon call. I had people demanding for me to take care of things for them, demanding my time on the phone, and my favorite was someone who knew my cousin had died, so they got a hold of my partner through Facebook. They wrote them a letter saying they needed me to sign a piece of paper that they forgot about. They had zero consideration or compassion and only wanted their selfish needs taken care of. I had to leave the funeral home to make an arrangement because I did not want them to bother my partner.
When I look at the past several weeks and how people used me, I realized that there are needy people in this world and I have a choice to play a part in it or not. The truth is needy people come in a variety of shapes colors and sizes. They can be old friends, new friends, family, as well as colleagues. Their needs can span out with a very wide variety of things.
This has caused me to start looking at the needy person. The first thing I do when looking at the needy person is to take a look at me first. I ask myself is it possible that I do not mind my friend’s neediness and I need to feel needed? Am I looking for a hidden reward or praise? Why am I allowing needy people and what role do I play in it? Once I answer that and am happy with the answers I can move forward. Normally my answers are I have created a habit of saying yes or okay excessively and I get to prepare myself to set boundaries.
Setting boundaries can be difficult because at times it feels like conflict; however, setting boundaries is vital to avoid people from using you. Just remember that all boundaries require a consequence if not followed, I have to come up with a consequence.
The other thing you can do to avoid needy people is simply learn to say no to them. Look at patterns of people and most people who want something from you on their terms tend to be that way, so do not give them room to need things from you and you will be okay.
Here is the bottom line. Needy people will take from you all they can until you feel good about yourself and set boundaries. Try telling them it is not okay and see how they respond. I have had times when this works well and we both can move forward. What is important is only you have the power to deal with the needy person.
Set boundaries, follow through, have a talk, use kindness and when all else fails, give consequences to behavior and move forward. For me, this past month of needy people have taught me a very important lesson. Not to give as much, to set up very strong boundaries and to follow through on each boundary I set. Dealing with needy people is a choice that you make.
For today this is Dr. Tyler Woods saying walk in peace…