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Neediness

Mark Manson's words on neediness is always a nice reminder.

"Neediness occurs when you place a higher priority on what others think of you than what you think of yourself."

"Any time you alter your words or behavior to fit someone else’s needs rather than your own, that is needy. Any time you lie about your interests, hobbies, or background, that is needy. Any time you pursue a goal to impress others rather than fulfill yourself, that is needy."

Of course, this doesn't mean that what we think of ourselves comes from deep within us and is a constant that we have to always use. 

In fact, what we think of ourselves is almost entirely a result of what others think of us and what we would like others to think of us. 

However, it is a constantly evolving picture.

What constitutes neediness is essentially our efforts to fill the gaps between what others think of us and what we think of ourselves without actually updating our picture of what we think of ourselves. 

When there is no dissonance between the two, there is no neediness.

Neediness only arises from the dissonance. 

And we can fix the dissonance either by simply ignoring it (and focusing only on what we think of ourselves and not be bothered by what others think of us) or by giving in and changing what we think of ourselves to match that of what others think of us. 

Unfortunately, 'others' is not just one entity with one singular definition of what they think of us. Instead, every individual we interact with have a certain picture of what they think of us that is slightly different from each other. 

Thus, the second strategy turns out to be a non-starter as it is impossible to match all expectations that people have on us. 

Which makes focusing only on what we think of ourselves the only way to overcome neediness.

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