How to spot the emotionally needy:
They lie. They will lie about anything, to anyone. It's their way of getting attention. It could be that they want to come across as more important and/or successful than they actually are, or to garner sympathy, or to create a bond. It really doesn't matter. They will lie about all things, big and small. It gets to a point where the listener is loathe to believe anything that comes out of their mouths.
They always to churn up some drama. That's their way of saying, "Look at me!", because, of course, that's how they become the center of attention. If there's nothing going on, they will make something up. This can be done by starting rumors, sticking their noses in where they don't belong, or "confiding" a suspicion that may or may not have any basis in fact. Another way to do this is to act inappropriately, and then talk about it for days on end.
They try to elbow their way into your life. They blatantly ask to be invited to a lunch date that you have, even though they've never met the other person. They have no problem telling you that they want to come to an event that they're clearly not a part of, like your son's Scout Banquet or your High School reunion. They ask for your parent's phone number, even though they've never met.
They continually bring up "trauma" from the past. It could be the normal growing up stuff that we all went through, or a difficult divorce last decade, but they have the need to tell you how troubled they are by it. They will re-play and re-tell the same story for years without ever making any effort to resolve their feelings toward the situation. The listener will always show concern the first couple of times, before realizing that it's yet another attention-getting ploy.
They assume an inappropriately close relationship too soon. They are, after all, very needy. Hence, they are looking for someone to take care of those needs. This is perhaps the most manipulative of their tools. If you show any signs of kindness, they will stick to you like white on rice. They will "open up" to you, trying to create and affirm a bond through the telling of their deepest darkest secrets.
How to shake the emotionally needy:
The emotionally needy are easy to spot, but very hard to shake. The best thing that you can do is exercise the utmost caution. If you are able to get out of the relationship- run! If you're tied to this person through family bonds- tread lightly. The best way to deal with them is to create an obvious and unmistakable distance, while avoiding confrontation. They will eventually accept that you don't have time for them. If they persist in looking to you to solve their emotional problems, let them know that you are not equipped to deal with anything on that level, and suggest professional help.
Published by Kay Whittenhauer
Kay Whittenhauer enjoys crocheting, exercising, and delving into matters of spiritual enlightenment. She also spends a lot of her free time putzing around the house: gardening, cooking, and taking on do-it-y... View profile