The Need to be Needed

My entire life has been dictated by my desire to be liked and be useful to others. You might think, “Wow! That doesn’t actually sound too bad!” Yet for me, it is an inescapable curse. Ever since I was young, I’ve always been an awkward individual. I was very shy around my peers, which now I know was an effect of anxiety. So I didn’t exactly blend in very well. I remember my first mental breakdown, the first time I thought “I want to die”, I was quite young at the time, maybe 6 or 7. I went to a classmates birthday party, because back then the whole class was invited to a birthday, not just the child’s friends. The first half of the event went as you’d expect from a shy child. It wasn’t particularly smooth sailing, but it wasn’t a catastrophe. About halfway through the party everyone started changing into their swimsuits. You see their family had a pool, and I had forgotten to bring a swimsuit, or maybe I didn’t have one, I don’t remember. Anyways, the mother of the birthday child offered to lend me one of their son’s swimsuits, but I refused. So while everyone was having fun, I instead laid on the trampoline in the middle of the summer under a clear sunny day for more than likely a few hours. Eventually the parents saw me, not to mention I was crying my eyes out, and called my parents to pick me up. You can imagine that things would be rather difficult going back to school next fall with a lot of the same people from the party in my class. Truthfully I don’t remember much of that year, if any at all. This served as the first step in my decent towards depression. I thought that nobody liked me, and they probably didn’t, and that was a huge blow for me. So rather than try to get them to like me, I wanted to be useful to them. Sharing my homework, doing the majority of group projects, of course this started a few years later when such things were actually useful rather than indignant. Needless to say, this continued for most of my school career until I was more or less singled out as severely unpopular. Then I couldn’t even be useful to people. So I just gave up on it for a while, while I sunk into a very deep depression. Even to this day, this mentality still haunts me. I have a severe problem saying no to almost anyone, which usually ends up in me getting in something way over my head. It also was one of the reasons I got so addicted to gambling, because I felt special (when I was winning at least). If you’re anything like me, the best thing for you to do is be selfish every once in a while, say no to things or people, and remember that not everyone is going to like you. I sure wish I had found this out years ago when it was easier to change my habits. Nevertheless I am still trying my hardest to rid myself of this mentality, any way I can.

Yours,

Wolfgang


By the way, to celebrate 100 followers on my personal blog The Smiles We Bear I’ve published the remaining chapters of my story Dark Fantasies (which you can read the first chapter for free here on the Bipolar Writer Blog, or on my blog. But if you like it, the whole story is on sale for kindle products >here< for only 99 cents!! I would greatly appreciate it if you checked it out

Thanks!!!

40 Replies to “The Need to be Needed”

  1. Sounds like you have come a long way Wolfgang, well done turning your life around! If you have time you might check out Carol Dweck, Growth Mindset on Ted Talks. Our perspective is so important!

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    1. Same. This described me pretty much to a T… But, I’m getting there. I’ve come to accept that no amount of love for others can make up for the fact that I don’t love myself and I’m working on that. But, I still struggle to say no to things…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Same here. It’s a long and arduous road my friend. But hey 2 steps forward and 1 step back, you’re still making progress!!

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  2. And me too … I still want to be liked, to be loved even now. Those early years are so character forming. You’ll get there – we all will. It just takes a huge amount of work. Lovely honest post. Katie

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      1. You labor just right. Needing to be needed. Till this day, I never fit in with my “friends “. I was friends with them, they weren’t friends with me. It took me a very long time to see that. It still blows my mind.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Same here. Wow, this has helped me to understand so much about me and my perception of those from my past.

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  3. Wow, this really opened up my mind to realizing what I’ve been struggling through after I was left out as a kind. Thank you for offering insight on depression! Hope all is well and congratulations on 100 followers!

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  4. I also had struggles with being unpopular but it had more to do with the fact that I was independent. I’ve discovered that doing the right thing can make you very unpopular sometimes. Part of my issues too was that I had brain damage at a very young age and that causes me to miss a lot of social cues. You should check out some of Dr. Daniel Amen books, they are really eye opening. (I just recommend that you stay away from the hypnosis or meditation that he recommends, that is really dangerous stuff). Before I stop being long winded, I just want to point out for you Wolfgang that it’s never selfish to set proper boundaries. We are responsible for taking good care of ourselves in addition to helping others.

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    1. Well we made it through it just fine didn’t we!! I’ll check him out when I get a chance. Thanks for the advice too 😁

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  5. Wow! Reading this made me feel a bit warm inside, knowing that I’m not the only one who feels like this. This year had been tough for me maintaining a job due to my anxiety. I fear everyone hears me on the phones and I start noticing everyone speaking with each other and I’m all left alone like no one wants to talk to me. I’m always on my own. I guess people sense my shyness and prefer to stay away. Thank you for sharing

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    1. Anxiety is extremely intrusive isn’t it? And it’s equally hard to change. I have found that being more of a loner has only further progressed my anxiety, so I’m challenged to get out there and start revealing myself to the world. Blogging has surely helped that, and only recently have I started “peopling” again. I make crafts and used to do them strictly for myself because I felt they weren’t “perfect” enough for others to buy. I was wrong! So now I have a business too! I also understand that whole, people not understanding why it’s happening and the whispering and such. It always made me wish I could hear their thoughts. I hope it gets easier for you sooner rather than later! Much love!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you so much for your advice! It means a lot I do struggle with my own thoughts! Arts and crafts is something I will definitely try out! Writing and meditation are helping me cope! I take it a day at a time! I really don’t want to lose my job over fear of being around people! And I’m so happy for your business I know you will rock it!

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      2. I am really encouraged that you were able to give your crafts to others. That is something that I would like to do, but I’m always scared my work isn’t good enough.

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      3. Let me tell you something. I’m always scared that my writing is never good enough. I still post though. Either people like it or they don’t. either it helps them or it doesn’t. I do this as much for myself as I do for others. If you want to write, do art, sing, play music, go for it. I think you’ll be surprised by the reception you’ll receive

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      4. What Alan said for sure! If I do it more for myself I am much more satisfied when others don’t like what I do or present. I’m not saying I don’t still internalize that they might not like what I’ve made or written, because I absolutely still do this. But that first step in putting it all out there, and then did it again, it just got easier with time.

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  6. Not only are you not alone, it’s actually extremely common among sufferers of anxiety ( esp social) and often depression.
    In my experience it goes by the term ‘people pleaser’. The desire not only to fit in, or to not fit out, but to generally always be liked, often doing or agreeing to favours even to ones own detriment.
    Its a hard chain to break once it’s reached the point of doing it subconsciously or automatically.
    All the best in dealing with yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Excellent content. Actually, the desire to be useful, to be needed, is a fundamental human drive. It’s actually a major reason men tend not to live so long after they retire, because they no longer feel needed and useful. Also, you should know that for some reason your post had no line breaks in my browser (Firefox) so I had to highlight and copy the single (unscrollable) line and paste it into something else to be able to read it.

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    1. Thanks for the compliment. As for the error that occurred with your viewing the post, I will try and figure out what caused it. Thanks!

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