How to Handle a Needy Person

Note: This is a series of posts on How to Handle Difficult People. These articles will guide you on how to interact with a difficult person without severing your relationship with them.

Living with a needy person should be quite a challenge.

"The Leech" always wants your time and attention and always needs your perpetual assurance to be happy and contented.

It is annoying, frustrating, and exhausting spending time with dependent people, and the best way to handle them is to stop being around them.

Assuming that the difficult person is close to you and you can’t simply avoid, here are some practical tips to help you maintain your own emotional well-being when you have a needy person nearby.

1. Clarify each other’s expectations

Sit down and talk about the expectations you have for each other.

Explain that you are not her savior and you cannot be there to take care of her all the time so she needs to learn how to take care of herself.

Make it clear that you also want her to experience personal growth that will actually be beneficial for her in the long run.

Talk about the probable great outcomes.

2. Express your feelings and be honest

There is really something about telling the truth when building a long term relationship.

You are not helping her if you constantly lie to her just to avoid hurting her and tolerate her neediness.

In cases when you weren’t able to do what she had requested, lovingly tell her the real reason why you haven’t done so.

Explain to her that she needs to learn how to do things on her own and to not depend on you too much.

Make her realize that you both need some level of independence to be able to function well in society.

Of course, tell her these things with much love as possible.

You can start by saying, “You know how much I love you, but…” Tell her how you really feel about her being overly clingy.

3. Modify your approach

Change the way you talk to her and the manner you address her with the intention of boosting her self-esteem.

A needy person is insecure and has low self-confidence, and this can be improved by making her realize that she is strong and capable.

All of this starts by how you treat her. If you treat her like a baby, then she will indeed act like one. If you treat her as someone you can count on, then she will learn how to become responsible and mature.

4. Encourage individuality

Support her to spend time alone or create her own schedule.

Give her the opportunity to do a few things by herself.

Washing her own clothes and dishes can be a great start.

Do not always be there when she needs you to help her help herself.

Let her get used to some minor inconveniences.

Teach her how to handle disappointments and how to let go of unrealistic expectations.

5. Introduce a sense of interdependence

Make her realize through your example that what you both need is interdependence, not independence or dependence.

Show her that it is possible to work as a team and help each other out without being a burden to the other person.

When one person is in trouble, the other person is able to assist, and vice versa.

By establishing this kind of relationship, both of you will be better and more satisfied.

You can avoid the feeling of always being the dominant partner and she can improve her self-esteem all at the same time.