25 thoughts on “Emotional Attachment: 5 Thoughts of The Needy Person

  • April 13, 2016 at 8:38 am

    This entire describes me. I have struggled in all of my relationships and have told myself that maybe I need to be alone the rest of my life to decrease the pain relationships cause. I have a severe fear of abandonment as I was abandoned emotionally in early childhood. I believe deep down that I am unworthy and unlovable. I don’t feel like it is worth it any longer to pursue love or friendship when I’ll just be rejected or abandoned anyway.

    • April 16, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      So many people feel like you. I have felt, in the past, that the best way to cope with a fear of abandonment is to not deal with certain relationships at all. In a way, this can be wise as relationships can take you through a host of challenges. But this pattern of thinking can also be detrimental as you often prevent yourself from connecting with others and taking relational chances that can lead to happiness.

      Have you considered seeing a therapist? Talking things through or building insight can truly make the difference. Also getting a correct diagnosis may be helpful too. Many of my clients who struggle with relationships and fears of abandonment are diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and treated accordingly.

      Take care

    • April 18, 2016 at 5:33 am

      You’re not alone. I truly feel unlovable and not capable of a relationship. It feels pointless to even start because my anxiety pushes people away. It’s an endless pit. Hang in there!

  • April 13, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Wonderful article. Many people do not see themselves as being of value to the world, they wait for someone to value them. But the reality is that we are of value whether or not someone else sees us the same way. When we believe in our giftedness we become a gift to the world through everything we do and who we are.

  • April 15, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    Hello Tamara!
    Thanks for the article! it is helpful!
    I am wondering,, how can we recognize if we are living in an unhealthy attachment or true love?
    What about love that we see in movies, novels, etc.. are all of these stories based on unhealthy attachments?
    For example, the movie “The Titanic”,, the whole world liked it! but do u think it showed us true love or an unhealthy attachment?
    Again thanks for the article, and many thanks for giving us “the readers” some of your time to read and reply to our comments! All the best!

    • April 16, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      Hi Mike,
      Thank you for your kind comment. That’s a loaded question that I’m not sure I can answer. I think we can all fall in love with the wrong person and find ourselves attached in an unhealthy way. An unhealthy attachment does not mean that you don’t feel love toward the person you are attached to. Your experience is very real. But the attachment becomes unhealthy when you recognize that you are being slighted, abused, used, manipulated, or lied to.

      Unfortunately, so called “love” from the movies are often fabrications or exaggerations of the real thing. Love is very real, very beautiful, and very powerful. But the kind of love that is portrayed in movies tends to be a fantasized love with some elements of truth. That’s why the world loves this stuff! But sadly, I am well aware, from personal and professional experience, that real love is so much more complicated and overpowered by each individual’s experiences of the world including early attachments. Perhaps this is what the move Titanic was trying to display.

      Take care

  • April 17, 2016 at 5:02 am

    Dear Tamara
    I have extreme fear of abandonment and at times such a feeling of being unloved and unwanted that it sends me into bouts of anxiety and depression. I have what may be an unhealthy emotional attachment to a friend who has now turned their back on me because I am so needy and need constant reassurance. The fact they have turned their back on me has reinforced my feelings of abandonment. Does this sound like BPD? I am seeing a therapist but we have not discussed this possibility as yet.

  • April 17, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Hi, I have a question. So say a person has recognised their flawed thinking.They know the reasons why they have them and have accepted the reality of their history. They have also managed to forgive the source of this (a needy and emotionally volatile mother) and have even reestablished a mutually respectful relationship with them. They recognise the emotional void and that it will never be filled.

    I have this void and have a history of being in relationships which were very bad for me. I have now been single for some time and am proud I have become comfortable being on my own (although I am scared if I get close to someone again, all my hard work will be undone). I still have impulses to fill this void, but figured I may as well switch my bad addictions for more acceptable and productive ones. So I now exercise a lot instead of eating junk and instead of booze and drugs like my younger days, am now a massive workaholic. These new addictions still have a negative impact on my life sometimes, but they also bring me some positive results and they don’t make me as miserable.

    I’m thinking though, if the void is never able to be filled, am I already doing all that I can do? Is there another step from here? Would it be to find even better ways to soothe myself (I can’t imagine not feeling the need to sooth myself) ? Or work on other issues and hope that helps. I am very socially guarded and weary of people I am unfamiliar with. This never really bothered me though, because I don’t feel a big need to be social anyway. In fact, now that I am used to being single, I barely ever feel lonely. I don’t feel a need to be social, or to be in a relationship (in fact, I would say I only miss the sex). I only seem to feel lonely when in or just coming out of romantic relationships. I am 28 now though and want to make the most of life and feel that I’m not doing that. I feel like more of a spectator than a participant. I am also a little worried by my lack of interest in people. I mean I like people in general and interact with people for work, but I just don’t feel the need to be close to them.

    • April 17, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      Hi K,
      Thanks for your comment. This is a complicated question that will involve you deciding on what you ultimately need. It appears you are in the “recovery” stage where you are looking for a way to maintain your level of functionality. I think we all do this once we recognize that we are stronger and walking a better journey than before. I think you are doing well trying to replace negative “addictions” for more positive ones. You certainly want to make sure you are not overworking yourself as this can lead to burn-out and cause more emotional problems than you need. You certainly do want to continue exercising and begin (if you have not already) eat healthy. Holistic health is significant for many people because it encourages you to eat healthy, exercise, and be mindful of your spiritual side. For some people, medication can be helpful such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety meds to help with stability.

      For others, such as myself, faith can be a very powerful tool in helping you stay focused from hurtful and traumatizing situations.
      Take good care of yourself

  • April 17, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Thank you for this post. I have struggled my whole life with an attachment disorder,and it is the main trigger of my anxiety and depression. It is hard to find people who can really understand the pain and anxiety that can occur when experiencing an insecure attachment. I was lucky enough to find a brilliant therapist who spent 8 years working through it with me, and now I am in a loving 5 year relationship. I find attachment disorders to be quite unheard of to a lot of people, and I hope people can learn to understand them more in time.

    • April 17, 2016 at 11:42 am

      Hi Alice,
      Thank you for your comment. You are indeed correct that most people do not understand attachment and how our early attachments (positive or negative) can seriously impact the sufferer’s future relationships. We can liken emotional attachment to breathing. Emotional attachment is a necessary thing and when healthy attachment does not occur, the sufferer has to learn how to “breath” and function within the world. We certainly need more education. I’m hoping that the comments here, blog posts on this topic, and advocacy can start the process.
      All the best

      • April 17, 2016 at 4:47 pm

        The key to me being able to deal with this better (I don’t think I’ll ever be totally ok when it comew to attachments) was the transference in my therapy, and the way it played out.

  • April 17, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Hello, I don’t know how long after these are posted that it keeps notifying you of comments, but I did not want to identify with this. I’ve stayed in relationships way too long knowing that I was being emotionally abused, and some I still continue – all because I don’t feel like I belong anywhere. This is an issue from my childhood. I did not bond with my Mom – I’ve been reading Peg Streep’s stuff but it doesn’t seem to be helping, it all seems to be coming to a head… I’m more isolated than ever – I have very few friends…. the true ones that really know me. Most of the time I’m just ignored which validates the part of me that feels and knows that I do not matter. I wish I knew how to erase that part. My Mother passed about six months ago, and I couldn’t grieve and didn’t want to- I don’t miss her at all… she was hell on earth to my life – all my life. I’ve been in therapy for 25+ years because of her constant criticism, negative body comments, forcing me to do things, not stopping sexual abuse, trying to make my Father seem like a monster – verbal incest…. on and on. She was a narcissist. She did everything in her power to make me feel small and as insignificant as she could so she could feel superior. I have abandonment issues from my Dad who didn’t mean to but worked construction, and left me with the wicked witch every two weeks at a time. He was a weekend dad. He loved me dearly – and I was his only child, which made it all the more difficult with two half-brothers and being the only girl and the baby. My brothers hated me, and I was very alone as a child… and I still am. So, yeah, I’m a bit needy and intense. However I am, and have grown immensely – for the most part I’m okay with who I am, but there are blind spots that I have in relationships and this “belonging” thing. I never knew it was so deep. I recently fell in love with a man who I thought was available, who had told me that he loved me…. but when I began to ask for what I needed from him…. he up and left…. and will not communicate with me at all. I’ve been almost insane. So I’m completely at a loss – and I’ve got three what I thought were friends that won’t even talk to me… the more I look at these issues, the worse it gets. I feel like moving to Alaska… Great Post!!!!!

  • April 17, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    When I was a child I was abused in every way by my father and abandoned emotionally by my mother. A year long relationship when I was 17 was my only experience of feeling loved and wanted. When I was 29 I married because I was lonely. I knew that he was unsuitable when I married him but he turned out to be an abusive narcissist, just like my father.

  • April 18, 2016 at 7:11 am

    Thanks so much for this article. So much of this begins very early on. An only child of divorced parents at 6 years old, I had to put my my mother into a psychiatric hospital (psychotic,addict) when I was 16 for the first of 4 times. She passed away 20 years ago.

    I am an accomplished executive with a Masters Degree (Phi Beta Kappa) have been married, and worked for 45 years, have two adult successful adult children (two grand children) and continue a codependent relationship with my wife. I am a recovering alcoholic (25 years) and am approaching retirement in a year. Many times I feel emotionally abused and very lonely. No intimacy, very few friends and feelings of guilt from not being emotionally present for my children (wokaholic) and for having an affair 20 years ago. I feel completely dependent on my wife (finances, keeping up the house, planning,etc. I basically ‘show up.’ (At least that’s the way I feel. I am constantly told that I ‘never do anything for her’ (I took a 2 year assignment in Paris-her dream- as ‘payback’ in some way. When I try to help with dishes, or cook or participate, she says I don’t do it right so she would rather do it herself.’
    We are always together. Virtually no friends. I am outgoing. She is shy, but much more outgoing as she ages.
    I practice cognative therapy as I have sufferred from depression and anxiety for most of my life. I am on medication now (as long as it works), but feel so emotionally crippled most of the time. Somthing must change. And, at this age, its now or never.
    Your thoughts would be appreciated.

    • April 21, 2016 at 9:35 pm

      Hi Jay,
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your kind comments.
      I do not blame you for being frustrated with where things are in your relationships and with your depression and anxiety. There comes a time when we all get to a place where we feel so desperate for a change that we almost “cry out” for help to anyone. It is a “prison” to feel trapped by your relationships and emotional health. I don’t blame you for feeling overwhelmed.
      Have you tried a support group for depression or anxiety? What about a support group for relationship challenges? Sometimes a support group can give you the “peer support” you need. You wouldn’t be seeing a therapist, but someone who has struggled with what you are struggling with and who is providing a place to discuss challenges, share tips/ways to overcome challenges, and validation. Sometimes the support group can lead to lasting healing.
      If a support group does not sound appealing perhaps spiritual introspection may be useful. For example, sometimes I will suggest a client speak with a pastor or spiritual counselor who can provide a different level of understanding about life’s problems.

      It appears to me, Jay, that you are doing all that you can. I encourage you to consider the above suggestions and try them out.

      here are a few links to get you started:
      http://psychcentral.com/resources/Relationships/Support_Groups/ – online

      http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/find-support-groups – online and in-person support groups

      http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=peer_support_group_locator – Depression support group

      I wish you well

      • April 25, 2016 at 3:11 am

        Thanks so much for answering and your helpful suggestions.
        My support group has been AA, but, one really cant rely on them for the kind of help I am seeking. I have probably read over 20 books about depression and anxiety, and it just goes in circles. Every expert has an idea. I honestly dont see me in another kind of support group at this point.

        But for me, it all comes down to abandonment and low self esteem. I cant get rid of abandonment but I can understand why and how it happened. It was generational. Cant do any thing about it. Just forgive my parents and move on. That forgiveness is for me by the way. That did only what they could do with what they had.

        The only cure I know for low self esteem is action and constant challenging of irrational thoughts charged with emotion and disguised as ‘rational’ (CBT).

        The third thing is gratitude to God in the moment and action to help others so I stop thinking about my own problems. After over 65 years on this earth, I have come to the conclusion that no amount of reward for accomplishment at work or in most ‘passionate’ business endeavors brings too much lasting value, other than some fleeting material gain and short-lived egotistical ‘highs’-even for the geniuses of the world. I wonder what Steve Jobs would have given for another hour with those he loved. Changing the world is a nice platitude. So what? Touching other people, bringing light from the darkness of fear and care to those who hurt bring rewards that are incomparable and lasting. That is the ‘high ground.’ And, it may effect a life for the better, which is more important than ‘the world. ‘Touching others is the only solution for a life of calm satisfaction and serenity. At least that’s the way I see it today.

        Thanks again and hope this might help others.

  • April 20, 2016 at 1:03 pm


    My OH has an emotional attachment. He can’t let go of his past and move forward, although he goes to work and leads a family life, he still holds a sadness which affects our relationship. He is happy when with his family mother/sister mainly. His sister is divorced, sometimes I feel he has to share his life with her. As he feels guilty that his mother and sister live on their own. They haven’t got partners or companions. I feel that he feels he needs to complete the emptiness they feel. He can’t totally commit himself because he might forget his past or family. I’m not sure how to confront him as he denies the fact he has an emotional attachment issues. Anything I could help him with?

  • April 20, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    This whole article spoke to me. I am currently trying in therapy for many reasons, most of which have to do with lack of self-esteem and severe difficulties with relationships. My biggest hurdle to work through is the fact that most of this began about 30 years ago for me and I never really worked through this. Being 42 now, I struggle with learning how to “find” myself again, but also convincing myself that I am still worth it at my age. I hope that working with my therapist, I can finally figure out who I am.

    • April 21, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      Hi Stephanie,
      Thank you for your input and for sharing your perspective.
      I have heard a lot of middle age women make statements like you have “I struggle with learning how to find myself again” or “how do I find me after all these years?” This seems to be the #1 complaint and challenge of women who have struggled, the majority of their lives, with attachment and relationships. Sometimes life itself, even the painful side of life, can help us understand or find ourselves. Sometimes therapy can, but sometimes it cannot. I think finding yourself will depend on if you are looking in the right places. Sometimes we find ourselves right in the middle of pain, sadly.

      I wish you well

  • February 15, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Hi . At about 15 my brother was found to be a cannabiss user ,then latee found to be a herion user( smoking )so i would have been prob 18 at the time . This absolutly floored me and i lost my job because i became to “needy” ( which i know now )and then i also went ” needy towards a friend who after 5 years im just starting to be cicvil with . It comes after recognising how i feel . I didnt have a bad bringing up as a kid and wonder if the fact the drugs and the absolute heartbreak this caysed our family and alot of attetion on my brother beacuse of this coukd have caused my needyness???


Join the Conversation!

We invite you to share your thoughts and tell us what you think in this public forum. Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. A first name or pseudonym is required and will be displayed with your comment. Your email address is also required, but will be kept private. (Please note that we use gravatars here, which are tied to your email address.) A website/blog/twitter address is optional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *