We all have needs, yet some of us are expert at avoiding them. If you avoid getting your needs met, at some level you may believe it is wrong to have them met. This belief leads to emotional deprivation.
As we teach in our free AHA Solution video, emotional deprivation can become an attachment, a pattern so familiar that it literally becomes a self-sabotaging a way of life.
Letting go of attachments is entirely possible, thankfully.
Here is a list of 10 common ways people deprive themselves, or make it easy for others to deprive them. If you do one or more of these, it is possible you believe it is wrong for your needs to be met and are living with an attachment to deprivation.
1. You don’t express them.
Millions of people allow others to ignore, take advantage and take them for granted because they will not speak up. Yes, people should not do those things, however, you can guarantee that they won’t do it if you speak up.
Refusing to express your needs virtually guarantees deprivation.
2. You are overly focused on the needs of others.
Focusing on the needs of others is noble. Focusing solely on the needs of other at the expense of your own is a disservice to you and others. It typically leads to resentment and emotional martyrdom.
3. You feel guilty when you do something for yourself.
Guilt or “selfish” feelings when you meet your own needs is a sign that you don’t believe you deserve to have them met, as if it were wrong.
4. You can’t take compliments.
Not accepting compliments graciously (inside and out) is a way to deflect them, depriving yourself of the need to be appreciated.
5. You are attracted to emotionally unavailable or self-centered people.
A sure way to NOT to get your needs met is to attract emotionally unavailable or narcissistic people. When you commit to these kinds of people, you set yourself up for a lifetime of emotional deprivation.
6. You expect disappointment or that things won’t work out.
Expecting disappointment keeps fulfillment at a distance. The need to be physically and emotionally fulfilled is the juice of life! Going into situations anticipating disappointment becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
7. You don’t know what you want or cannot define your purpose in life.
Not knowing what want or digging in to figure it out is a way to avoid your purpose in life. Living with a sense of purpose is a huge need that brings meaning and fulfillment.
8. You avoid intimacy.
The need for intimacy is fundamental to relationships and happiness. When you avoid close relationships or shy away from deeper connections with people, you miss out on this aspect of life.
9. You cannot enjoy the moment.
Letting go and having fun in the here and now is an important way to experience fulfillment and reduce stress. It is a huge need!
10. You feel insignificant.
Feeling insignificant is a telltale sign that you believe it is wrong to get your needs met. Insignificant people, after all, don’t deserve to get their needs met.
Is it time for you to move beyond these patterns and give yourself permission to satisfy your needs? I hope so.