The nonchalance of boys who are sure of a dinner, and would disdain as much as a lord to do or say aught to conciliate one, is the healthy attitude of human nature. A boy is in the parlour what the pit is in the playhouse; independent, irresponsible, looking out from his corner on such people and facts as pass by, he tries and sentences them on their merits, in the swift, summary way of boys, as good, bad, interesting, silly, eloquent, troublesome. He cumbers himself never about consequences, about interests: he gives an independent, genuine verdict. You must court him: he does not court you. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
I remember the day one of my ex’s made me cry. Not a fun story, but a rather educational one. I think all men learn a lot with early rejection, they sting hard.
I was deeply in love, or so I believed, and I tried to do absolutely everything to make things right, everything. I took her out to dinners, I gave her a freaking collectible toy every time I went to her house (Geez, I had already forgotten about that haha), I behaved in weird ways that I thought she would like, I took interest in dumb shit I knew I didn’t like, but that my fuzzy love feelings told me I actually did. You know the story, madly in love.
That went on for a couple of months until one day she told me: ‘This is weird and I don’t like it. I don’t know why I want to end this, but it’s time’
I was needy. As needy a boyfriend as can get, and in the process, I forgot myself.
God breaking up is hard, really hard. Especially when you are the one being left in the relationship. But if that is the case, then it was something you needed. I definitely needed that.
“A hungry stomach, an empty pocket, and a broken heart can teach you the best lessons of life. “
I don’t know who wrote this quote, but damn, he or she was absolutely right.
Who are you dependent on?
The hungry stomach, the breakups, and the lack of money tell you straight in the face where your dependency. And if you’re not relying on yourself, they’ll make it painfully clear.
That breakup shouldn’t have been so terrible. What was terrible was that I felt alone, I couldn’t rely on myself, and that was the problem.
The tough lessons in life show you how to be self-reliant once more. How to trust yourself and your skills to get you through situations. They teach you how not to be needy.
Neediness can be emotional, financial, or even physical. True! You may need help sometimes, and help should be welcomed. In this case, this is not being needy.
The kind of neediness that stinks poop is the one that shows that you’re clearly not even trying. The one that yells to others for your problems to be solved by anyone but you.
Remember my relationship? Where I forgot all that I liked and was, for trying to be loved? That’s being needy. Love me! love me! I’ll do everything you want! Just don’t leave me with my ugly self that I’ve put aside for you!
Aghhhhhhhhh. Disgusting. Geez, that behavior stenches.
Don’t ever leave yourself aside. It’s not healthy for you nor for others and there is nothing more unattractive than a person that doesn’t rely on him or herself first. Attraction is not a choice.
Martha, if you ever read this, thanks a lot for breaking up with me. I needed it sooooooo bad.
Self-reliance, the fun part of life
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
― Viktor E. Frankl
No one can take this from you. You choose who you are and how you’re going to take the blows of life. Just by choosing, just by engaging in this action, you stop being needy. You don’t need anyone to tell you who you are going to be as a person.
As long as you have good intentions, and your personality, and your freedom, nothing else matters. They don’t like you, fuck em, it’s not your job trying to be liked or loved by anyone.
“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Great, let’s finish with the Stoic touch.
What I’m telling you is also the most rational thing to do.
Look, you don’t have a say on whether people like you or not, being needy is irrational, you’re shooting yourself in the foot, because nobody likes a needy person. Why do something against your own interest, when the other side is better and way more fun, as you’ll do the things and be the person that you actually want?
“Some things are within our power, while others are not. Within our power are opinion, motivation, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever is of our own doing; not within our power are our body, our property, reputation, office, and, in a word, whatever is not of our own doing.” (Epictetus, Enchiridion 1.1)
Lean on yourself, focus on what is under your control, and act from that point of view.
Doesn’t it feel liberating already?
Thanks for reading,
Subscribe and receive the Askesis (practice) e-book for free to further develop your practice of stoicism.