Cutting the Root of Neediness
Many of the guys I have worked with come to me thinking that what they seek is more attention and more intimacy from the opposite sex. They think if they could just get that one girl, they would be happy. Problem is, the “If I could only…” attitude is one that affirms lack and therefore creates need. Nothing can block us from what we seek more than need. Need disallows room for curiosity, creativity, and flexibility – the three things that can bring us more of what we want.
These guys sometimes find that as their success increases, your definition of success changes as well and may even create more need. Whereas before, a simple smile from a woman made them feel good, now they need to see her again and so forth.
There is so much talk out there about not trying to the point where we “Try not to try.” This also is a dead end road. If you are trying, you are not doing.
So then, people continue to ask me: “How do I get rid of neediness?” It almost seems like a riddle. But, it is possible and it is simpler than you might think.
First, many single guys (and sometimes not so single guys) look for techniques to increase their success with the opposite sex. Sounds simple and easy, right? At face value it is. However as warriors we cannot stop there, we must question deeper.
I find that to many of those guys, the notion of wanting more women is really a means to wanting more of a feeling. It is a symptom, if you will. It is not an end in itself, it is the way they think they can get more of what they really want.
What is it that they really want? People do not seek things per se, they seek emotions and feelings. We want to feel good about ourselves, we want to feel confident, we want to feel validated and worthy, and we want to feel as though we are part of something bigger. The activities in which we engage are ways that we believe will bring us more of the feeling.
Sometimes it works…to a degree. But it never works if that feeling creates a new high, raises the bar, and drives us to need more and more of it. And when we don’t get it, we feel the opposite of those good feelings. Consider the scenario:
You go out to a bar or party with your buddies and after a few drinks, you’re feeling pretty good about yourself. And that hottie in the corner over there is looking better and better. You get up the balls to approach her, you work your mojo, and a conversation ensues. Because you’re fun, funny, confident, and even charming, she is not creeped out and quite enjoys the interaction. Though thoughts of what you could do with her later when you get her back to your place are racing through your head (and let’s be honest, your buddies would be impressed), she has different ideas. She’s curious enough to continue the interaction so you leave with her phone number. Not your first choice, but you’ll take it.
You text her something witty the next day and she responds positively. You then text her again. The texts continue until you are asking questions and getting short answers. She seems busy, bored, or disinterested. Within a day or two she’s telling her girlfriends about “that guy” she met the other night who is creeping her out and driving her crazy and now she’s thinking she should block your number.
Even happen to you? No, of course not. 🙂 But for the guys who have had that experience, you probably found yourself frustrating and pushing harder to get the response YOU wanted. You were needy and she was off..and not the way you were fantasizing about.
So how do we then eradicate neediness?
Well one way might be to find alternate ways to get more of the feeling we seek but ultimately that would also be fragile.
The key lies in understanding what it is that we really want rather than what we think want.
In my experience, most of the men I work with are primarily looking for one thing: Validation of their masculinity.
In a society that discourages men from being men and women from being women and provides no rites of passages and positive role models, it can be really easy to get lost in our search for what it means to be a man. It can be easy to think that more sex and even aggression can bring us more masculine validation. In our search for more masculinity, it can become easy to forsake subtlety and gentleness in favor of such things as cocky funny and alpha male behaviors which may make us think we are becoming more masculine.
The real way to eradicate neediness and become more masculine is to shift the stimulus we seek as validation of our masculinity into a new paradigm. What would it be like if you really didn’t need sex as validation and conquest, you could be a genuinely nice and caring person, and you could still have all the positive virtues of a man because your life is so rich that you really don’t *need* anything? What if this new you could be far more attractive to women than you ever thought possible? Well, it is possible.
The first step is to redefine your understanding of the masculine and all that it can be. David Deida provides us a nice start:
The essential Masculine style of search is that of the warrior, the hero, or the visionary. The Masculine force is one-pointed, directional, and guided by a vision of freedom. Masculine energy cuts through any obstacles that are in its path. Nothing deters the Masculine from its goal of freedom. However, not every man uses his Masculine energy to search for freedom in the same way.
Then, we must transfer what validates us from something outside ourselves that is characterized by fragility to something internal that is unshakeable. When we are internally centered, we don’t get caught up in the ups and downs of needing, getting, and needing more that an external source of validation provides. A great way to do this is to get our priorities in order as I detail in my “Organizing your Life” document. When we shift our primary validation from something external such as how women respond to us to something internal and higher that is aligned with our mission and vision, such as a spiritual or physical practice, our entire experience of life transforms, and in turn so does the attention we attract. Yes guys, healthy women can’t help but be drawn to a man who has his life in order and is on his path. (Yes, some of you are going to argue with me and say “But don’t women want a project they can fix?” I won’t deny it, many women do get swept up in that idea but ultimately most will realize that such a man cannot and will not fulfill her…and oftentimes will degrade into an abusive situation)
Now we no longer need to furiously pursue the latest technique in search of more and greater success. We, like Deida states, can abide in the freedom of the warrior’s quest – the freedom that allows us to open to all of our resources unencumbered by need and draw from our curiosity, creativity, and flexibility. Our sense of who we are as a man is no longer in question and is no longer in the hands of women. It is our own. Whether a woman (or anyone) responds to us favorably or unfavorably is her issue and not ours. We are free to just be and free of need for the latest tactic, tool, or technique that can make things go our way.
In fact, we can begin to realize that control at all is an illusion and that the only thing we can control is ourselves. We can let people be who and where they are because we are comfortable being who and we are.
And as a side result, when and as we do this, we curiously also find our attraction from the opposite sex to skyrocket. We are free of need and therefore are free to get more of what we want and in this unhindered state of being, we exude those qualities that women strongly respond to but are absent in so many men.
And it is this freedom that really characterizes our search for the masculine.