This is a topic I find that comes up so often in coaching, whether it be individual coaching or relationship coaching.
We learn at a young age how to love, how to show love, and how to respond to it, and sometimes it is a cycle that is not serving us. The way you treat others you love, including your partner, is how someone treated you. We repeat what we don’t repair. Where did you learn that someone trying to connect with you means they are “needy”? Who taught you that? It’s important to reflect on our childhood and attachments and challenge beliefs we have deeply ingrained. Are you forgetting that you also have needs, and how long has it been that way?
We grow up in a society that worships independence. Having needs for something outside of ourselves is often viewed as a weakness. We internalize the message that we should be “strong,” which we interpret as standing on our own two feet without needing support from anyone.
Sadly, this egocentric view keeps us in a prison of isolation. Gradually, our love receptors become clogged and atrophy; our lives lose vibrancy and we’re more subject to sadness and despair.
The science of attachment theory reveals that we’re wired for connection. This doesn't just apply to children. Adults also need strong bonds to maintain vibrant emotional and physical health. In short, we need each other to be happy and fulfilled. If you are avoidant of intimacy and emotional connection, it’s likely someone in your life was neglectful of your thoughts, feelings, and needs. If you were taught not to show feelings, as many people were, it may feel weak to express emotions and let others in. You can do it, don’t be afraid.