When People Become Excessively Needy

For many, their basic need to be noticed and loved has not been satisfied. If this never becomes addressed, it can create relational problems of epic proportion. What was a love tank has now become a love tanker with holes on the side that can never truly be filled and satisfied. Chronic relational struggles often come out of the continual drive within a person to be validated; a need that was never fulfilled properly.

Rejection fuels this issue of neediness. As people demand continual attention and help, pastors are drained of energy. Friendships lose their health simply because one or both parties have a deep neediness that permeates the interactions, never giving a sense of freedom to the relationship.

Emotional Drain

Are there people you avoid because one question will lead to an hour-long discussion that you won’t be able to escape? Do you click the phone call to voicemail because the person on the other end of the line will drain the life out of you? Do you have people in your job, church or school that dominate conversations all the time? What is the driving force that causes them to act this way? Quite often, the core root issue is the excessive neediness they carry, most often coming out of a spirit of rejection in their life. The enemy has taken up residence in the area of this unhealed wound in their heart. Satan won’t let them be at peace, so they have to keep pulling from other relationships, attempting to find something to pacify their inner wound.

Rejection Setup

This neediness will create what I call a “ping pong battle.” The person’s rejection issues will create a scenario where you will do something that will reject the person in some way and keep the person’s neediness going. They overdo it, with their constant talking about themselves, telling you stories or over-explaining. You feed the monster within them or ignore it. Either response increases their neediness.

The person’s rejection issues will create a scenario where you will do something that will reject the person in some way and keep the person’s neediness going.

After careful observation, I’ve found that I, too, have unknowingly ignored people who carry these kinds of rejection issues. My wife would look at me and say, “I think you totally ignored that person.” I would respond in shock, thinking, “I totally did not mean to ignore them in any way.” Then the next time I see them, the same pattern would occur, even though I consciously tried to pay more attention to them. After a number of situations playing out this way, it dawned on me, this is a spiritual setup to affirm over this person’s life that they are not loved and they are rejected!

My Personal Journey

I, too, know what it is like to lack that sense of validation and affirmation. I carried that wound for a long time, well into my years of ministry. This wound created a mindset, through which I viewed life and relationships. I felt I wasn’t being heard, so I would sometimes talk more to overcompensate. Other times, I would retreat into isolation, thinking, “No one cares about what I have to say.” As I felt that people ignored me or seemed to forget about me, I further came into agreement with rejection. Without realizing it, this battle would leak out into my relationships, I carried a pattern of then ignoring others out of my own feeling ignored.

The only way to defeat this pattern is to take responsibility for the rejection root, come out of agreement with its ways and walk in patterns that defy the enemy’s programming. We must become honest about the inward deception rejection has created. I had to first let God heal me, and recognize I was not ignored. I also could not let people become the idol of affirmation for my heart. Only God can fill that. I then began to approach people differently, out of a place of knowing I am accepted and loved by God. I stopped living my life wondering whether or not people loved me.

The “Me Monster”

When the neediness within us, coming out of rejection is not met, a great deal of anger will rise up. Rage can even be present. Thoughts will arise within saying, “They don’t care for me! They don’t love me! Those people are terrible!” People who deal with a great deal of anger often have a deep wound of feeling ignored, un-affirmed and not recognized. For them anger becomes a constant reaction, defending the wound that has never been healed.

We can then carry what the famous comedian Brian Regan calls the “Me Monster,” a way of having conversations where it becomes all about us.

We all need encouragement and validation, but when rejection is a driving force, this need becomes a never ending void, and a monster arises.

Now let’s take a look at you, because the first thing people will be tempted to do is read this and think about someone else who needs to hear this message. I think it is probably true that a rolodex of people have flooded through your mind. Much of what I am sharing will highlight their battles. I would encourage you to resist the temptation to think of everyone else and first let these truths fall into the grid of your own heart. Let it challenge the way you see yourself and the way you operate in relationships.

We all need encouragement and validation, but when rejection is a driving force, this need becomes a never-ending void, and a monster arises. Here are some patterns that can manifest from childhood all the way into our adult years, revealing the unmet need to be validated, affirmed and recognized.