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Preoccupied with coming off as needy; it’s hurting my interactions with others

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  • #23336

    Vaom
    Participant

    I’ve just realized that up until about a month or so ago, I’ve been on and off behaving in a needy way around other people on and off for about 10 months (when I never did before). Now I have some self-awareness about this, I keep over-analysing my behaviour all the time to try and understand whether I’m coming off as desperate to the point where I second guess absolutely everything I’m doing and prevent myself from interacting with other people. When I do interact with other people, I keep hesitating before I say or do anything and am reluctant to initiate interactions because I have no idea if my behaviour is coming off as desperate. For instance, at an event the other day, a girl from this other university (who has initiated a few interactions with me, but I’m pretty sure only as a friend) asked me during a break if I wanted to come for a coffee with a group from her university and even though I wanted to go I thought I would look desperate if I said yes after I was just standing there by myself because it would look like I was just waiting for someone to ask me and that I was about to jump at the opportunity to go with someone so I ended up saying no to avoid coming off as desperate. (I don’t know if saying yes here means I’m being desperate and needy). I think that I also said no in a way that made me sound like an asshole that made me seem like I said no because I was acting like I was better than them, which wasn’t the case.

    Another girl at university asked me for my name and for my help with something, and then I told her that I would send her the information by email, and was about to ask her for her name (even though I already knew it – but I didn’t want her to know that I already knew her name), but then thought that that might come off as needy and so hesitated for like five seconds as she was walking away and then just blurted out something like “This is your name, right?” after this hesitation that made it seem like I was into her and just trying to continue the conversation. I see her round from time to time and am attracted to her but have no idea how to behave around her (whether I should ignore her, whether I should say hi, whether I should smile when I say “hi’). The reason for this is that she initiated this interaction with me after I had happened to completely ignored her (to not come off as creepy in meetings), and I think the reason was probably because the behaviour made me come off as emotionally independent and I’m thinking now that if I start saying “hi”, rather than ignoring her, that this will signally neediness and desperation.

    Another example is that I’m considering looking at other places to move into and rent, and want to organize to go to those other places, see the places and meet the people in them. In the past, I’ve looked at a million different places and met the people in those places a million times, and at no point would ever think about things such as how long should the conversation last, how long should I hang around when the conversation seems to be dwindling, should I attempt to re-start the conversation, at what point should I leave, etc. because everything always felt natural. I’ve just been thinking about seeing places this evening but I know that if I go around to look at other places I won’t know how to behave and will be a complete mess.

    Another example is I can’t tell if asking people a lot of questions in a conversation is desperate, and how often I should ask questions and how much I should talk about myself. When I was being desperate I was just bombarding everyone with questions which makes me think that if I ask people too many questions now that will also be desperate. Again, I never used to have to worry about this type of thing in the past.

    It sucks because in the past a lot of people used to really enjoy my company but there’s no chance to connect with other people now because I always end up cutting the conversation off too early to avoid doing something that can be seen as desperate, and I can tell that sometimes people get disappointed or angry because they think I’m deliberately trying to reject them and don’t want to talk to them, when sometimes it’s not the case.

    How can I know if I’m engaging in a desperate way? Around the time this started happening, I was noticing a few people making passive-aggressive comments to me about how my behaviour was coming off as needy, and I think it was because at the time I was really depressed because I had a close friend that I was really attached to and had feelings for and had a really good connection with who started ignoring me for weeks after I ignored her one time (because I was angry about something). Then I started trying to interact with other people all the time to replace her to not feel so depressed all the time.

    Now I don’t feel depressed (or nowhere near as depressed), but still can’t tell if my behaviour is coming off as desperate.

    #23342

    Vaom
    Participant

    I also just realized I have the same problem with being worried that what I’m saying is boring, and I’ll hesitate before saying things a lot of the time because I keep trying to work out before I say it if the thing I’m about to say is boring. It will happen sometimes when I’m in the middle of a sentence as well, and then don’t know whether to continue with what I’m talking about.

    #23343

    Vaom
    Participant

    I also just realized I have the same problem with being worried that what I’m saying is boring, and I’ll hesitate before saying things a lot of the time because I keep trying to work out before I say it if the thing I’m about to say is boring. It will happen sometimes when I’m in the middle of a sentence as well, and then I don’t know whether to continue with what I’m talking about.

    #23347

    John
    Participant

    Man, sometimes I’ve been through this too, but don’t worry the solution I have to your problem is this: Stop these obsessive compulsive thoughts, thinking that every action you take makes you needy is making you needy. How to stop: Now that you know (though very obvious) what is happening, understand that it is time to resolve issue x of the problem. Do you think that because you are becoming needy (through your actions) is because you think something is out of your control and something external needs to be controlled, an interesting fact is that you cannot have control over people ( your actions, decisions, thoughts and feelings) but you can have control over yourself (actions, decisions, thoughts and feelings) and even if it doesn’t help you, you can’t control what happens or what hasn’t happened, either: Let’s say you’re going to take a test to get to the university you want, you studied hard enough for that day to come, but when you get there, 90% of the content on the test you didn’t study, did you have control over it? No, you didn’t, would you be disappointed or wouldn’t you care? It depends, if it was something you had no choice you might be sad about, but if it doesn’t matter that much and you have another alternative would you still be sad? See how worried we are about what is going to happen or what happens to the point of spoiling our experience? You have no control over the content that has fallen into the test so which ensures you will have control over people and external things! STOP WORRYING ABOUT THE RESULT OF YOUR ACTIONS AND FOCUS ON WHAT YOU WANT TO DO! That’s it, simple and easy, and when you least realize it, your time will come and you’ll be creating natural connections with anyone who wants to interact. Good luck man.

     

    PS: I know, it’s too long, but it was the most brief explanation I could find in my head, sorry for the grammar errors, I’m from Brazil, and sorry for the text being too long, I’m still learning and my best teacher until Today was Leigh for helping me here! See you soon dude 😉

    #23373

    Vaom
    Participant

    <span style=”color: #444444; font-family: Merriweather; font-size: 17px;”>Now that you know (though very obvious) what is happening, understand that it is time to resolve issue x of the problem. Do you think that because you are becoming needy (through your actions) is because you think something is out of your control and something external needs to be controlled</span>

    Hi John,

    Thanks for your response. My problem is that I have a very difficult time trying to understand if I am doing a certain behaviour out of desperation and trying to get something from someone/trying to control something external to myself, or whether I am just doing it because that’s what I want to do independent of any reaction from other people. I find it hard to know what my own motivation is. Sometimes I think I’m being independent but then don’t know if actually I am subconsciously doing something out of neediness without realizing. I think this is the source of my preoccupation with this, and because I can’t work out my own motivations, I always just end up erring on the side of caution when I’m interacting with girls, where I opt to do the thing that looks more standoffish/rude/socially retarded (cutting off a conversation early, not saying “Hi”, ignoring people) rather than the thing that looks more desperate (hanging around too long in a conversation, saying “Hi”, acknowledging people), because to me the former looks more attractive than the latter.

    #23465

    Anthony Love
    Participant

    I’d suggest centering yourself then ask yourself  what’s your motivation.

    Or you can access your subconscious mind through sentence completion exercises to discover your true motivations.

     

     

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