The Holistic Coaching Institute

Holistic Coachô Certification | Coaching for Coaches | Articles | Join Now!

How Do You Get Your Emotional Needs Met
By John A. McMullin, H.C.

If all humans are born emotionally needy, the how do we get our emotional needs met? Have you discovered the dramas each of us act out by becoming the rescuer or victim? Have you noticed how quickly we can switch our dramas to get our needs met?

The dramas we learned to use to get our needs met come from our experiences in the power struggle we perceived while growing up in our family. In the Journeys of Wisdom programs, we have observed the passive/aggressive behavior that is acted out with poor-me-ism and aloofness or intimidation and interrogation. These dramas ultimately appear in the simple form of expressing our neediness by becoming the victim or rescuer.

The hidden agenda of the rescuer is to ultimately become the victim, and the victim is ultimately seeking to become the rescuer. For example, letís say you're attempting to rescue another person who is acting out the victim with their poor-me-ism. By rescuing this person, you're attempting to make yourself feel more valued by becoming needed. The victim has parked themselves in their role because it draws attention to themselves and it helps them self-gratify through martyrdom. They simply will choose not to be rescued. Therefore, in your attempt to rescue and observing it didn't happen, you become frustrated and therefore, the victim.

The victim is in pursuit of getting people to rescue them; thereby believing they can help the rescuer feel better about themselves. Thus, the victim's agenda is really about becoming the rescuer.

Although this process appears to be very convoluted, the dramas are basic and fundamental to the behavior of all needy people. (We are all needy.) How does one move beyond emotional neediness? Perhaps the first answer is to simply observe the behavior of ourselves and others as the unemotional observer. In other words, give ourselves and others permission to act out these dramas because they are the illusions we learned as children to get our emotional needs met.

A second approach includes learning how to get our emotional needs met from within our own ego, so we don't have to act out our dramas to get our needs met from the outside. Many of us still depend on external sources to gratify our emotional needs such as other people, cars, home, careers, friends, spouse, etc. When we ask other people to be responsible for our emotional neediness, they experience our emotional burden and leave us, which explains why needy people always feel alone.

Part of the process of meeting our emotional needs from within is called a Gestalt. Gestalt is a German word used to describe the sum of the parts is far greater than the whole. If we can bring harmony to our inner child and parent egos, the sum is much greater than just the two. Exercising this process is one of the most important pieces in becoming a whole person who knows how to nurture self.


The Holistic Coaching Institute
Columbus, Ohio