Thursday, June 23, 2016

Why people we can't stand are so popular

If the research can be trusted, and I see no reason not to believe what is being published in this case, one of greatest regrets people voiced on their deathbeds was: I wish I had been more courageous and expressed myself.

Think about this, of the deepest regrets people have at the end of their lives, at the top of the list was the disappointment of not speaking up in life.  Ranking higher than wishing they had worked less and spent more time with their families was this nagging agony from not having shared their opinions more often.

Which leads me to this conclusion, blowhards who are often viewed as obnoxious or belligerent are wildly popular simply because they do speak their mind.  In a sense, I think many people are living boldly, however vicariously, through the opinionated talking heads they watch on TV.

Many media sensations are frustratingly unoriginal and lack tact or intelligence.  Yet, they have an audience who sits there quietly thinking, "I wish I could say that too, you're my hero..."

I for one was never impressed with the Duck Dynasty series.  I applaud them for their wonderful family values and strong faith.  I believe they are genuinely good people.  But still.  I have redneck family members who could run circles around the Robertson family with saying it how they see it.  The show's popularity and the speaking engagements they have landed stem mainly from Phil shooting straight from the hip and saying whatever he thinks, minus any novelty.
I guess the takeaway here is this: Speak your mind while you still have time and don't lose your mind over the people you can't stand in the media -- they have everyone's ear who wishes they could only open their mouths too.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

When it's okay to be needy...

The term, "Needy," carries such negative connotations.  When we hear the phrase, "You are so needy," it sounds like a hateful criticism.  Plants need sunlight to thrive, but no one faults a flower for its needs.  Babies need milk to grow.  In fact we come into this life kicking and screaming, and we are very adept at letting our needs be known before we can even talk.

Perhaps this whole subject is a sore spot because we don't understand, in some sense, we are all needy.  More to the point, the confusion sets in as we mismanage our neediness.

Let's be honest, brutally honest.  Needy people can be exhausting and we feel drained just at the mention of their name.  Sadly, some people do not want to be healthy, and they will gladly go along sucking the life out anyone who will let them.  Don't.  Don't give into codependency.  You won't help them or yourself.

Part of the problem with needy people is they can become takers.  They only call when they are in an emergency.  They only have one topic to discuss, ever, and it's some void they want you to fill.  They never give back.  They are a demanding victim who expects you to rescue them, over & over again.

The more you give into a needy person, the more they will take from you, until soon there's nothing left of you for yourself.  It's tiresome to constantly be meeting the needs of others.  But the other end of the spectrum isn't the answer though.  We don't want to go through life as constantly feeling dependent upon others.

On the other hand, there are people who are so desperate to be needed, they create circumstances to manipulate others into depending on them.  They don't realize how needy they are -- they need to be needed.  These people need to be your champion and to have as many people as possible lean on them, in order for them to feel whole.

And, it's hard for some people to admit they have needs that can only be met by other people.  People who feel smug and think they are far superior to the rest are no more healthy than the person who latches on to your leg and leaches the life out of you... through a slow miserable death.

So what's the difference between having needs and being a needy person?  In other words, Why are we all needy?  We are all needy because we aren't made to be independent.  We have to partner with other people -- we need others to enter into this life and to navigate this life.  In other words, we are healthiest when we are interdependent.

Is there anyway out of this bleak situation?  How can we manage our actual needs without allowing our weaknesses to become our identity?  It's perfectly fine to voice your needs to those who can and want to meet your needs, those with whom you have a reciprocal relationship.

The best way I know to manage our needs is to become someone who establish healthy boundaries with others.  If you want to gauge how healthy another person is emotionally, watch how well they respond to your boundaries.  Just like a border between cities or states, it's important to know where you begin and where others end.

Therefore, the starting point is recognizing we all do have needs that we can't meet alone, but we don't have to succumb to being a needy person.  Secondly, work to collaborate with others so we can mutually meet each other's needs in the healthiest way possible.  Finally, establish and maintain healthy boundaries.