Neediness—do you suffer from it?

There is an interesting parallel between running a business and dating.

In each domain, neediness will cripple you.

I like to define your neediness as the degree to which you care about the outcome of individual instances

To illustrate what I mean, let’s imagine that you’ve gone on a date with a girl. She seemed nice and your conversation was all right, but you didn’t exactly feel excited being around her. If you had to put a number on it, your “click” with her was a seven out of ten.

But you haven’t gone on many dates lately and you’ve been feeling pretty lonely… so you decide to meet her again. You feel kind of “meh” about it, but you don’t have any better dating opportunities at the moment.

When you meet her again, realizing that your match is not perfect, you present yourself a little differently than you really are. Maybe you withhold some information about yourself that you suspect she wouldn’t like to hear. You change what you say and how you behave, essentially, to please her.

This is acting out of neediness. Not only does it feel sucky, it is also very unattractive—and counterproductive. People will realize you aren’t being you and will respect you less for it.

In business, neediness works the same way. 

Let’s say you’re a freelancer and you don’t have any potential clients at the moment. There’s this old client you’ve worked with for years, but you’re getting sick of how they treat you. You don’t want to work with them anymore, because it makes you feel like shit, but you do it anyway, because you don’t have any better options. You’re lowering your standards and the terrible client will “smell” it, continuing to treat you poorly. 

The opposite of neediness is abundancethe situation in which you can easily get your needs met, so you don’t need individual instances to work out.

How do you move from neediness to abundance? I’ll be honest with you: it’s a process. It takes a while. And you can’t fake non-neediness either.

But you could do worse than starting by defining your standards and then being honest about them, to yourself first of all. So whether we’re talking about dating, business, or another area of life—what does your ideal match look like? Write it down!

If you want to date a really fit guy, then own that fact. Don’t go on dates with overweight guys. That’s being honest with yourself. In business, it might look like saying “nope” to clients that stress you out or treat you poorly, even if working with them brings in cash.

Being honest requires a degree of trust that things will work out, even if you do what you really want and don’t do what you don’t want. That trust will develop over time with practice. Start small.

Anyway, tell me this: how needy are you in the various domains in your life?


— Peter

P.S. Mad props to Mark Manson and Steve Pavlina for introducing me to the concepts of neediness and abundance.

P.P.S. If you do not trust that being honest to yourself and upholding your standards will get you the results you want, let’s talk about it. This is such a key point.

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