11 Habits of Needy People: And How To Deal With Them

(Article Updated February 22nd, 2024)

Needy people are everywhere. They can be found in the office, in romantic relationships, or even among friends. They have a few common characteristics that make them easy to spot and difficult to deal with.

In this blog post, we will discuss 11 of these habits and how you should handle needy people if you find yourself dealing with one!

Disclaimer: Below may contain affiliate links, I only recommend products that I use and love at no cost to you. 

What are needy people and why do they act this way?

A needy person is someone who feels they need more attention and validation than others in a group. They feel the world revolves around them, so it’s hard to get their balance back when anything throws this off-balance.

Needy people are those who constantly need reassurance from others. They might have low self-esteem, a history of emotional trauma, or they could be struggling with addiction issues.

Nobody likes feeling like they are not doing enough or that people don’t care about them, but there are ways you can help alleviate some of these feelings – even if you’re dealing with one at the moment! Regardless of the reason for their behavior, needy people can really wear you down when you don’t know how to deal with them.

11 Habits of Needy People

1. They often come across as too clingy.

This is because they need constant reassurance and validation from others.

They may call, text, or ask to hang out frequently. They want to be included and involved in everything going on because of a fear of missing out or being excluded.

A person who needs a lot of attention might not want to be left alone for more than a few hours at a time and feel like they need others to feel comforted and soothed.

Dealing with a clingy person can get exhausting when you have a lot going on in your life. It’s important to set boundaries regarding your availability, while still remaining compassionate of their needs.

2. Needy people tend to be insecure and have low self-esteem.

This is especially seen in their need for external validation. They need it because they aren’t able to give themselves the love and comfort they need.

Some people gravitate toward needy individuals because they need to feel needed. People who are insecure or have low self-esteem may find themselves drawn to these types of people as well. When these two types of people join into a partnership, it often turns into codependency.

Providing reassurance or complimenting a needy person, when appropriate, can help boost their self-esteem and help them become more independent.

3. They are the type of person that will ask you for favors, but they won’t do anything in return.

See also  10 Effective Ways to Cope with Overstimulation in Life

Needy people often ask for favors, not only for help but also for attention. Asking for a favor is a way of involving you in their lives and this is actually a form of manipulation. These same people are the ones to flake when you are the one in need.

So, if you feel like you’re being taken advantage of, next time they ask for a favor don’t be afraid to say no. You can do so politely but firmly.

4. Needy people want to spend a lot of time with you.

A needy person will often want to spend a lot of time with you, which can be exhausting. This is because they are so starved for positive contact that it’s as if their survival depends on getting enough from other people.

If your friend is too clingy and you need some space, it’s important to set boundaries kindly. You can tell them that you are busy right now but plan on catching up soon! If they continue being clingy after this statement, then reconsider whether having this friendship is worth all the hassle, and pull back a little until things normalize again.

5. They don’t know how to communicate their wants or needs.

The needy person does not know how to communicate their wants or needs, so they don’t ask for help. They often feel too vulnerable and inadequate to do so; as a result, they’re unable to get the assistance they need.

Needy people have a difficult time pinpointing the source of their neediness, whether it’s insecurities or low-self esteem. And even if they do know the source, they may feel more inclined to rely on others’ help than figure out how to deal with the core problem at hand.

The inability to communicate their needs may manifest through manipulating you into doing things for them or being overly clingy.

needy person

6. They always need someone else’s opinion before making a decision on something.

Because of their low-self esteem, needy people aren’t confident in their own decision-making abilities. This person may reach out for advice on what outfits to wear, what they should respond to a text, or what they should name their cat. They’re scared of making the wrong choices so they want to make sure others approve of their choices before they make them.

It’s normal for friends to ask for each others’ opinions from time to time, but when someone asks for your opinion on every small thing that’s going on in their life it can get annoying, especially if the same question gets asked many times over.

7. Needy people seek out help even if it’s not needed 

A needy person may reach out for help, even when they’re capable of doing something on their own. This may be a way for them to reach out for attention from someone else.

See also  10 Tips on How to Deal With Insecurities in a Relationship

The next time your needy friend asks you to come over to help with something trivial, let them know you’re busy and give them some words of encouragement to try and do it themselves.

8. They’ll make themselves the center of attention  

People who are needy will do anything to make sure they’re the center of attention. They make it difficult for you to have a conversation with anyone else because they want all of your attention; they may interrupt your conversations with others or dominate them by talking about themselves excessively. They may even start arguments to get the spotlight back on them.

In some worst-case scenarios, they may even make themselves sick so others have to take care of them.

9. They won’t take responsibility for their own actions or problems 

It’s so tempting to try and help a needy person by taking on their problems as your own. After all, you want them to feel better, right?

The problem is that they won’t take responsibility for anything. It becomes impossible to know where the boundaries are between what should fall on your shoulders and what should fall on theirs. This inevitably leads to resentment on both sides.

For example, an alcoholic may remain in denial that they have a problem for a long time before they truly start to take responsibility for their addiction. Addicts tend to lean heavily on others for financial and mental support. This can feel burdensome over time.

10. They use guilt as a manipulation tactic 

In an attempt to get what they want, needy people will often use guilt as a manipulation tactic. They might say things like “I don’t know why you’re not putting more effort in,” or “You must not care about me.”

The truth is that these statements are designed to make the other person feel guilty for not fulfilling their needs and desires – even when it’s out of their control!

Remember this: It doesn’t matter how helpful someone may seem at first, if they start using guilt on you then chances are they’re actually being manipulative. If anyone starts trying to manipulate you by playing with your emotions (even if it is unintentional) then end the conversation immediately.

The best way to handle them when they try to manipulate with guilt is by remaining confident and setting your boundaries.

11. They need constant reassurance and validation from others

They are preoccupied with thoughts of whether or not they’re doing a good job, how well their relationship will go, if people like them, and many other worries related to being accepted by others.

See also  A Powerful Guide to Setting Intentions in 2024

This is because deep down inside needy people fear that they can’t be loved for who they truly are so they constantly seek external approval in order to make up for their lack of self-acceptance. As such when you spend time with someone who is needy, it can feel as though the majority of the interaction revolves around comforting and reassuring them.

How to Deal with a Needy Person

It can be really hard to deal with a needy person. These people are usually very emotional and will often try to pressure you into doing what they want.

being needy

Give them attention, but sparingly: if this person is someone you care about then spend time hearing them out, comforting them, and hanging out. However, if you notice they’re always complaining and asking for comfort on the same topic over and over they may be taking advantage of the attention you’re willing to give.

Give yourself some space: If they are being really needy then, maybe it’s because they have some unresolved emotional issues. Know that as a friend there’s only so much you can do and, if they feel like too much, pull back a little. Text back a little less often, meet up once a month, instead of once a week.

Don’t enable them: This is especially true if you’re dealing with an addict. Don’t support their behavior by giving them money, or helping them get out of sticky situations. They need to learn ways of managing their money, time, and lifestyle so that they can be strong and independent. You helping with these things only enables them.

Be patient: It is a very frustrating feeling when people are needy all the time but remember that these feelings won’t go away overnight and taking drastic measures may only make things worse in the long run so try to keep some perspective on what they may be going through.

Set boundaries: If you’re not willing to cut ties with the needy person then, it’s important to establish boundaries.

Meditation Made Easy With Headspace

Enjoy a 14-day free trial below.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Final Thoughts

Here are some of the most common needy behaviors you’ll encounter and how to deal with them. Remember that at the end of the day, everyone is just trying their best.

It’s important not to take it personally when someone acts in this way, but instead focus on what they’re communicating about themselves through these actions.