"You only need yourself" - is it true?

One of the great self-development myths.


One of the statements in self-development and spiritual environments that gives me the most inner itching is the following; “You just need yourself. Other people are a bonus ”. The message is that you should learn to like yourself first, that you have everything you need in yourself, and that you should be in a place of complete satisfaction and self-sufficiency with yourself. Also a part of the myth: And then you can choose relationships, but it should not come from a place of "neediness", other people should only be a bonus in a life where you are already complete and filled up and whole within yourself.


The most destructive form of this message is the thought “I just have to fix myself more, get better, heal more, work more with myself, and only then am I worthy and good enough for close and deep relationships. Until then, I only need myself ”.


This may sound straightforward because there is a certain truth in the fact that we must start with ourselves. Who we are and how we feel, both alone and in relationships, is obviously very much influenced by how we take care of ourselves, whether we choose to to self development or not, etc. But… .. If we isolate ourselves from others, there are almost no reflections that mirror back to us who we are. And it will also mean that we live under an idea that we ourselves should be able to meet all our own needs, when it is really deeply human to need others to have a good life.


Furthermore; we humans are not created to be alone. We are relational beings. It's okay to need other people because we are meant to be together! We are meant to share each other's resources and qualities, we are meant to have someone available to us when we need support (without it meaning we are needy); we are meant to come together to contribute to something more.


We are an interdependent species. Closeness, support, conversations, laughter, help, coexisting, discussions, intimacy, sharing responsibilities and tasks, etc. This, and more, is what we get from being in healthy and good relationships. It enriches us, strengthens, stimulates, challenges. It also requires something, it can be very triggering to be in relationships. That is also why


There is a great deal of avoidance in the message that we only need ourselves. If we only lean on ourselves, and refrain from letting anyone in, then we also avoid the challenge that comes with possible getting triggered. We stay safe and comfortable. We meet ourselves in others, which can potentially require becoming aware of and owning parts of ourselves we don´t like as much. Other people's "stuff" means movement within ourselves. If we drop relationships, then we do not need to be challenged. But then we also drop the biggest and most important opportunity for both growth and healing. Plus we miss out on one the most beautiful things life has to offers, which is human connection.


It's okay, and healthy, to need other people.

It's okay, and healthy, to have needs that involve others.

It's okay, and healthy, to want closeness and intimacy.


Of course, needing something from others can be unhealthy, and one can definitely seek something from others in a way that benefits neither us nor them. Our inner task is to learn to observe and distinguish when we act from the unhealthy form of "neediness". This can be expressed as limitlessness, manipulation, clinging, etc. We also have a task in looking inward, at how we react and respond when other people express that they need us. Are we open to letting people in? Are we shutting out? Do we experience the human needs of others as clinging? Do we have too weak boundaries and take too much responsibility for others? Do we let people in where we might actually be saying no?


Ask yourself:


Who am I in relation to others; do I lock people out or do I let them in?

If I'm really honest with myself; is my need for closeness and intimacy satisfied?

Do I have deep connections?

Am I lonely? To what degree?

What changes do I need to make in order to be relationally satisfied?


If you want help and support in looking more closely at the answers that came up for you, then I am available for 1: 1 coaching and guidance. You can find more information on the website, or by emailing me: contact@idablichfeldt.com




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