Don't Let Someone Else's Needs Take Over Your Life

Jan 09, 2023

People on the go often have dependent relationships that they don’t know what to do with. These are individuals who, for any number of reasons, have tremendous life struggles and challenges and often deal with grave problems. They are needy and ask for a great deal of time, energy, and support. You may find yourself functioning as someone’s life support system. For example, you may have a friend who is going through a divorce and calls often for advice and a listening ear. Or you could have someone who has lost a job and is trying to pick up the pieces. Sometimes a needy person has a long history of failure and crisis and has for years been dependent on others to take care of him.

A needy person is often a very good person who is not truly toxic at heart. He may simply be going through his own dark night of the soul, as do all of us at some point in life. Or he may have a dependent character issue that prevents him from being autonomous and in charge. Though a needy person may be good-hearted, his impact on you and your aspirations may have the outcome of being toxic and a distraction from your path.

It is important to realize that most needy people truly need help, support, time, and encouragement. They often benefit greatly from a community that connects with them to give them safety and stability. We are all called to reach out to the needy and give back what has been given to us. That is a large part of what life is all about. So if you have a dependent relationship in your life, make sure that you are being generous, sacrificing, and caring for that person.

At the same time, however, be certain that what you are doing is actually what is best for him. It is easy to think that being totally available to struggling individuals is what they need. Sometimes that is true. For example, if you have a child who is very ill or has a serious problem, a great deal of life must go on the back burner so that you can give him the time and resources he needs. Or your friend in a marital nightmare may, for a season of life, call on you often to keep her existence together. Helping those with needs such as these can be right, loving, proper, and good. In fact, for some people, that ability to help the needy is their true calling. Mother Teresa is a wonderful example. Meeting the desperate needs of others puts those people in their right place. For others, helping the afflicted coexists with and is supported by their own desire to grow, change, and achieve.

But it’s important to be aware that sometimes a needy person needs more than we can provide. That is not his fault; it is just the reality of his situation. You may not have the expertise to meet his needs that a counselor, support group, or financial expert might provide. If that is the case, become a conduit for help, rather than the sole source of care. You may help that individual better by being a bridge to what is really needed. If your friend is hemorrhaging, it may not be your job to be the surgeon, but rather the ambulance that gets him to the surgeon. Also, bear in mind that in crises, the early stages are generally more demanding than the latter ones. In the beginning, you may need to spend more time and energy until your friend is stabilized and able to walk better on his own.

So do not turn your back on the needy. Be there for them in the best ways that you can help. And as you give what you can truly provide, be sure that you also guide them to resources and structures that can help them on their own path. And continue taking steps down your own path.


Individuals who are consistently occupied may find themselves in codependent relationships that they do not know how to address. These relationships involve individuals who, for various reasons, are grappling with significant challenges in their lives and frequently face grave problems. These individuals are needy and request a significant amount of time, energy, and support. It is possible that you may find yourself serving as a source of emotional support for such an individual. For instance, you may have a friend who is experiencing a divorce and frequently contacts you for advice and a listening ear. Alternatively, you may have someone who has lost their job and is attempting to rebuild their life. In some cases, a needy person may have a long history of failure and crisis and has relied on the support of others for an extended period.

It is important to recognize that a needy individual is frequently a fundamentally good person who is not inherently toxic. They may simply be enduring a period of personal turmoil, as we all do at some point in our lives. Alternatively, they may possess a dependent personality trait that hinders their ability to be self-sufficient and in control. While a needy individual may have benevolent intentions, the impact they have on you and your goals may be toxic and detrimental to your progress.

It is crucial to comprehend that the majority of needy individuals genuinely require assistance, support, time, and encouragement. They frequently benefit significantly from being a part of a community that provides them with a sense of safety and stability. It is our responsibility to extend support to those in need and return the kindness that has been shown to us. This is a fundamental aspect of the human experience. Therefore, if you have a codependent relationship in your life, ensure that you are being generous, selfless, and caring towards that individual.

However, it is crucial to ensure that the actions you are taking are truly in the best interest of the needy individual. It is easy to assume that being consistently available to struggling individuals is what they need. While this may be true in certain cases, it is important to carefully consider the specific needs of the individual. For example, if you have a child who is very ill or facing a serious problem, it may be necessary to prioritize their needs above other aspects of your life in order to provide them with the time and resources they require. Alternatively, a friend going through a difficult marriage may rely on your support during a trying period. Providing support to individuals with these types of needs can be right, loving, proper, and good. For some individuals, the ability to help those in need is their calling in life. Mother Teresa is a prime example of this. Meeting the desperate needs of others can be fulfilling and meaningful. For others, helping others coexists with and is supported by their own desire to grow, change, and achieve.

It is essential to recognize that there may be times when a needy individual requires more than we can provide. This is not a reflection of their character; it is simply the reality of their situation. It is possible that you do not possess the expertise to meet their needs in the way that a counselor, support group, or financial expert could. If this is the case, consider serving as a conduit for help rather than being the sole source of care. You may be able to better assist the individual by connecting them to the resources they truly need. For example, if your friend is facing a medical emergency, it may not be your responsibility to provide medical treatment but rather to facilitate their access to medical care. Additionally, it is important to remember that during a crisis, the early stages tend to be more demanding than the later ones. In the beginning, you may need to invest more time and energy until the individual is stabilized and able to function more independently.

It is important not to neglect the needs of those in need. Provide support in the most effective ways that you can. As you offer what you are able to, ensure that you also guide the individual towards resources and structures that can assist them on their own path. It is crucial to continue making progress on your own path as well.