Needing To Be Needed VS Wanting To Be Wanted

By Raianna Shai


In some ways, it’s a lot easier to be needed than to be wanted. Parts of us even need to be needed, finding self worth in having a job or role to play. This way, you don’t have to involve your own needs or wants into the situation, creating the least amount of tension possible. The recipients of the caretaking in this scenario have some lack going on inside themselves as well. If a friend needs you to hold the space for them to air out their feelings and “solve” their problems, then there’s probably very little space in them that’s able to hold it themselves. There’s nothing wrong with this, it’s just what most of us have been conditioned to do, look to the outside in order to heal what’s going on within. But in the grander scheme of things, how can anyone heal from the outside what’s felt most strongly on the inside?

So, the people and parts that choose to be the ones to focus on “fixing” others end up feeling like their needs are getting met because everyone else is happy. For myself, a part of me loves listening to everyone’s pain and trying to sort through it in order to help them. That way, this part did its “duty” of being a kind person and remaining in good graces with the other. And at an even deeper level, felt like it didn’t have to address the issues going on inside me. I would spend so much energy with this part feeling how to help the other person that there would be no room left for me – or this part!

Recently in session I felt into the idea of being wanted instead of needed. I wanted to feel why it scared this part of me so much. What I came to is that being wanted is vulnerable. Asking the question – does this person want me? – is even more vulnerable. The pain of realizing that the answer could be no is so much to bear that this part of me kept me at a very surface level with everyone so that I didn’t have to feel it. And I felt the deeper pain from this part of not being wanted by me – therefore projecting that out onto others. I remained a nice and smart person and couldn’t let anyone see any deeper than that, securing my identity through those two adjectives. Because if I’m nice and smart enough to be liked and needed, then why ruin that?

When you shift the tables on these parts of you and energize that you want them, not that you need them, an interesting reaction can take place. This part of me felt overwhelmed that he could have his own needs, and not fade into the background. That I want the mess, the contention when necessary for growth, the depth, the gifts, everything that comes with feeling this part as an individual entity, not as a role to play for others. Releasing the hold on this identity and role creates a lot of fear around who you actually are, behind all of the masks.

Asking yourself, am I wanted?, is both terrifying and illuminating. It can also be empowering, to realize your worth and decide that you want more. That you no longer want a relationship that thrives off of the skeletal outline of the bigness you actually are. When you choose to only be wanted and healthily needed, you draw so much more of this. More of what you want and need, more of what you deserve. We all deserve to be felt, to let in and to give love, to know each other’s deepest pains and biggest heart desires, so long as we ask for it and feel the pain that goes along with any possible outcome.

Raianna Shai is a SoulFullHeart facilitant and social media maven for SoulFullHeart Way Of Life. Visit for more information about sessions, group calls, videos, community, retreats, etc. Return LOVE in money form: or visit our Patreon page to become a monthly supporter:

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