Needy & Clingy People in Your Life – Why Keep Toxic Relationships? (417 words)

Danielle, a member of my Facebook Relationship Glue Group recently posted an answer to my question about “need verses want.” She stated, “I think a ‘needy’ person can have a healthy, fulfilling relationship, but it involves them being aware of their ‘neediness’ and making an effort to really look at themselves and find out why they are needy.”

This is a good time to talk about needy people. And while I am on the subject I’ll also cover clingy people. They are considered one in the same by many.

Needy People

If you are the kind of person afflicted with the “Savior Complex” then a needy person is your saving grace. You can do so much for them, denying yourself, and feel oh so good about yourself…until…they heal, and no longer need you. That is so sad. Then the relationship is over. For the needy person, he or she will hang around–as long as all their needs are being met. Danielle makes a great point that alludes to the needy people being aware of their neediness. However, I’m not convinced that these needy persons can overcome their pathology…and I could be wrong. My pathology…I’m a control freak, I know it, I try to overcome it, and yet frequently its ugly head pop up when least expected. It has been a problem my entire life.

My belief is that I manage my controlling nature rather than overcome it. If you know you are needy, you have a lot of work to do if you desire a mutually beneficial relationship. Try fulfilling your neediness by DOING for your special someone. Take that “hole” and fill it with activity that serves your spouse in the method they prefer to be served and your need to be loved, nurtured, and appreciated will be fulfilled.

Clingy People

Needy people are frequently also clingy people. To most mentally healthy persons, clingy equals suffocation. Control freaks like me can also be clingy, just ask my wife (and I’ve been working on it for our entire 35 years of marriage). For clingy and needy people, if you can (metaphorically) hold your special someone to you like you would hold a fencing foil or a bird; just tight enough not to lose it, but not so tight that you strangle the life out of it–you have a chance.

This idea is encompasses both the science and the art of successful relationship development. For successful and fulfilling relationships, it’s all in the implementation. Happy loving…


Ed Rigsbee is the consummate evangelist for member recruitment and strategic alliance success. He holds the Certified Association Executive (CAE) and Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) accreditation. Ed is the author of The ROI of Membership-Today’s Missing Link for Explosive Growth, PartnerShift, Developing Strategic Alliances, and The Art of Partnering. To his credit, he has over 2,500 articles in print and countless articles electronically published.

Ed is the Founder and CEO of the 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity, Cigar PEG Philanthropy through Fun, and president at Rigsbee Research which conducts qualitative member ROI research and consulting for associations and societies. He has been called “the dynamite that broke up our log jam” by association executives—rarely politically correct and almost always provocative—and from a dozen years as a United States Soccer Federation referee, Ed calls it the way he sees it. Exceptional resources at