Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Emotional Dependency, Neediness and Clinginess

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

There is an upside to being needy and clingy. A number of studies conducted separately by different psychologists - from Adelphi University, Gettysburg College, Yale University, University of Wisconsin, Leuven University and Pennsylvania State - summarized by Benedict Carey (New York Times, 2007) prove it.

According to these studies:

  • In milder forms, dependency can come across as an annoying clinginess. But it can also be a protective warmth that cements romantic relationships in times of stress.
  • Dependent partners are more satisfied with each other and with their relationship than more self-sufficient ones, especially when couples are struggling.
  • Dependent traits buffer the relationships in times of crisis. Afraid of losing the relationship, “individuals high on dependency may actually behave in a more positive way to their partner, like being more complying, being more loving.” (Bénédicte Lowyck, Leuven University)
  • There are three distinct varieties of dependent behavior patterns: 1) Submissiveness (“I don’t have what it takes to be a good leader” or “I am easily downed in an argument”); 2) Exploitability (“I am afraid of hurting people’s feelings” or “I do things that are not in my best interest in order to please others”); and 3) Love dependency, based on a longing for social connection (“Being isolated from others is bound to lead to unhappiness” or “After a fight with a friend, I must make amends as soon as possible”).
  • It is this love dependency that is the most adaptive. “These are people that form very strong attachments, who are not happy unless surrounded by friends and family” and least likely to stumble over their own anxieties.

Thus, having a needy and clingy partner is, in fact, not necessarily detrimental to the relationship. Being emotionally dependent, clingy, and needy can be healthy, too.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's probably why my bf broke up with me. I'm clingy. Hi Angie. Kayni

Daddo said...

These studies are done by quack psychologists. :)

I wonder if someone invented a teflon spray you can wear so these clingy people would not stick on you. :)

Angeli said...

Hi Kayni. it's great to hear from you, my friend. I'm sorry about your boyfriend.

Angeli said...

hey Daddo, i learned how to count, huh?

remember, honey is sticky and clingy. :)

Daddo said...

Hah! :)

Angeli said...

HAH!! :)

Anonymous said...

Clinginess and neediness is what has meant that humans have survived in often harsh environments on earth. They are essential to survival to some degree.

In our current society, we value freedom and materials more highly than people, so we want people to be "convenient" for us and require too much time of ours.We do not as a society care about each other anymore. Needy people are those who do not wish to be dishonest about who they are. We are all lookig for answers and are often feeling lost, so why not admit it and be ourselves. Clinginess is a phase in a relationship and it passes. Unless that is, the other partner requires the needy one to be dependant on them to give them power. Check that out!

 
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