How to Deal with People in Need: 8 Steps (with Images)

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How to Deal with People in Need: 8 Steps (with Images)
How to Deal with People in Need: 8 Steps (with Images)

It can be difficult to know how to deal with a person in need, be it a romantic partner, friend or family member. You may love or like the person but not want to spend all your time with them or have to listen to the endless drama. It is possible to feel completely exhausted after being with the individual, as if he or she has drained all of your energy. Remember that you are not responsible for anyone. In this article, here are some ways to handle the situation.


Part 1 of 2: Practicing Interpersonal Skills

Deal With Needy People Step 1

Step 1. Learn to say “no”

Saying “no” is liberating and allows you to stay in control of your life without trying to please other people. So why is it so difficult to take this attitude? It takes practice until you can, so start paying attention to times when you're afraid to say no, and practice in front of the mirror to get more comfortable with words. When denying someone something, make it clear that you are saying no to the request and not to the person.

  • Don't feel obligated to commit to something right away. Say, "Can I think for a while and then give an answer?"
  • If someone is being pushy, just be resolute when it's time to say no. Say, "I know you won't give up so easily, but I won't change my mind."
  • Know that people ask for favors or ask you to do something because they believe in your potential. Always say, “Thanks for thinking of me,” even when politely declining.
Deal With Needy People Step 2

Step 2. Don't stay in dependency relationships

It may be that you keep the person in your life for whatever advantage you see in the relationship. This person can be a partner you live with or share the bills with, or maybe they cheer you up when you're down. You may be afraid of being left or abandoned, even though you are in an unhappy relationship.

  • Ask yourself what benefits you derive from the relationship, whether they are physical (companionship, financial needs, sex), emotional (someone to talk to, a sense of belonging) or related to a sense of dependency. Ask yourself, “Is this relationship fair to this person? It is for me?"
  • If you are afraid of being abandoned, work on this issue and resolve the trauma of abandonment. It is also possible to go to a psychologist.
Deal With Needy People Step 3

Step 3. Set limits

You may need to discuss appropriate boundaries with this person. Decide what they are and ask yourself how each boundary will benefit you and the relationship. When thinking about the benefits, you can commit to sticking to the limit and not feel guilty about trying to set it.

  • Reaffirm each limit with positive statements: "Even if this person is upset about the limit, I have the right to decide how to use my time, energy and resources."
  • You can be with a partner who always wants to hear that he is cute, that you love him, and that you only have eyes for him. If you are not open or emotionally ready for this type of relationship, be clear about it. Say, "I'm not in a position to give you everything you want."
  • Remember that you are the one who controls your life. If someone wears you out, it's time to create boundaries.

Part 2 of 2: Interacting with the person in need

Deal With Needy People Step 4

Step 1. Decrease contact

You may not be ready to allow the person to leave your life (let's say it's a co-worker or family member), but it's possible to lessen the contact. Make yourself less available to the person (by text message, phone, email and social media) and tell them that you wouldn't want to spend all of your time “connected”.

  • Say, “I only have a few minutes before I leave” and end the conversation politely when time runs out.
  • Decline politely whenever you don't want to spend time with the person. Don't lie or make excuses, but communicate your decision by saying, "I'm not available" or "I'm not interested in this activity."
  • If the person texts or calls incessantly, tell them that they are exaggerating. Politely say that you don't like to communicate all the time and that you need more space.
Deal With Needy People Step 5

Step 2. Avoid getting carried away

The person may rely on you to solve their problems or always seem to be in some kind of crisis. If you don't want to put up with it, don't force yourself. If you hate to get involved in gossip or “self-pity” stories, communicate this need tactfully. Let go, especially if you've already given advice and the person always does the opposite. Let her make her own decisions without interfering.

  • It is possible to say, "I don't want to have this role in your life."
  • Avoid offering solutions. Instead, offer words of encouragement, such as: "I'm sure you can work this out yourself."
Deal With Needy People Step 6

Step 3. Be honest

If the person asks, “Why don't we go out anymore?”, don't lie. There's no point in concocting a lie that you're going to have to keep, and being true is more respectful of her and yourself. You may feel that you are protecting yourself or the other person, but ask yourself if lying has any real benefit. However, there is no need to tell the person everything you see negative about them. Prefer to focus on your own needs.

  • Say, "Sometimes I have a hard time getting involved in other people's life problems when I myself have so many things to work out."
  • It is also possible to say: "It can be so exhausting to be closely involved with another person that I often need time to balance myself emotionally and physically."
Deal With Needy People Step 7

Step 4. Be nice

You can choose to avoid the person, not respond to messages or calls immediately, or cut them out of your life piecemeal. Whatever you do, treat the person the way you would like to be treated. There is no need to be mean, treacherous or cruel in approach. You are doing this because you want to get your life back, not to create more drama or make someone else feel bad.

  • The decisions remain yours alone, so you don't need to inform everyone of your decision to cut the guy out of your life by gossiping.
  • Don't just disappear or cut off all form of contact without explanation. Many people find this attitude confusing and disrespectful. It's best to tell her that you need space and that you're going to get away from the phone and email.
Deal With Needy People Step 8

Step 5. Learn to give in

Find a satisfactory compromise so that both of you feel respected and have your needs met. Giving in allows the two to find a compromise in a situation. This attitude is especially important if you are dealing with a person who plays a very large role in your life, such as a boyfriend or family member. Communicate your needs clearly and ask the person to do the same. When you both reach mutual understanding, let go of certain things that can benefit both of you.

Maybe you don't like talking on the phone, but it means a lot to your grandmother. It is possible to make an effort and call twice a week instead of every day


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