Some people think it is great to be needed. Others find it a turn off. I think those who like to be needed lean toward insecurity and see being needed as a sign of safety. No one will leave them because they are needed too much.
Children Need Us
Our children need us when they are small. That is a fact. Their survival depends on it. My personal thought is that a parent’s job is to raise children to be interdependent with a focus on independence. In other words, a parent’s job is to teach our children it is OK to need us but to also learn how to rely on themselves.
Do you know what is better than being needed by your children, partner, family, friends or co-workers? Being valued by them.
Being valued means we are helping and caring for others by our own volition and they appreciate all we do. It is so much easier for us to do work or assist others when we feel valued for it.
Working in the home vs. working outside the home
I see this as a primary difference between working in the home and working outside the home. I stayed home for 13 years with my children. I was not literally paid for the work I did. Most of the time I did not feel valued. I felt needed.
Once I began working outside the home again, I felt valued. A paycheck, praise from clients or a boss and the smiles on students’ faces, let me know I am doing a good job and I am appreciated. Sure, my husband and kids praise me occasionally and they smile from time to time, but I still feel more needed than valued. The big difference seems to be in the expectations.
I am expected to take care of our house and its people. My son told me a few times when he was young that making his lunch and doing his laundry are my job. I understand his perspective but it felt belittling.
Being needed all of the time gets overwhelming. Being valued never does. This goes for everyone. Mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, friends, co-workers, etc.
Why being valued feels better
A job outside the home offers opportunities for strangers and non-family members to see me in a different light. They might see me as a writer or a woman with helpful ideas. I get valued for who I am and what I do.
Being needed is all about the person who needs something. Being valued is about the person who is valued.
There is less freedom in being needed. There is guilt if we do not comply.
Dependency and independence
We all have a certain level of dependency on others. We all want our needs met, which means someone has to fulfill them. Sometimes we can fulfill our own needs, but often we look to others.
My husband often thanks me for the work I do around the house. It is possible to be both needed and valued. I believe that would be commensurate with interdependence. Perhaps that is the ideal.
Do you feel more needed or valued? What makes you feel valued?
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