The risks of saying “I need…”

July 9, 2014 by Joshua
in Tips

How often do you say “I need” something?

“Need” is a powerful word in social contexts because neediness is one of the most repellent behaviors. Family and very close friends who understand each other deeply can get away with using it. Rarely otherwise.

Neediness means they’re putting their interests before yours. Maybe you consider them justified or you know you’ll help them out of friendship, but they’re still doing it. You’ll find yourself observing them skeptically since you expect them to want something from you.

“I need” is one of the more repellent things to say. I recommend saying it with caution.

Even if you do need something, you can express yourself in many ways.

If you find yourself saying you need something, you can use your use of the word to check how you might sound to others. More importantly you can use it to check if you are putting your interests first or the other person’s. If you’re putting your interests first, they’ll likely sense it—mostly likely from your describing your neediness with the word “need”—which will undermine your ability to influence them. Since you’re probably talking to them to influence them to help you with your need, your wording is undermining your purpose.

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