We all have our personal “needs” in order to survive. Our basic needs, for example, are sleep and food to stay physically intact. Often times, however, we tend to forget that our emotional needs for love and care are just as important as our need for sleep and food. If our needs are not met either way, life can become challenging as we experience a lack of something, causing our physical and mental health to decline rapidly.
If we neglect to take care of our personal needs, we may project that obligation onto other people, creating an easy access point to those who use love-bombing as a means to an end, only to get their own needs met. It ultimately throws both parties into the toxic cycle of abuse in which they are dependent on each other to emotionally survive. This is how trauma bonds are being created, making it difficult for victims of narcissistic abuse to see the situation for what it is and leave.
One of the things survivors need to learn during their recovery from narcissistic abuse is that they are totally capable of meeting their own emotional needs through a healthy dose of self-love. It is by peeling back our layers and healing our emotional wounds from our past that unhealthy attachment styles can be dissolved. This way, we allow to love ourselves and break our dependence on the validation we used to receive from others to get our emotional needs met. Narcissists, on the contrary, are incapable of loving themselves and are, therefore, forever dependent on the emotional supply they receive from others, which is why they are also referred to as energy vampires.
When healing from narcissistic abuse and trauma, one of the goals is to get into a state of “want”. The relationships we have with others are supposed to add positivity to our lives and are not supposed to become our lives and a burden; this applies to any kind of relationship, privately or professionally. In simplified words: you may “want” a certain relationship, but you do not “need” it in order to survive.
So what is the main difference between needs and wants?
- A “need” is something that nurtures us to survive.
- A “want” is a desired bonus that adds positivity to our life, but it is not needed to survive.
If someone or something drains your energy and takes away from meeting your needs and happiness, ask yourself if this is what you actually “want” in your life?