Angela Dryden

Certified Life Coach

Is This a Short Term or a Long Term Emotional Need I am Meeting?

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When we perform an action, we are doing it to meet an emotional need whether conscious or unconscious. Have you ever asked yourself how the action became a behavior? Repeated action becomes a habit, habit becomes the behavior.

The habit will stick based on how well that need was met from taking that action. Thus, forming a behavior. Meeting our emotional needs is what we are wired to do; if the action didn’t meet the need, we will try a different route. I want to explore how creating awareness around our needs could be the way to transform a Co-Dependent Behavior into a Leading Lady behavior.

First, to identify the need, ask yourself these questions, “What is the Emotional need I am trying to meet?” and “Is it short term, instant gratification relief I want, or do I want to see long term gain toward Leading Lady behavior?”

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Short term is thinking that something outside of us, some external “person, place, or thing,” is going to meet our emotional needs. For short term emotional needs; think instant gratification. Some short-term needs could be wanting to feel acceptance from others through justification, proving our points, criticizing others, or validation. Co-Dependent behaviors are ways we show up to meet the short-term emotional need.

There are also long-term emotional needs. Actions we take to meet these needs may seem counterproductive, at first, but do provide the most gain in the long-term. These needs relate more to finding your purpose, learning self-appreciation, and feeling valuable and complete. 

It is through taking the actions that meet the emotional need that we receive “rewards” which soothe (or bolster) our ego. Co-Dependent behavior, such as justifying our actions to others, exposing someone’s faults, and the need to prove we are right is a product of the short-term actions we take to meet the need.

Becoming aware of these needs will help you to create stronger and more vibrant relationships. Showing up and meeting your own needs for the long term with nothing to prove to anyone versus wanting the person, place, or thing to meet your needs can provide a long-lasting inner peace.

A great place to explore how you are doing in meeting your emotional needs is becoming aware of when something “triggers you.” Feeling triggered can be a perfect awareness tool by providing an opportunity for you to say, “I feel triggered, so what emotional need am I wanting to be met?”

Here is a “sneaky” thought we can encounter when transforming from Co-dependent to Leading Lady: we might feel triggered and because we want the ego boost and to feel better, we quickly change our thinking and create new thoughts to generate a more desirable feeling. We want to change the thought because we don’t like how it makes us feel.  This is where I want to offer that you receive the original thought—all the ugliness of it—hold it, and digest what this trigger is trying to tell you. Then release it when you have accepted it. This step is important and part of the process to find your authentic self.

Have patience with yourself and realize that as a human we are perfectly imperfect.  Living above the line by choosing the long-term gain versus the short-term gratification is forming Leading Lady behaviors, generating peace within and comfort when in stormy waters.

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