This is my dog, Stray.
She’s very sweet.
She’s also needy.
Only one of those things is meant as a compliment.
She plops her big furry head right in my lap…never mind that she just mushed my hand onto the delete button of my laptop. She sometimes follows me to the bathroom and whines softly when I close her out. She paces the kitchen and refuses to eat her food if there are mashed potatoes on the stove.
Stray’s neediness irritated me. Sometimes it even drove me crazy. I’d think, “she’d be an amazing dog if only she wasn’t so damn needy.”
Then one day it occurred to me that “needy” was a very judgmental word—certainly I meant it as a judgment of her faults every time I said it or thought it.
So I asked myself how I’d describe what she does without judging it. The answer was clear and simple: she does what she can to get her needs met using the limited resources available to her.
That’s not such a terrible thing.
In fact…it seems like pretty darn good advice:
Do what you can to get your needs met, using the resources you have.
After all, my dog can get her needs for love, security, and mashed potatoes met without words or thumbs. Most of us already have way more resources than she does.
So here’s my challenge, for me, and for you if you’re willing to do this experiment too. Think of something–a behavior or a trait–that drives you nuts. Something that you’d change about that person (or animal) if you could. Then try and describe that behavior as simply as you can, without judging it as good or bad…just the bare bones facts of the matter.
Then see what comes out of that switch.