How to not come across as needy: 10 key tips

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.


Do you think you’re a needy person and wish to change this? 

Perhaps someone has told you that you appear needy, or you are simply reflecting on your life. 

However, there are a number of ways to appear less dependent on others. 

You may become considerably more self-sufficient if you put in the work.

I’ve identified 10 key ways to not come across as needy. 

These are all things that you can do right now, so take my advice and stop appearing needy!

1) Don’t have other people “rescuing” you.

The easiest way to look needy is to lean on someone else for help. 

You may find that you are constantly having others assist you with something. 

Although this is a nice gesture, it makes you appear needy because you are essentially having them fix all your problems. 

Do you frequently have your friends do things for you?

Are there tasks that they take over, even if they aren’t really helping? 

If so, then stop doing this! It’s ultimately making people think you’re dependent on them.

Don’t be a sucker! The longer you let someone rescue you, the more it will appear as though you need them.

Do you want to change this? If so, then start taking responsibility for your own problems. 

It’s great to be saved every once in a while, but don’t let it happen ALL the time!

2) Don’t remind people that you need something.

You should never need to remind people about your needs. 

Sure, it’s fair to ask for what you want, even if it’s a little thing. However, don’t go on and on with small talk about how you’re in need of something.

Let’s imagine this:

You may have a friend who constantly asks for money. While this is fine on occasion, if they do it often enough, it makes you look needy.

If you want to be self-sufficient, don’t make it obvious that you need something.

Otherwise, you will only put people off! They’ll realize that they’re essentially giving something to someone who isn’t contributing.

People will start to feel like they are your personal servant; it’s awkward, so stop it!

You should be very honest with people, and let them know what you need. 

If you want something, then tell people. It’s only respectful! 

It also creates the situation where they HAVE to give you what you want…unless of course, they don’t feel like it. In which case, I guess beggars can’t be choosers.

If you want something, tell the person the truth and be direct. Let them know that they’ve got a limited opportunity to give you what you need!

It can be difficult to remind people about your needs without coming across as needy if you’re a more emotional person. 

However, remaining in touch with your feelings and then expressing them to others will help you get them to do what’s best for you. 

Don’t be afraid to let people know that you need something, just don’t sound “needy”.

But there is no need to constantly remind everyone around you that you are a little bit stressed.

3) Neediness sometimes can be positive.

If you’ve made a bad decision and you want to stay without falling back into old patterns of being dependent, then it is alright to lean on someone else for help. 

The point is that you’re aware of the fact that you need help and your kindness isn’t forced. 

This way of coming across as less needy (but still looking and acting like a grown-up) is called self-awareness.

We’ve all been there. Sometimes, it is reasonable to need someone else! 

If you are in a serious romantic relationship, it is natural to need your significant other on some level. This isn’t something that can be simply changed.

But you know what else?

Becoming needy is also a strong sign that you show your love and affection because it shows that you not only care about the other person but you also want to win their attention.

I learned this from Justin Brown’s video.

In his video, he shared about  7 positive aspects of being needy. 

So make sure you check it out here.

4) Know when to reach out for help and when it is not necessary.

Recently, I learned that some people only ask others for help if they really need it. 

If you’re reading this, you probably believe that asking others for help is a sign of weakness – something which shouldn’t be done. 

However, this isn’t true in all situations. 

If a friend is feeling down and asks you for advice, don’t feel like you are doing them a favor by being there. Instead, be happy to help them fix their problems.

Let’s say, for example, that you are talking with a friend who needs help with their math homework. 

You don’t want to see them get into a bad mood because of the frustration they are feeling from not being able to finish their homework.

You can help by suggesting that they try out this website or this teacher.

Never be afraid to let people down if they ask you for help. 

If they need it, then do it! It is better that they ask you for help than to go through all the trouble of asking someone else and eventually feeling like you’re a terrible person.

Being aware of when to ask for help and when not to makes you appear more self-sufficient.

But there are also some situations in which asking for help is completely normal, such as if you’ve made an honest mistake at work or something similar. 

Don’t be afraid to let people know if you’ve messed something up – you’re human!

Sure, it’s embarrassing, but what’s worse is when people find out about your mistake without you even saying anything.

5) Don’t expect anything for free.

There’s something about people who ask for freebies that comes across as needy.

It’s as though they are afraid of saying no for fear of damaging their reputation. 

The solution? 

Be prepared to say no! 

You should never be afraid of saying no, not even to people who’ve genuinely helped you in the past. 

If someone has helped you, then feel free to ask for help even if they aren’t the most helpful person imaginable. 

You don’t want to ask anyone for something that they don’t want to give. 

Ask them if they want to do something with you, or do you want to ask them a question? 

This way, you are being honest and making it clear that you don’t expect something from them just because they’re willing to give it to you. 

Just be sure to say no politely, if necessary.

You should always spend time planning your finances before making a request for something to be done.

If you come across as needy and greedy for things, people will avoid you – so be aware!

And if you don’t feel like doing something for free, then make sure that you are very clear in your desire to get something for free.

Until then, avoid making it look like you need free things. 

This will keep you from looking needy in the eyes of others.

6) Avoiding needy behaviors.

It is not always easy to remain selfless, which is why it can be tricky to appear less needy.

However, you should know when it’s important to help others without expecting anything in return.

If you’re looking for a good way to appear less needy, you can do so by avoiding needy behaviors.

Keep in mind that the average person who is deemed as less needy will simply start avoiding people who are perceived as needy.

This includes, but is not limited to: 

Accusing others of being ungrateful and then being angry when they reject you. 

Overly-dramatic begging and complaining, especially to your parents or boss. 

Constantly apologizing for doing something wrong and asking for forgiveness

Act like a victim by making excuses for your behaviors and actions.

And also when you can reasonably ask for something in return. 

For example, if your friend offers to pay for your dinner but you feel like you’d prefer a little more independence, ask if they would mind splitting the price.

You can also help others without expecting anything in return by offering to lend them money.

However, it is important to make sure that you only offer money if you have enough for your own priorities. 

Don’t feel guilty about not helping someone who has been a bad friend, who doesn’t treat you nicely or who doesn’t help you when you need it.

Just because they ask for help and promise that they’ll do something in return soon doesn’t mean that they won’t bail on the deal when things get tough.

This way, you get to eat for free without sounding needy.

7) Don’t complain about what you don’t have.

Saying “I wish I had ____” can come across as needy because it presents a negative outlook on your life. 

It is not necessary to constantly mention your flaws to the point where you appear depressed.

If someone asks you about your life, don’t just say what you don’t have.

Instead, try to focus on the positive aspects of your life. 

You can also mention what you have and talk about how much value it provides to you.

For instance:

If you are living with roommates, you can say “being here with my roommates means the world to me.”

Instead of saying “I wish I had a better job.” Try “I am happy with my job.”

The point of this is not to pretend that you have everything and that you have no flaws. 

What it’s really to do is prepare people for what they don’t know, in case they ask you about anything personal. 

You should also be careful to not go overboard because using a lot of adjectives can also come across as needy.

We all have our struggles, but that doesn’t mean we should express them in every moment of conversation, and then have a pity party in the privacy of our own house!

When you’re dealing with a person who complains about their own shortcomings, that in no way means you are complaining about your own.

You are expressing your unhappiness in a healthy way.

8) Practicing self-confidence and overcoming your neediness.

When you’re struggling to overcome your neediness, look outside of yourself first.

So what can you practice?

Look for opportunities to help others and step in when you’re needed.

This is the best way to overcome your neediness.

If you are not sure about anything, ask someone else for help or advice

Don’t just sit around and feel like your issues are too big for you to handle.

If someone else has the same problem, then you can compare notes and try to figure out what is going on in your lives. 

If someone is gossiping about their life, ask them to stop and express how they feel. 

If you feel like you’re a bad friend, do something to help someone else and then reflect on how your life has changed. 

If you don’t feel good about your life, look at how the lives of others are going and try to figure out why you were feeling unhappy in the first place. 

Fill yourself up with positive self-confidence so that your neediness will be reduced.

Who wouldn’t want to improve themselves? 

I know I do.

The problem is that there are far too many fake gurus out there ready to sell you on unrealistic and ineffective solutions for improving your life by becoming a “better version” of yourself. They want you to meditate, radiate “positive vibrations” and visualize the life of your dreams. They say this will make it come true. 

Here’s the crazy thing:

Visualization and positive vibes won’t bring you closer to your dreams, and they can actually drag you backwards into time-wasting, idle fantasy and frustration. 

But it’s hard to overcome neediness when you’re being hit with so many Instagram influencers telling you how a special kind of yoga, diet or incense will transform your life. 

You can end up trying so hard and not finding the answers you need that your life and dreams begin to feel hopeless. 

You want solutions, but all you’re being told is to create a perfect utopia inside your own mind. It doesn’t work. 

I want you to turn off all the noise for a second and get back to absolute basics. 

What are you here for?

Before you can experience a real change, you need to really know your purpose. 

I learned about the power of purpose from watching Ideapod co-founder Justin Brown’s video on the hidden trap of improving yourself

Justin used to be addicted to the self-help industry and New Age gurus, who sold him on visualization and positive thinking. It left him lost and confused. 

That’s why he traveled to Brazil to meet the renowned shaman Rudá Iandê, who taught him a life-changing new way to find your purpose and use it to transform your life and everything around you. 

After watching the video, I discovered my purpose in life and it completely busted through the issues I was having with loneliness and feeling useless. This new way of finding success by finding your purpose actually helped me to trust myself more, become independent, and stop being needy.

9) Work on yourself.

If you want to stop being needy, it is important that you work on yourself. This way, you will learn how to love yourself and how to lead an independent life.

But how do you do that? 

Simple – by always challenging your fears! 

Fear of change keeps people stuck in their old patterns for as long as possible.

If you want to stop being needy, then you’ll have to move away from your comfort zone. 

Don’t think that change is scary, in fact, it is often necessary in order to achieve the kind of life that you want.

You don’t have to actively look for something to challenge you in your life.

Your life will challenge you and put you into uncomfortable situations. 

So instead of letting your fears keep you from growing, be willing to confront your fears, learn from them and give them an opportunity to improve yourself.

But if you want to stop being needy and be the best version of yourself, then it is important that you always keep yourself straying beyond your comfort zone.

Practice being self-confident by following the lifestyle tips we have mentioned above.

10) Don’t be afraid of saying “no”.

The easiest way for you to appear less needy is to avoid things that are outside of your comfort zone. 

Saying no to some things can help you build the confidence and self-worth needed to stand on your own two feet. 

Avoiding social situations that will make you feel uncomfortable can also help keep you from feeling needy.

So the rule of thumb is “don’t always say yes” to your friends.

You can also take small steps every single day that help you to overcome your neediness.

Just don’t try to change things all of a sudden, as this may strain you psychologically.

Instead, try to build self-confidence by doing one small thing every day. 

Let’s take a look at a few examples: 

Influence is an important quality when it comes to being less needy in life.

If it feels uncomfortable to reject your friends, then maybe you should reconsider being their friend.

You don’t want to miss out on that opportunity because you are too afraid of hurting your friends’ feelings. 

Don’t let your needs control the way you relate to others.

In the end, what we are trying to say is that being needy is not a good thing in life. 

We have explained some tips on how to stop being needy so that you can embrace independence and begin living for yourself.

And what’s more, you will demonstrate that you have a clear sense of identity and a set of core principles. 

As long as you do things for the right reasons and don’t let fear hold you back, then there is nothing more rewarding than saying no to people who don’t deserve your help.

To overcome your neediness, start by changing what you think.  

Then, spend time working on yourself so that you can grow into the person that you want to be.

If you practice self-confidence, then you will be able to stop being needy today. 

Remember that life is short, so stop giving your power away!

Final thoughts:

The old saying is true: “it’s better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you pretend to be.” 

When it comes down to it, we are all needy in one way or another.

But if we can understand the underlying reasons behind our neediness, then we can work on changing our behavior and growing into the best versions of ourselves. 

We must also be willing to confront our fears and actively push the boundaries of what we think is possible.

If you’re guilty of being needier than you should be, then it is time for you to change this pattern. 

Stop using your fear of being left alone as an excuse to always be the needy person and please yourself first.

As you notice a shift in what you think about yourself, take steps to enjoy life on your own terms. 

Don’t give the power away to the people who are draining the life out of you.

And if you follow these tips, you can also overcome your neediness!

Good luck!

Can a relationship coach help you too?

If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.

I know this from personal experience…

A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.

If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.

In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.

I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.

Click here to get started.