Updated: Jan 14
In 2010, I began my journey into Christian Counseling by studying Creation Therapy and Temperament Counseling. I never dreamed I would be so intrigued. I have learned so much about myself in the last 12 years as well as learning how to help people understand themselves. Scripture has a lot to say about our human design and how God knew us before we were even a thought! Then He put his thumbprint on us right in the womb! We are truly God's design!
Jeremiah 1:5 states “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
I am enthralled by the many different facets of human nature, like temperament, personality, motivation, internal drive, character strengths and weaknesses. I'm always on the lookout for a new book to take my knowledge of it to greater lengths. As it was, late last night when I couldn't sleep, I happened upon some more nuggets of great information I just felt to share with you today. I will approach some of these temperaments individually so not to overwhelm anyone, so watch for future posts.
Today I want to share about one particular type of temperament weakness. Please keep in mind that when God created us, He did not make us perfect! NEWS FLASH -Shocker! He made us to have needs that would be met through a number of ways, some by other humankind, (relationally) but most importantly, by God Himself.
There are many types of people in the world. Granted, some are far more enjoyable to be around than others! Some just need a spiritual realignment, like a good chiropractor! Others may need a good heart and/or mind surgery, with the Word of God! But the truth is, we are ALL in need of a Savior who can help us, change us, and make us new. So don't beat yourself up when you come face to face with some of your own temperament weaknesses. They are obvious for a reason -so you will work on them!
So today, I want to share with you some aspects of a particular temperament, and that would be the Needy/Clingy Temperament. Have you ever asked yourself (or were you brave enough to ask someone else) if you appear needy? Or clingy? Here are some good tell-tale signs for you to consider. Remember, this is not to humiliate or degrade...hopefully it helps you to have better understanding if you fall into this temperament type.
A clingy/needy type person tends to use friends to fill emotional needs. They find friends whom they admire, call on them often, and things go great until they slowly start taking more of your time and become somewhat possessive. You won't notice this at the first, it can be ever so gradual, maybe months into a friendship. One sign is that they are so tied to you for emotional need that you feel pressured to talk to them or spend time with them, you might even feel guilty (on their behalf) if you don't. Clingy/Needy people will unknowingly use your kindness against you.
Another sign is, as you try to pull away, they become more possessive. They will start getting aggravated that you don't have time for them (remember they have an emotional need for your friendship) and they may start saying negative things about you or to you like, "Well, you're so busy anymore!" or "Did I do something?" or "Why are you acting like that?" That approach is to make you feel bad for not spending time with them. They will also be jealous of time that you spend with others.
Unfortunately, needy/clingy people usually have deep-seated issues with low self esteem and low self-worth. They may not recognize it as that, but it is. They cant feel good about themselves unless someone is spending time with them making them feel loved and important. Needy/clingy people often have a victim mentality, and ultimately, everyone else is responsible for their happiness.
Needy/Clingy people are often complainers, overly dramatic, and their lives are often (but not always) chaotic. When a needy person starts complaining its usually about how they have been or are being treated, and they want empathy. (again it satisfies that emotional need) It's certainly not always the case, sometimes they genuinely have a need, and you must have good judgment.
The only way to really help someone with a needy/clingy temperament trait, is to set boundaries. Don't push them away entirely. Just set limits on your time with them. You will need to change the subject often to divert their negativity. Use their negativity and find a way to turn it to humor. Even clingy/needy people love to laugh! And it's good medicine for the soul!
Set time limits. Be direct and let them know you are/are not available at said times. Let them know you need to get off the phone, or return home by a certain time, to avoid possessiveness. On a side note, God created us to need each other. Everyone needs someone. 'Some people' just need 'someone' a little more often than others. Maybe with a little boundary setting, you can continue to have a great friendship with this type of person for years and perhaps even help them to see their own temperament needs and work on them accordingly.