Pin on Hearts, Romance and Valentines Day
A heart-shaped stone, lying on a table. Public domain.

At some point, likely already when we were very young, we began to internalize a cultural message that told us increasingly, “If you ask for what you need (or perhaps even reveal you have needs) you are burdensome.”

Where does this come from? If we reflect for a moment, it’s probably rare for us to believe people are burdensome when they share their needs with us. Why do so many people then fear being burdensome when expressing their own needs? Why does that fear come over us?

Even people with the most privileged identities fear this. For instance, how many men fear revealing their emotional needs and expressing them with others? And people with large financial needs or large health needs constantly have to navigate this landscape of internal fears.

So… if so many of us feel this way about ourselves… but not others… and those others don’t feel this way about us… Why are we living this way? Clearly, we do not have to live with these narratives. It is morally neutral to have needs. In fact, it is beautifully human.

So if no one has told you lately,

It’s okay to have the needs you have.
It’s okay to express them.
It’s okay to invite people around them.
It’s okay to make asks within them.

It’s okay to be a person with needs.
It’s okay to need.

Renee Roederer

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