How to Stop Being Needy and Desperate


I am not a big fan of watching movies.

It is not that I hate them. I just watch movies less than the average individual for reasons that are still unknown.

Recently, I sat down to watch Spider-man Homecoming. It was just for entertainment. I was not expecting anything meaningful.

But it turned out that I was wrong. Inside the movie lays down one of the secrets of having healthy self-esteem.

Having healthy self-esteem is associated with having enough self-respect. Self-respect is about having reasons to look up to yourself. Therefore, the reasons why we respect ourselves determine how healthy or unhealthy our self-esteem is.

In other words, we sometimes search for self-love in the wrong places. We stupidly and naively assume if we do X, we will be good enough. But more often than not, this X stops us from having self-respect. X is not the solution to our problems as we hope.

And until we let go of this X, we will run in closed circles chasing nothing but an illusion. Surprisingly, when we let go of it, it’ll work for us and serve us.

This intellectual mess was explained well in the movie in just 2 lines:

Spider-man: But I am nothing without this suit!

Iron Man: If you are nothing without this suit, then you should not have it.

In the movie, Spider-man is an enthusiastic and eager-to-help teenager.

He is so caught up in the idea of being Spider-man that he puts off school and other important activities in his life. He also goes the extra mile and interferes with what he is told not to interfere with.

Through his interference, he makes a series of mistakes that could have killed many people.

In the last moment, when it is clear he cannot do anything to save the situation, Iron Man steps in and fixes the damage.

After that, Mr. Tony Stark (Iron Man) gives Peter barker some tough love by scolding him.

He was right.

Peter was acting based on good intentions. But he was making stupid decisions that could hurt him and everyone around him.

So, Mr. Tony decides to take the suit away from Peter.

And Peter cries. He tries to justify why he should keep the suit. But his justification is as bad as his decisions. It gives Tony another reason for taking the suit back.

But I am nothing without this suit!

It is as if Peter ties all of his self-worth to this suit. This suit is what makes him him. Without it, he would lose not only his best qualities but also himself.

Tony must be a bad man for doing all that to Peter.

Well, Tony told him why he was taking it away. Peter probably did not get that right then because he was angry. But he definitely learned the lesson by the end of the movie.

If you are nothing without this suit, then you shouldn’t have it.

Clear. Honest. And plain simple.

It was as if Tony was saying, “If this suit is what makes you you, then you are doing it wrong. What makes you the Spider-man should have nothing to do with this suit.”

Now let us take this and apply it to our daily lives.

Where Is Your Suit?

You are not Spider-man. You are [insert your name here].

Just as Peter thought he needs a suit to be Spider-man, you sometimes believe that you need a [suit] to be [insert your name here again].

And you believe that you are nothing without this (suit). You believe that this damn (suit) is why you are of any good and worth. And were you to lose it, you would be nothing.

Here are a few examples of the suits that we wear and blend in and tie all of our self-worth to:

  • Relationships. This is a big one. I cannot live without him/her.
  • Job titles. I am an engineer. I am a programmer. I am a teacher. I am an entrepreneur.
  • Expensive shit. I have a nice car. I have this big, beautiful house. I have this big company.
  • Social status. I have 5000 friends on Facebook and 15k followers on Instagram. I am popular, and everybody knows me.


Those are examples of popular suits.

But I believe every one of us has a few unique suits that fit our personal situations and lives. Find those, too.

Usually, they are roles that you play or possessions that you own. You find them by dismissing them and seeing how that affects your self-esteem.

Here Is Why You Should Not Have (It) If You Are Nothing Without It

Because you will have it for the wrong reasons.

You will not have a relationship because you want intimacy, but rather because you derive your self-worth from having a romantic relationship or an attractive partner.

Your job title does not only describe what you do but also makes you sound important.

Those are not the original reasons those things should exist in your life.

You will likely have all that to fill a void inside of you and elevate your self-worth.

And should you lose it, you will lose your sense of self.

And because you tie your self-worth to this something, letting go of it means letting go of what makes you you.

You will be worried about losing it. And this worry and anxiety will make you desperate and needy.

All this neediness, in turn, will make you more likely to lose this thing in the first place and suffer when you lose it.

Suddenly, those things you cling to, your suits, will become what sucks the joy out of your life. They will become dangerous weapons that will destroy your self-esteem instead of building it.

Getting your self-worth from your roles and possessions, and then being needy to ensure you do not lose them, is a recipe for an emotional disaster. You will most probably end up losing them and yourself.

Spider-man Did The Right Thing

After losing the suit, Peter Parker accepted the loss and moved on.

Sure, he was devastated. He was frustrated and probably angry.

But he did not dwell on what could have been and what should have been.

He did not call Mr. Stark crying at night and begging to get his suit back. And he did not believe that his life was over.

Instead, he started doing many things he had neglected when he was so caught up using and abusing his suit.

He used to neglect school. Now he has started to focus more on studying and other school activities. He started taking care of himself. Heck, he even finally asked Liz out!!

He started accepting the loss of the suit. He gave up trying to get it back. He gave up trying to be Spider-man.

Most importantly, he started investing more in Peter Parker and what he believes in.

How do I know that?

Because when the time came and he needed to be Spider-man and save people’s lives (the real purpose of being a superhero anyway!), he stepped up to the challenge and became that amazing Spider-man without the suit.

He fought without the suit not for the thrill of being a superhero, but for a real cause and a real call, and he did save the day.

He saved the day not because he was cool –he actually sucked without the suit– but because he did the right thing.

And in my own opinion, if Spider-man, or Iron Man, was nothing without his suit, then he does not deserve it. If the suit was what makes him him, anyone can wear it and be another superhero.

It’s about the person inside the suit, not the suit itself.

Now, what about you? Let us stop talking about imaginary superheroes and talk about you doing the right thing.

When you derive your self-worth from something external, you will be a slave to it.


The anxiety. The comparison. The never-enough mentality. The neediness that follows. The constant fear of losing it. The fact that you have invested so much in it that you actually have nothing outside of it. And the list goes on.

But when this sense of worthiness comes from within, not only are you so relaxed, but you will respect yourself more.

Do not let anything, namely roles and possessions, make you think that they are what makes you worthy. Do not let anything or anyone make you believe you are nothing without them.

Are There Any Exceptions?


But there is a misconception.

Some of you may read this and decide that you will become god-like Iron Men (and women but, yes, especially men!) and that you need nothing from anyone.

That is not what I am saying.

First of all, one of the things that we all as humans need is connection. We cannot live alone or tolerate isolation. This is a need that you cannot “unneed” (I just made up a verb!).

Eating, for instance, is something you literally cannot live without; therefore, it is a need.

Similarly, connection is not a suit. It is a need.

However, you get this connection (and any other need) with respect and dignity. Otherwise, it is not really a “connection” — it is yet another suit you are nothing without.

Second, for the roles and the possessions, go ahead and be and have anything that you want. I am not saying that you should not be an entrepreneur, an engineer, or even Iron Man!

I am not saying that you cannot have some expensive shit. You just should not define your worth by what you do or have.

Do not live your life alone or stop your progress to prove that you can live without something and that you are strong on your own. That is insecurity.

Last but not least, whenever you feel that something is enslaving you, let it be a relationship or a role, or a possession, then you should be careful.

In fact, you should try and live without it. Invest in yourself without that thing. Become a superhero without a suit. Paradoxically, you might become more qualified to get it. And anyhow, you are comfortable with either case.

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