Emotional Support: Is Emotional Support Important?

Dr. Purushothaman
January 13, 2014


It is often said that human beings are either independent or dependent and while it can look this way, ultimately we are all interdependent. No one is their own island and each one of us is reliant on others in some way.
This is not to say that everyone has this outlook: Some people can believe that they don't need anyone and others can feel that they can't handle life by themselves. In the first scenario one is rejecting all support from others and in the second scenario; one is out of touch with their own inner support.
Each one of us has a physical body that needs to be supported through food, water and air amongst other things. In this day and age, most people rely on others to supply them with the food they need. This could be from a supermarket, restaurant, takeaway or market stall. In some cases people grow their own produce, but this is often the exception.
Then there are mental needs and this can include the desire to: learn, talk, teach and write. Emotional needs are also very important and these cover a wide range of things. From wanting to be heard, supported, held and loved.
And now matter what need is mentioned, they all have a role to play. It might be possible to ignore some of them and still survive, but in order to thrive; each one of them needs to be taken care off.
The Forgotten Need's
It is normal for one to take care of their physical needs and this is because if they didn't, they wouldn't live for very long. And ones mental needs can be met fairly easily through some kind of education or by reading and talking to others.
What are not always as easy to fulfill are ones emotional needs. These can be ignored and one could still survive; it won't be too fulfilling. So as a result of this, they are often overlooked.
And this can happen at a personal level and go on to include how a society is structured. However, just because these needs are covered up, it doesn't mean that they will no longer be there.
Emotional needs
The need to feel supported, loved, heard and held, can then be channeled into other ways. And ways that might not result in these needs being met, but the pain that arises as a result of them not being met will lessen for a while
One could then engage in a whole myriad of escapes to deal with the pain of not feeling emotionally supported. This could include the following options: over eating, engaging in casual encounters, using alcohol or drugs, overworking, over exercising, becoming ill, being violent and many other things.
The Reasons
So as it is so vital that someone takes care of their emotional needs, it would seem strange that this doesn't always take place in a healthy and functional way. In reality, it is rarely this simply or easy.
Although one has these emotional needs, it doesn't mean that one feels comfortable with them or empowered enough to have them met by others. This is not to say that this is only the case with people who don't have many friends or who are single.
As one can have many friends and even have a partner, and yet still feel that they are not emotionally supported. What will typically define whether one feels emotionally supported by others or not, is how they view their emotional needs.
If one feels that they deserve to have their emotional needs met by others, their behaviour will follow suit. And the people that they attract and are attracted to will reflect this feeling. To them, their emotional needs are not something to feel ashamed of or embarrassed about and so they have no trouble getting them met in most cases.
They won't try to get them met by people who can't meet them and they will embrace people who can. But when one doesn't feel that they deserve to have their emotional needs met by others, their behaviour will show this.
The people they attract and are attracted to will reflect how they feel about their needs. For them, needs are something to be ashamed of and one may feel guilty or embarrassed for having them. And as this is what is going on internally, it will mean that it will be a real challenge to get them met, it might even seem impossible.
The Conflict
As these emotional needs are so important to ones wellbeing, it can be confusing as to why someone could feel uncomfortable with them. If one was uncomfortable with eating, then they would surely die. But when it comes to emotional needs, one could take their life due to the pain and yet it is also likely they will lead a life that feels lonely and empty.
At some point in their life they will have learnt that it's not possible to have their emotional needs met. This could have been picked up during ones adult years or based on what happened when one was a child.
The childhood years are when one first learns if their needs are important or not. So if one had caregivers that generally responded to them, they would learn that it is safe to have them, that there important and to feel comfortable with them. And they would come to see that they have a sense of control over whether they are met or not.
When this doesn't occur and ones caregivers generally ignored their needs, one would come to see that it is not safe to have them. This means that one would feel uncomfortable with their needs. And as a consequence of this neglect, one would feel powerless to get their needs met and feel that they are not important. So feeling ashamed and guilty for having them is then normal based on what took place.
So these early experiences would have created inner conflict and this conflict then stops one form getting them met. When one didn't get these needs met, it would have caused one to feel certain feelings and emotions. These would then have become trapped in the body.
And as these are faced and released, one will gradually start to feel comfortable with their needs and gradually begin to get them met. This can be done with the assistance of a therapist or a healer.

Read Related Recent Articles