There is a difference between needy, pathologically needy people and those who are needful.  Mark Goulston tells us what that difference is:

Pathologically needy people can gut you emotionally or financially, or both. These are the people who send the messages: “I need you to solve all of my problems.” “I can’t function without you.” “My happiness depends totally on you.” “If you leave me, I’ll die.” Unlike needful people— who ask for help only when they need it and appreciate it when they get it— needy people demand constant help and attention, use emotional blackmail to get it, and offer gratitude only if it keeps you on the hook. Perpetually needy people suck the life out of you, because no matter what you do for them, it’s never enough. They don’t lean toward you for occasional support; they lean on you until they crush you. And once they latch on to you, they’ll almost never leave. (Why on earth would they?) Try to pry them off, and they’ll grab on even tighter. Needy people refuse to make decisions or handle issues on their own. They want you to spend hours holding their hand and helping them sort through their life problems. You’ll handle one crisis only to find them weeping inconsolably over the next one. And you’ll sink deeper and deeper in the quicksand each time you try to pull them out. You’ll also feel depressed and incompetent if you spend too much time with a needy person, because you’ll knock yourself out and hear nothing in return except, “I’m still broken. I’m still sad. You’ve failed. You promised to save me but you didn’t.”

From Mark Goulston in Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone (pp. 95-96). AMACOM; 2009. Kindle Edition.

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