Ask Abby: Show up or show yourself out

Graphic by Haley Morkert. 


Full disclosure: I am not a licensed therapist. Honestly, I am not licensed in anything whatsoever. I’m just a gal with lots of opinions who enjoys giving unsolicited advice to almost anyone around me. So, if this is adverse advice, you can’t sue me or my place of work. Sorry!

“I’ve been told I have too high of standards and it makes me feel very frustrated. I just want my needs to be met but I don’t want to seem unreasonable. Help?” -Loyal Reader

Good for you for knowing what you need and asking for it. A lot of people haven’t gotten to that point yet. 

I’ve totally been in your shoes, and it can be a really difficult situation. Sometimes people can make you feel crazy for asking for what you need, and that can cause a lot of guilt. Please, please don’t fall into that trap. 

I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s impossible to have standards that are too high. It’s totally possible. However, it’s totally fair — and encouraged — to require that people meet your needs, within reason. Please don’t get arrested and use this article as your excuse. 

We are human beings with unique and diverse wants and needs, and you get to have yours met. Just because they may not look like someone else’s doesn’t mean they are unreasonable or crazy or too much. 

If someone feels like your standards are unreasonable, maybe they are — to them. And maybe that’s a red flag that your standards may not be compatible. Maybe they’re just not your person, and that’s okay. 

People can show up and meet your needs, or they can show themselves directly out of your life. You don’t have to sit around waiting for something to change. Feeling pain, unfulfillment, and invisible is not a required part of the human condition. 

It can be sad and disappointing when people aren’t willing to meet your standards, and sometimes can lead to some heartbreak. It’s important to remember in these situations, though, that most of the time your needs aren’t unreasonable. Sometimes, people just suck. 

In these situations, it’s important to let those people go. Long term, it will all be worth it to have your people who truly love you for you, neediness and all. 

People who are willing to rise to your standards and meet your needs will stick around, and that can lead to feeling surrounded by people who finally get you. I promise, the people who are meant to be in your life will be there, no matter how unreasonable your needs may seem to other people. 

This might seem like a purely romantic concept, but it truly applies to any relationship you have. Whether you’ve chosen to have them in your life or they’ve been there since you came out of the womb, you get to ask people to meet your standards. 

You deserve to have your needs met, no matter what. I mean it.

Make room for sustainable and long-term relationships that are fulfilling to you. They’re out there. Go find them, and never ever stop asking for what you need. 

You are valuable, valid and loved. 



If you have a question that you’d like to see discussed in Ask Abby, feel free to contact me via email, carrier pigeon or telepathy. 


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