It has been said that someone’s younger years are a time when their caregivers are there to serve them and their adult years are a time when it is down to them to serve others. This could be seen as something that makes sense.

As a child, someone is in an undeveloped state and this is why they need to receive a lot in order to develop in the right way. Through receiving what they need, there will come a time when they are ready to give back.

An Analogy

One way to understand this would be to think about a seed and the process that it goes through to be able to produce vegetables. After it is planted, it will need water, sunlight and time to grow.

As the weeks and months go by, the seed will grow and, before long, it will produce things that can be eaten. The seed and then the plant needed a lot at the beginning, but as time passed, it was able to give a lot back.

Give And Take

Clearly, one is still going to need to receive things as an adult, but they are not going to need as much as a child does. When it comes to their personal relationships, they will be able to receive things.

They will also receive things when it comes to their career or vocation, but it will be different to when they were a child. When it comes to this area of their life, their focus will be on what they can do for others.

A Break

If they get to a point where they need to recharge their batteries, so to speak, it will be essential for them to step away. Doing this will not only benefit them, it will also benefit others.

Ultimately, if one is not in a good place it will be hard for them to fully show up, and, if they can’t fully show up, they are not going to be able to truly serve others. This is why the only way that one can fully serve others is if they make sure that they don’t neglect their own needs.


Now, if one is doing something that matches up with their values, they will probably find that what they do to serve others gives them a lot of energy. Even so, there are still going to be times when they need to take a break.

By going on holiday, for instance, they could end up coming back recharged and with a completely different outlook. Going away may inspire them to serve in a totally different way, for instance.

Another Outcome

If someone’s younger years are a time when their needs are rarely, if ever, met, it is likely to be a challenge for them to serve others as an adult. As an adult one will look like an adult, but they are not going to feel like one.

It can be as if there is a black hole within them that is never filled, no matter what they receive. Due to this, one can be more concerned about what they are going to get than what they are going to give.

Entitlement Mentality

But even though one can come across as though they simply deserve things, it doesn’t mean that they will be aware of the fact they are acting like a child. They are then not going to realise that now that they are an adult, it is down to them to give something back.

So instead of thinking about what they can give back to society, they can spend their time thinking about what society is going to do for them. These things could end up being perceived as their ‘human rights’.

Another Scenario

This is not to say that this is what will always happen if ones needs were rarely, if ever, met as a child. Alternatively, someone could spend just about every moment of their life being there for others, creating the impression that they are serving others.

In reality, however, they could be focusing on others because they feel ashamed of their own needs and believe that they are not important. One is then going to be there for others, but they will be neglecting themselves in the process.

An Illusion

As a result of this, one could have the tendency to do things for others that they should be doing for themselves. Acting more like parent - they will be trying to rescue or fix other people.

The fact is that as they were neglected during their early years, it is not possible for them to truly serve others. Still, compared with the person who is all about what they can get, they can be seen as being more evolved.

It Doesn’t Disappear

What this illustrates is that even if someone’s needs were not met during their early years, it doesn’t mean that they will just be able to go to the next stage of their development. They will most likely end up being developmentally stunted as an adult.

The time for them to get these needs met will have passed, yet the pain of not getting these needs met will have stayed within them. This pain will most likely need to be processed for them to be able to grow up.


If one can see that they are consumed by their own needs or that they neglect themselves, and they want to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or a healer.

Author's Bio: 

Teacher, prolific writer, author, and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over two thousand, one hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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