You cannot encourage enough. You cannot inflate his/her ego enough. The emotionally needy partner is one of the most difficult partners to be involved with; as they have an insatiable exhausting requirement of always needing a compliment, edification, pat on the back, or some kudos for everything they do and say.
They lack self-confidence, self-esteem, are very insecure, and overly sensitive. This makes them easily offended; dull in understanding, difficult to communicate with, quick to become angry, and their view of truth is skewed, because they are all about feeling, versus truth. This means they have a hard time outgrowing emotional deficiency.
The needy partner is easily frustrated and shuts down. They often lash out in behavior making the environment uncomfortable. They become inverted, withdrawn and somber. This makes them poor communicators, because they do more internalizing than communicating. Since their perception is wrapped around feeling, this leaves no room for objective thought, therefore being in a conflict with him/her mostly end in misunderstandings without much resolve, because the only thing they generally understand are feelings— not logic.
You can never quite determine which comment or behavior he/she will perceive as an attack or insult. The partner of the emotionally needy must over accommodate in order to protect the emotional partner. This is especially necessary in public or social settings. It is difficult to take them anywhere, because one word could set him/her off on an emotional tangent. You must babysit their feelings.
You cannot provide constructive criticism and be free to say what you want, as it very well may be taken as a verbal strike.
You must always explain yourself. It is not that you will be directly accused of anything; they do not like conflict. The conversations will be more on the order of an emotional backlash of what he/she thinks you are feeling about. This will force you to continually validate their feelings.
Anytime there is need for an act of good in helping others, you will find the needy partner volunteering. This is generally not done from the goodness of his/her heart. It is more about how you or the recipient makes him/her feel about the deed they do. No kudos or not enough praise? Their works become very scarce and they will become unreliable.
They have no problem recalling what they have done for you, but their memory of what you have done for them is really short. Rather than remember the good you have done on his/her behalf, they become high minded on their own works. This is not that they are building confidence. This is more about the kudos which gives them the false illusion of confidence. Little do they know that confidence comes from within.
In being high minded they become undependable, and slow to show up to do what was promised. Once they have you in a place where you need them, they pull back— knowing you are depending on them. This type of controlling power has meaning for them. This feeds their ego.
They are selfish, because it is not for goodness sake that they do. It is for the sake of being overly complimented, which is their motive behind the act, yet they are too selfish to give compliments. Perhaps if they put out the extra compliments they require, maybe they would find out just how exhausting of a partner they are.
If you cross them, their heart becomes hardened towards you. Crossing them is not about betrayal or deceit. You never really make it to these levels with them. They feel crossed by misinterpreting what you have said and how they feel about what was said. It is the emotional minutia by which they are driven.
During times of conflict, the longer they feel, the more their accusations are false and logically unfounded. If you bring anything accusatory, he/she will inaccurately try to parallel a similar accusation back at you. When angered his/her feeling is beyond logic or reason. This makes them unreasonable to deal with. Truth is not what they are after— only the validation and security of their feelings.
They invert into an emotional cocoon and when this is done you lose the affection, and attentiveness. The relationship is not the same again.
There is way to reverse this. There must be a self-reality check performed by the needy partner. Truth is a necessity in order to understand that the obsessive need for extreme validation and edification is indicative of the lack of self-love and respect. They have neglected themselves, which is why they need everyone else to pay so much attention. Rather than look at the good they do, they need to be honest as to why they do it. Look at the good of others, and praise their works. If they look at their partner realistically, other than seeing them as a babysitter of their feelings, they just may learn what strength looks like and in comparison learn how to be stronger.