I think we often seek to meet the needs in others that we recognize in ourselves. It’s a bit like the whole love languages thing. We love others the way we want to experience love. We speak the way we hear. I know I do this.
For me, being encouraged and affirmed is a huge deal. So I make it a point to do this for others, whether or not that’s meaningful for them.
But I didn’t always do this. I didn’t always look for ways to fill up in others what I felt lacking in myself. Instead I thought, “If I’m lacking it, how can I fill others up?” Or “If I’m lacking, why should I have to fill others up? That’s not fair!” I think filling others up can have a payback though. Not always, and I wouldn’t count on it, but I think it can. And that’s worth it.