Emotional Dependency versus Love
Google offers 5,890,000 results for ‘emotional dependency’, and yet I am determined to add another one.
“There are realities we all share, regardless of our nationality, language, or individual tastes. As we need food, so do we need emotional nourishment: love, kindness, appreciation, and support from others. We need to understand our environment and our relationship to it. We need to fulfil certain inner hungers: the need for happiness, for peace of mind, for wisdom.” ~ J, Donald Walters.
Discussing in this hub emotional dependency on other people and not on on substances like drugs, jobs and hobbies, we will hear an outcry of denial - adults not admitting that they are emotional dependent.
Even some married couples will try to assure us that they don't need each other; children will try to assure us that they don't need their parents; people will try to assure us that they don't need friends.
They would say, "I would be happy on an island all by myself."
Then, all of a sudden their circumstances change and they are indeed alone for all to see how strong their emotional dependency really was. They might try alcohol, tranquillizers, part-time lovers, mind-blowing adventures, religion, pets, an extra job (responsibilities) - anything able to be an emotional crutch as good as the one they have lost.
Those who are successful are rewarded with a compliment: "Wow! S/he is like a cat - always lands on their feet."
To clarify the meaning of the word dependency:
- The state of relying on or being controlled by someone or something else;
- Being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming.
The state of relying on or being controlled by someone or something else –
This is an ego-smacker. Our pride will not allow us to admit we have relied on somebody to give us the emotional security we need to feel totally contented. Nor will it allow us to admit that we allowed somebody to control us. The truth, however, is we did exactly that. Because we are alive. Like all creatures on this planet we depend on other creatures and the sooner we accept our dependent nature, the sooner we will be our so-called independent self after the loss of an emotional crutch.
Being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming -
Now here some of us will firmly object to the words ‘abnormally tolerant to’, while we are in fact abnormally tolerant to any person that makes us feel good, even to them who is not at all good for us, like an unreasonable parent with bad habits, or a possessive friend, or an ungrateful child or abusive employer.
We will also query the word ‘habit-forming’, while a habit is in fact an established custom, though it could be bad or good. Having breakfast in the morning and not afternoon is a habit, kissing and hugging are habits, reading, writing, watching TV are nothing but habits. Personally I do not know of any action that could not be regarded as a good or a bad habit. We acquire it, practice it and/or quit it.
An uncompleted list of emotional needs -
- To feel like a loved baby/child, we need a loving mother, or a substitute;
- To feel like a save and protected child, we need a loving father, or a substitute;
- To feel like a clever child able to achieve high goals, we need a loving teacher, or a substitute;
- To feel like a meaningful person, we need loving relatives, friends and co-workers who appreciate our talents and contributions, or substitutes;
- To feel like a man, we need the love and admiration of a woman, or a substitute;
- To feel like a woman, we need the love and admiration of a man, or a substitute;
- And so forth….
This brings us to Emotional Dependency versus Love. We need love, either from the real Mackay or its substitute in order to feel save, protected, meaningful, worthy and strong enough to handle life with all its ups and downs.
So why not just ADMIT that being human means being an emotional dependent?
We 'need’, therefore we are human.
Our weakness lies in our inability to find proper and healthy emotional crutches.
Emotional dependency versus emotional immaturity
There is a difference between emotional dependency and emotional immaturity. The emotional immature person tend to choose fragile and unreliable emotional crutches - things that bereave them from perennial peace and joy. The emotional matured will choose things that will increase their own strength and power.
The emotional mature person will say 'I love you', knowing the true meaning of their words - "I depend emotionally on you - I need to love you; I need to be loved by you."
Qualities of emotional matured people:
(Don’t confuse them with egoists and narcissists. Emotional matured people compel admiration, respect and trust.)
- They love themselves in spite of their failures and shortcomings. They don’t need the approval, attention and recognition of others in order to feel worthy and meaningful.
- They know and trust their own feelings.
- They are not afraid of rejection. They know their own capacity; they know that they are not gods doing miracles as far as they go.
- They are not afraid to be alone, never feel empty or bored; they don’t have anxiety disorders.
- They are not jealous, possessive and don’t become victims of such people.
- They don’t feel offended when others ignore them or their advice.
- They don’t get angry when others criticize them; they use critic to improve themselves, or they ignore what comes from ignorant fools. "Eagles don't catch flies', is their motto.
- They feel comfortable in the presence of other people.
- When negative feelings like sadness, frustration and anger rise in them, they don’t blame others - they know the demons in their own soul.
- They don’t expect from others to protect, lead, entertain, respect or love them. They CAN depend on more reliable crutches.
- They know what they need and choose crutches that can make them stronger, healthier and wiser.
© Martie Coetser
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Registered :: 2013-06-08 16:54:20
Title :: http://martiecoetser.hubpages.com/hub/Emotional-dependency
Category :: Article Hub
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- Published on 6 May 2011
- Updated on 8 June 2013
“Each makes this cosmos and its construction the pivot of his emotional life, in order to find in this way peace and security which he can not find in the narrow whirlpool of personal experience. ~ Albert Einstein
“The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical.” ~ Julius Erving