In our last article, we studied the state of dependency. It is necessary to go over that article to understand this article better. We didn’t fully deal with dependency but we will explore different aspects of it in both this article and the next one after.
Independency refers to a state of freedom from outside control or support. Independence is a step forward in human social development. As people become more comfortable, they move from dependency to independency.
So in financial independence, the individual has learnt to be sufficient without needing to rely on another individual to meet basic financial needs. Notice the keyword here is basic. Independence gives the individual the option of choice as well giving the individual a voice. Choice and voice are two powerful things and allows development and emergence of personality.
As with financial independence, in emotional independence, the individual starts to take responsibility for actions and reactions. There is now more comfort with self and not much need to seek self affirmation through others. There is a stability of mind and thought that gives the individual a greater sense of self control.
The individual doesn’t measure a relationship from the point of view of the other person but from their own internal stability system. The emotionally independent individual is less demanding in relationships because they themselves require some amount of space. They truly don’t get all the clinging and extra support required by the emotionally dependent as it can be quite tiring and demanding.
Independence is not aloofness. Aloofness is a sign of emotional dependency where the individual finds it difficult to connect to others or let go because of fear. So people find such individuals to be cold or difficult to connect to. In the rare occasion the aloof person connects, the relationship is judgmental or the person becomes too clingy. The aloof individual is still under the state of emotional dependency.
Speaking about dependency, the dependent individual is very heavy on physical cues in relationships – the calls, the hugs, the recognition of special events, words etc. these cues help to fill a void and generally make the person feel whole. The truth is that the dependent individual while thinking they are selfless and caring about the other partner are actually selfish and self centered. There are extremes of dependency where the individual really has no sense of self worth and endures maltreatment at the hands of others.
Most independent individuals gain their independence from childhood. They have grown up in homes with a strong surport system that gave them the strength to pass and fail without fear. They were allowed to experiment within boundaries and grew up strong. Others acquire these dependency when a live altering event happen to them. These events include when they truly yield their lives to Christ and recognize him as their Lord and master or when they go through a harrowing experience that didn’t break them. When an individual faces the giants and monsters in their lives head on, they either realize those monsters don’t exist and learn to move on.
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The truth is that emotional dependency comes from deep rooted emotional fear caused by an unhealed scar in one’s emotional developmental process. Those scars are sublime and control the individual without them realizing. Several things contribute- family divorce, unhealthy family environments, rape or sexual abuse, bullying, sudden loss of family prestige due to death or loss of financial status of breadwinner, unrequited love etc.
The emotionally independent individual doesn’t feel the need to run constant demanding health checks on the relationship. The problem with this kind of individual is that they sometimes don’t run any checks at all. They are satisfied in assuming that the other individual is comfortable and may not even notice cues when the relationship is in trouble.
The emotionally independent person could go a whole day or day’s without a call or check up not because they don’t care but because they believe they might be caught up in something else. To them, relationships is like wifi, you resume once you are within the Wifi coverage area no question asked.
Partners are attracted to the independent type. They really aren’t short of partners. There is strength partners recognize and want to tap into. Sometimes, the independent person is too strong and walks away from promising relationships without taking time to allow the relationship develop. Because they in essence “don’t need anyone” they can be quite impatient in relationships when their expectations are not met. This is one reason they find sometimes find themselves unmarried despite possessing all the requisite qualities.
Let’s stop here. We continue in the next article where we will discuss co-dependency.
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