Is there someone you feel like you can’t live without? Have you uttered statements like “I don’t think I can exist without you”, “I can’t live without you” “if you leave me, I wouldn’t know how to exist” and meant it from the bottom of your heart? Then you need to take a step back and revaluate your life.
It is impossible not to attach yourself to something or someone. It’s not particularly your fault, it’s the way we are wired. The issue occurs when you over attach yourself to someone and you can’t think of life without that person in it. Emotional dependency is an inability to take responsibility for your own feelings and being dependent on others to do this for you. Emotional dependency is experienced in different forms of relationships not only romantic relationships. You can be emotionally dependent on your parent, colleague, sibling, flatmate, supervisor, friend, even your neighbour. It is pertinent to always remember that you are a single entity. The relationships you formed over the years only aid your existence and you can exist without them.
A life of emotional independence is one where your mood, self-esteem, and happiness are decided by you. You are in control of your emotions and you choose if you wish to be happy or sad by yourself. Being emotionally independent and resilient is an integral part of being happy. When we depend on others for our sense of self, we never truly know who we are. We are controlled by their reaction to everything we do and don’t do. By accepting yourself and adjusting your thinking, you begin to value yourself and find happiness and inner peace.
However, there is a fine line between being emotionally independent, and being a jerk. Some people get so caught up in being true to themselves that they do inexcusable things. Being emotionally independent is not an excuse to be mean and to always get your way. You can be kind and considerate while being assertive and true to you.
So How Do You Become Emotionally Independent?
Start by asking yourself what areas of your life you think you are emotionally dependent on other people. Then ask yourself why you choose to be emotionally dependent on these people or person. Then start working on being emotionally independent by following the steps below.
First and foremost, you need to love yourself and accept yourself. Accept your flaws and imperfections. When you accept yourself, it stops you from comparing yourself to others and seeking validation from other people. You can write a list of the things you love about yourself and the things you don’t. The things you don’t love about yourself, make a plan to make them better because you believe it will make you a better version of yourself not because someone will appreciate you better that way.
Spend Time With Yourself
Do you know who you are? Learn how to carve out time for yourself within the context of a relationship. You don’t have to do every single thing with someone else present. Learn to exist on your own and develop your own interests and hobbies separate from your partner’s. You may not know this, but alone time is good for you because it builds your self-esteem and emotional independence. Two people in a romantic relationship must be two separate entities coexisting harmoniously.
“Don’t be scared to walk alone. Don’t be scared to like it.” – John Mayer
Form Relationships With Different Groups of People
After you have accepted yourself and you know who you are, then you can focus on building different types of relationships with different people. You can have friends from work, church, school, the neighbourhood, tutorial classes, dorm, etc. If you don’t have many friends or relationships, you tend to rely solely on one person and before you know it, you are emotionally dependent. Form meaningful relationships and spend time with your colleagues, friends, and family separate from your partner. This helps you split your needs around them equally.
Make Your Own Decisions
The ability to make decisions by yourself without consulting other people is a sign of emotional independence. If you have to consult other people every time you need to make a decision, then you have some work to do. When next you catch yourself thinking about calling or asking someone to help you make a minute decision such as the outfit you should wear tomorrow or how to reply a message, you need to stop yourself. Yes, the people in our lives are supposed to help us but they aren’t meant to help with everything. You should be able to make your own decisions based on your own values.
Solve Your Own Problems
What happens when the person that solves your problems is unreachable and unavailable, doesn’t the problem get solved? Exactly! Think independently, try to help yourself solve your problems. Learn from your mistakes and make better decisions next time.
Take Responsibility For Your Emotions
You are responsible for your own emotions. This means that another person’s words, actions, beliefs, or lack thereof are not and should not be responsible for how you feel at any given moment. You have power over your emotions because happiness comes from inside you. If you allow something to bother you, it will. If you choose to move on, you will realize that you can. It’s all up to you.
“You are the only person who is in charge of how you feel about yourself. Nobody else can possibly do that. You get to decide if you believe you are beautiful or not, and nobody can take it away from you. If someone suggests that you aren’t beautiful, you can consider how sad it is that they have such a limited view of beauty. You can consider how unfortunate it is that they have such an exaggerated sense of self-importance that they think you should care about what they think. You can also choose to realize that it has nothing at all to do with your beauty and everything to do with their limitations.” – Ragen Chastain
Expect Little or Nothing From Others
Live independently without expecting a lot from other people so if they don’t deliver, you are not disappointed or even if you are, you move on from it quickly. Accept the fact that the way you help people or react to things is totally different from the way another person will.
If you are emotionally independent, you will be strong, confident, resilient and in control of your emotions. You will not let someone else control your every move and you will value yourself and your contribution to the world.
Be emotionally independent.