What is emotional dependence? How can we identify it? How can we differentiate it from love?
Signs of emotional dependence
Emotional dependence is the affective need for presence or contact of one person with another to cover different areas of one’s life , which is conditioned by what the other person does or does not do.
We’re talking about emotional dependence…
- When your self-esteem is relegated to someone else.
- When the hours of your day are marked by the presence or absence of the other person .
- When your daily goal is basically to receive that person’s message or call.
- If from all your surroundings one person takes away all your attention and attachment.
- If you get happy when you communicate with that person and if this does not happen you feel sad .
- If your emotions depend on the actions of the other person.
- If you feel that you cannot be without seeing or being with a certain person .
- When your whole universe comes down to that person.
If the bond with that person becomes harmful, involving more unpleasant things than positive things, walk away. Let it go. Even if it hurts. It may be difficult, expensive, but… what is the cost you are willing to pay to continue that relationship that makes you so unhappy?
What can we do to avoid suffering from this?
Listen to yourself, observe yourself. What impact does this emotional pain have on you? Are you able to bear it as long as you continue this bond?
If it’s love, it shouldn’t hurt . We are used socially and culturally to the fact that it is valid to suffer for love, to die for love, to need the other to live, to be happy. We see it in novels, we hear it in songs like “Without you, I am nothing”, “I need you”.
Phrases that are so naturalized that they subtly incorporate the idea, and it takes just a little bit of vulnerability to believe it. But that’s not the reality.
The reality is that you don’t need anyone concrete to live, to breathe, to be happy . In fact, you do need someone: yourself. You need to love, value, and respect yourself. You are going to live with yourself for the rest of your life. And one of the most rewarding things about growing up is being and feeling independent. In every way. Although it is not easy to assume financial independence, in many cases it is more difficult to assume emotional independence.
This does not mean having to solve everything individually in life, not being a couple or believing oneself to be omnipotent. It means that if we need help we should ask for it but not become attached to that person, permanently and exclusively. A healthy way of socializing and exchanging help with others refers to the flexibility and variability of resources so as not to fall into a rut. There are many ways to help each other.
The steps to follow
First of all, we must recognize that we are going through a problematic, unpleasant, toxic situation : in this case we are talking about a relationship that is wearing us out, deteriorating little by little. At this point it would be interesting to evaluate what kind of relationship it is and what unites them: is it love? Is it an obsession? Is it a necessity? Is it a habit?
Second, we must accept the harmful nature of the bond and be encouraged to make the decision to walk away, to take a healthy distance.
Thirdly, we must seek resources that will make it easier for us to carry out that decision. Both internal and external resources.
The strengthening of self-esteem is one of the main keys and can be generated with self-care behaviours that reward us, return our love for ourselves. Asking for help from a professional, starting some sport, recreational, playful or solidarity activity, going out with friends or family, generating new social circles. To build or rebuild a path of our own is fundamental to be able to undertake the path of detachment from that which generates us more harm than good. That which harms us.
Take care of yourself, take care of your self-esteem, take care of your dignity, your identity, take care of who you are. Value yourself, respect yourself and make yourself respected.