How to overcome Emotional Dependency
We often rely on others for emotional support and empathy when we face problems in our lives. But when this need for help becomes a dependency, it creates problems in our life and the person we rely on. This, in turn, affects our mental well-being and our relationships with others. Here are some tips to overcome emotional dependency.
Emotional dependency is good but to an extent only. It doesn’t sound really bad until you start projecting your emotions onto others. We often depend on our loved ones when we need emotional support. When we face challenges in our life we always long for someone who can offer empathy and listen to our problems and validate our feelings.
But when this emotional dependency exceeds the point where you are incapable of taking full responsibility for your feeling, this becomes a threat to your mental health and also to your loved ones and the relationships you have with them.
No doubt, you need to have an understanding person who can be patient with you and know how to handle your emotional breakdown, and offer a helping hand when you cry out for their support. But what will you do if you are on a roller coaster ride of emotional waves and can’t find a way to get out of it or the person you longed for couldn’t help you the way you wanted to? Obviously, you’ll blame the person and this will affect your relationship with that person. So, instead of depending on others for the validation of your emotions, you should find ways to overcome emotional dependency.
Let me help you with that. Before starting let’s look at the spectrum of emotional dependency.
What Is Emotional Dependency And How It Is Affecting Your Mental Health
Emotional dependency is a paradigm where one excessively relies on others for emotional support, validation, assurance, and a sense of self-worth. It happens when a person becomes overly dependent on someone else for their approval of the feelings and emotions they are dealing with. They often find it difficult to function independently and regulate their emotions without the approval of others.
People with emotional dependency feel incomplete without the reassurance, attention, or affection from the people they depend on. They expect others to define their self-worth, make decisions for them, or provide a sense of purpose or security in life. This dependence may sometimes lead to the fear of abandonment and a constant urge for reassurance.
Emotional dependency can be caused by past traumas, lack of self-esteem, insecurity, lack of self-love, or emotionally unavailable partners.
While looking for support and empathy from others is considered normal in any healthy relationship, emotional dependency may affect your personal growth, peace of mind, and also your relationship with others. It can lead to a pattern of unhealthy relationships, emotional breakdowns, high levels of stress, self-sabotaging behaviors, and an unstable coping mechanism.
How To Overcome Emotional Dependency
Emotionally independent people know how to cope with their emotions and handle their problems on their own. They don’t rely on others for their happiness. Consequently, they live a happy and healthy life with a positive, stress-free, and peaceful state of mind.
Overcoming emotional dependency can be a challenging and painful ordeal, and you might have to face situations where you feel like quitting everything. But with consistent efforts and dedication, self-awareness, and inner strength, it is possible to overcome emotional dependency and make healthier relationships with oneself and others.
1. Awareness of one’s emotional state: Be honest with yourself. Acknowledge your pattern of emotions. Don’t abandon them; instead, recognize that this dependency doesn’t make you a weak person. Emotions are the greatest gift of humankind. You’re not a robot, you have emotions and sometimes situations make it difficult for you to handle them properly. But you have to understand that excess emotional dependency can be unhealthy for both yourself and the people you depend on.
2. Look yourself in the mirror: It means self-reflection on the stem of your emotional dependency. Take time to understand why you have become emotionally dependent on someone. Try to find the source of your dependency, and reflect on past experiences, childhood traumas, upbringing, or any other situation that may have contributed to this pattern.
3. Take account of your emotional needs: Now as you know more about your emotional mindset, you can take your time to find ways to overcome it. It’s normal to take time apart to deal with your emotions on your own. If you want to, disconnect yourself from everyone for a little while to know yourself better. People who love you will understand your situation and will give you space and time and wait for you patiently when you try to heal yourself. Make yourself a priority and try to work on yourself while you’re taking time away from people.
4. Built self-esteem through personal needs: Work on building healthy habits, developing a strong sense of self-worth and self-confidence. Engage yourself in activities that give you happiness and peace, find your hobbies, set personal goals and work on achieving them and practice self-care activities.
5. Ask for help when in need: Emotionally dependent people can’t communicate their needs properly. Instead, they want the other person to read their mind. This isn’t going to help you. Being vulnerable is not a bad thing. So, when you’re in a state of confusion try to communicate with the other person about it. Also, try to expand your support network of friends and family. Having a diverse group of people to turn to for emotional support can help reduce dependency on one person.
6. Set boundaries in relationships: Set boundaries in your relationships and communicate appropriately about them. It’s not bad for asking how and what you want in a relationship. If they can’t positively take your boundaries, walk away from it. Learn to say no as and when necessary and prioritize your own needs and well-being.
7. Be bold, be independent: Realize your value and self-worth, accept that you’re just a human with emotions, and you’re not unlovable or unworthy of anything you want. You deserve love and affection. Most importantly love yourself enough so that no situation can take away your peace and self-love. Engage yourself in activities that make you feel proud of yourself and fulfilled outside of your relationships. This will make you more self-reliant and less dependent on others.
Emotional dependency behavior might be a long-term effect of past encounters. So you’ll not improve them overnight. Take small steps, one at a time. No need to rush the process. Trust your inner strength and willpower. Overcoming emotional dependency takes time and effort. It is a gradual process that requires patience, self-compassion, and persistence. Be patient and kind to yourself throughout the process. Stay persistent with the process of developing your coping mechanism and prioritize yourself and your well-being. Taking small steps and prioritizing personal well-being can lead to healthier relationships and increased emotional independence.