Self-esteem And Emotional Dependence

Self-esteem and emotional dependence

Humans are social beings. We like to make others happy and share things with them. But can the need for approval be harmful? Yes it can. In fact, this need is a cause of emotional addiction.

Do you want to please everyone, or at least those who are really important to you? Who are the important people in your life? Do they have to agree to everything you do? We invite you to ask yourself these questions and then answer them.

It is one thing to know what you want to do and what you want to get approval from your loved ones for. It’s another thing to think that something is only worth doing if the whole world loves you for it. This is a subtle, yet hugely important, difference.

“If you are not good at loving yourself, you will find it difficult to love anyone because the time and energy you devote to another person will not seem like a wise investment.”

Barbara de A n gelis

What is Emotional Addiction?

Emotionally dependent people need affection, attention, and approval from others to an unhealthy degree. They have an irrational fear of loneliness and abandonment, which makes them even more submissive in their interpersonal relationships. They also have a great desire for exclusivity, stating, for example, that they could not imagine life without their partner.

Woman weeps against a man's breast

And so they present a persistent pattern of emotional needs that they cannot satisfy themselves. They try to get over them by making inappropriate connections with others. They develop asymmetrical relationships and justify their actions by subordinating them to the goal of maintaining the relationship.

“The worst loneliness is not being comfortable with yourself.”

Mark Twain

And that’s not all. They crave protection and affection so intensely that they lose themselves in the relationship and in the desire to keep it at all costs – regardless of the actual quality of the relationship. You establish intense and unstable bonds. Of course we all want to be loved, but we wouldn’t give anything for it, would we?

How does emotional dependence affect psychological wellbeing?

The problem with being emotionally dependent on others is that if you don’t get the attention and affection you want, you can irrationally question your own worth . In combination with the doubts about appreciation by others, this has a strongly negative influence on one’s own emotions and self-esteem. You start to feel rejected, denied, or abandoned. The resulting sadness is overly intense, which can lead to a vicious cycle of emotional emptiness, chronic dissatisfaction, and depression.

But not only that: The fear of being alone makes you do everything to avoid the dreaded loneliness, which increases the symptoms of anxiety. If they suspect they might be lonely, they become extremely nervous and throw themselves into toxic relationships.

Healthy self-esteem can remove emotional dependence

As you can imagine, emotionally dependent people have low self-esteem and think badly of themselves. This leads to an even greater need for support and affection. You depend on others to feel good about yourself.

Woman clutching heart

The only person you will spend your whole life with is yourself. Therefore, your well-being should not depend on the approval of others, but on yourself. This means that the first person you should try to please with your actions should be you are yourself.

“People who want the most recognition get the least, and people who need recognition least get the most.”

Wayne Dyer

But what can you do to love yourself more A simple exercise is to do something every day that makes you feel good, both physically and mentally. It may take some effort at first as most of us are not used to pampering ourselves, but with your time you will create positive feelings about yourself. This way, you will avoid falling prey to pathological emotional addiction. So go ahead and love yourself!

Images courtesy of Rebecca Matthews, Adam Jang, and Hope House Press

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