Love implies mutual respect and acceptance of the other person as they are. An emotionally dependent person will feel the need to change or control the other person in order to feel satisfied. This is the same mechanism found in narcissistic perverts, who also control the person in their grip. Finally, real love must involve a degree of independence and a satisfying personal life for both partners. Emotional dependence often leads to an unhealthy fusion with the other person. This leads to a loss of personal identity and interests.
Emotional dependency is undeniably difficult to overcome. Fortunately, it can be overcome with time, patience and effort. Above all, you need to put certain behaviours and attitudes into practice.
- Accepting that you are emotionally dependent
The first step in freeing yourself from emotional dependency is to become aware of the situation. You have to acknowledge that it exists and that you suffer from it. This means admitting that you have a problem and that you need help to solve it. You then have to face up to your own fears and insecurities. However, it is possible to detect the signs of emotional dependence.
A strong fear of abandonment and a constant need to be in relationship with others. Even if these relationships are toxic or unsatisfying. Compulsive behaviour such as constantly nagging your partner, watching their every move or constantly seeking reassurance about your feelings.
A tendency to forget oneself and put one’s own needs aside to meet the demands and expectations of others.
Repeated relationships, often characterised by imbalances, cycles of break-up and reconciliation, or feelings of insecurity and anxiety.
- Understanding where the disorder comes from
Emotional dependence can stem from a number of factors. Most often, they stem from the person’s childhood. Over time, these problems develop into fears, leading to emotional dependence. This may be due to neglect, abandonment, abuse or the absence of a secure attachment with parents. This will lead to a tendency to seek security and validation through interpersonal relationships.
Emotional dependence can also be caused by negative beliefs about oneself, dysfunctional relationships or loneliness. Stress, anxiety and negative emotions can also increase the need for reassurance and comfort through interpersonal relationships.
Self-confidence is a key element in reducing emotional dependence. To work on self-esteem, you need to learn to value yourself. You need to be able to recognise your qualities and be proud of your achievements.
Self-confidence also has a lot to do with a sense of achievement. So you need to set yourself achievable goals. Achieving them can help you feel more confident and develop a sense of control over your life. You need to take the time to reflect on your values, interests and needs. This will help you to understand yourself better and to make decisions that are in tune with yourself.
- Daring to leave your comfort zone
To free yourself from emotional dependency, you have to dare to leave your comfort zone. This can be difficult, but it can also be a source of personal enrichment and development. First of all, you have to dare to take risks. Do unusual things and experiment more. Learning new skills is a great way to get out of your comfort zone.
- Trusting yourself
Learning to listen to ourselves and to discern what is good for us is essential if we are to avoid needing people’s approval and depending on their judgements. To free yourself from emotional dependence, it’s important to start by working on yourself. You need to eliminate limiting beliefs and negative thoughts. Self-esteem is one of the pillars of self-confidence. You need to take care of yourself and your body. Then you have to learn to appreciate yourself as you are. To be more confident, you have to listen to your intuition and follow your own path. Even if that means going against what others expect. Finally, you must avoid at all costs toxic people who undermine your confidence in yourself and your abilities.
- Learn to love yourself
Emotional dependency is often linked to a lack of self-esteem. It is important to learn to love yourself in order to free yourself from this dependency. To do this, you have to start accepting yourself as you are. With our qualities and our faults. You also have to learn to say “no” when you don’t feel comfortable with something or a situation. You have to earn respect, define your limits and not overstep them. Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. So learn to forgive yourself and focus on the future rather than the past.
- Asserting your personality
If you want to get out of emotional dependency, you have to know how to make the most of yourself. The aim is to assert your personality. People who are emotionally dependent tend to say yes to everything in order to please the other person. So you have to learn to say no in order to assert yourself. You no longer have to take a back seat to please others. Nor should you make decisions based on what others expect of you. To assert your personality, you must also dare to be different. Not accepting being cast in a mould.
- Set yourself personal goals
To live a fulfilled life without being emotionally dependent, you need to set yourself personal goals. You need to focus on yourself and develop a clear vision of what you want to achieve in life. Reflecting on yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, passions, values, interests, ambitions, etc. helps you to define goals that are in line with your personal aspirations. To achieve these goals, it is important to put in place a concrete action plan. Refocusing on yourself allows you to develop other interests. You have your own world and leave your partner his.
Emotional dependency is harmful both to the person suffering from it and to the person to whom it is directed. The former lives in constant stress and anxiety, while the latter feels suffocated. This creates a situation of imbalance that will lead to conflict and arguments within the couple. One partner constantly needs to be reassured and the other may feel powerless in the face of this situation.
By taking the step of freeing yourself from emotional dependence, you can break free from the vicious circle of toxic relationships that follow one another. But, most importantly of all, the emotionally dependent person is finally able to blossom and enter into relationships, whatever they may be, without feeling the fear of abandonment and the need for control.