There is a temptation in emotional dependency to focus on your significant relationship. But the key to knowing how susceptible you are too emotional dependency is to focus on your contribution to the equation. You need to become really honest and to ask yourself, “Do I have a dependent personality, or do I display dependent personality traits?” If you do, then it is likely those traits will show up in your relationships.
Do you exhibit any of these 7 traits associated with a dependent personality? They are not always easy to read and identify with, and it is understandably difficult for people to look so deeply in the
1. Emotionally dependent people have difficulty making everyday decisions without advice and reassurance.
If you’re going to going to make life changes, would talk over your decision and get opinions from family and friends. A dependent personality faces everyday decisions from a position of hesitation and fear. The difficulty is the terror of being wrong.
2. You need others to assume responsibility for many major areas of life.
Asking for help from another person in a major area of life is one thing. Expecting that other person to take over responsibility for you is another. People with dependent personalities give up control of major areas of life to another person out of fear.
3. You have difficulty disagreeing with others out of fear.
Have you ever seen that tongue-in-cheek sign that says, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, as long as it agrees with mine?” A dependent person has a variation on that sign: “I am entitled to my own opinion, as long as it agrees with yours.”
4. You struggle to start projects or do things on their own.
Dependent people fear exposure because it may cause others to realize how “worthless” they really are. They fear having failures and weaknesses on public display. One way dependent people avoid failure is to avoid taking the initiative. They don’t put themselves out in front of others by taking the initiative or promising results. If they believe they are doomed to fail at a task, they are not motivated to engage in that task; they are motivated to avoid it.
5. You feel anxious or distressed when alone, or when thinking about being alone. article continues after advertisement
Dependent people often expect the worst. They do not feel competent to live their own lives without others. Being alone means being unprotected and vulnerable. The thought of being alone to cope with whatever “worst” life throws at them is simply overwhelming. Dependent people wholeheartedly believe in Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
6. You feel responsible for fulfilling the expectations of others.
In dependency, the dependent person adopts the expectations of the other person as their own. So when the dependent person fails, they fail to meet not only the expectations of the other person but also their own. Each failure strengthens the dependent person’s damaging judgment of self.
7. You have a high need for validation and approval from others.
Dependent people can crave validation and approval as desperately as an alcoholic craves a drink or a gambler craves a jackpot. When validation and approval happen, the planets align and all is right with the person’s universe, at least until insecurity kicks in again. So any “win,” though desperately craved, is suspect as a mistake, at worst, or momentary, at best. article continues after advertisement
Accepting the truth about your dependency and emtional addiction, though difficult, is the pathway to freedom. Dependency tends to cause intense feelings and feeling abandoned makes you hold on tighter. It’s a vicious cycle that leads to depression and anxiety. To heal, you must see yourself clearly and tell the truth about yourself.
Are you ready?
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