The bipolar importance of Independence! Well-being lessons to learn on Independence Day
I have been thinking, every year Independence Day is celebrated with much joy, firework and cook outs. The nation comes together to celebrate freedom from a foreign power. Such celebration is a patriotic act and what makes it even better is the double holiday pay or the day off with family and friends.
However, as a well-being coach, I cannot help it but to try to look beyond politic and make better use of this day.
Here is my 2 cents, about the concept of dependency and mental health on this Independent Day!
Independence is such a bipolar concept: it is essential to happiness, yet it can damage human relationships.
Lets take a look at both Dependency & Independence :
Danger of Dependence:
Here, I am not talking about alcohol or substance dependence; I am talking about dependence of anything and anyone to help us find happiness in life.
When it comes to mental health, what drags people into sadness, down times, depression, stress, and dissatisfaction in general is how they depend on others, on events, and on dreams to make them happy!
This is not to say, all mentioned factors are not important in life, but it is to say the dependence on them is a problem:
As long as we depend on other to love us or care for us, and to be there for us, we are doomed to be unhappy,
Dreams and goals can be reached, but as soon as we reach them, if we reach them, the excitement fades,
Events come and go, and the happiness associated with the, does not last long,
All the life achievements, success stories, loving and caring people will at some point either leave us or lose their power to make and keep us happy.
Danger of Independence:
In past women used to depend on men to financially survive, parents depended on children to continue the family’s line or to maintain income, men depended on women for pleasure, and children depended on parents for livelihood. However such dependencies are fading in our societies.
Women are well educated and have their own incomes without having to be “controlled” by men,
Men can access sex dolls, porn, and clubs to experience pleasure without having to deal with any drama,
and adoption and welfare makes it possible for children to maintain livelihood.
We are rising generation that considers dependence a weakness.
In fact, in our Western society dependence is a dirty word that is associated with worthlessness. We tend to idealize “independence” so much, especially in relationships, to the point that people have no reason to put up with any one. Partners do not “need” each other, and as soon as the sparkles of “young and crazy love” fade, the relationship ends too.
The fear of dependence pushes children to leave families, most of the times before they even have the skills to live on their own, resulting in increased substance abuse, bad partnership, teen pregnancy, debts and more.
How to balance such bipolar concept?
Here are some key points to help better understand this topic, to help de-pathologize dependence and to maintain healthy independence:
Polar one; Impotence of Dependence
Do not be scared to depend! Keep in mind dependence and trust are related. We as humans need to know we have people that we can trust with our needs IF and when we need them. Therefore do not be scared to want to depend on loved ones.
Utilize dependency to strengthen your relationships
It is ok to let others feel you trust them, or in other word you depend on them. Being trusted and depended on strengthens the partnerships and creates the sense of responsibility toward each other. Chances are your partner loves to feel as your “one and only”, that you see her/him capable to meet your needs, that you trust him/her in making you happy etc.
Ability to depend is a sign that you do not have trust issues.
People are scared to depend on other because they cannot trust them. Lack of trust is a deal breaker when it comes to human relationships. No one likes to feel their partner does not trust them. So if you can let yourself depend, chances are you do not have trust issues.
Dependence is an asset in a healthy connection
Dependence in a healthy relationship creates a safe living space where people know they are not alone in life’s hard times: they have a caring and trusted mate to help them survive and grow. Imagine a wife that financially depends on her partner while the partner depends on her with raising healthy and happy children. Or a man that financially or emotionally depends on his partner as he struggles as graduate student.
Polar Two; Impotence of Independence
Utilize independence to become more attractive
In fact, when it comes to factors that make people, especially women, more attractive independence is top on the list. As much as people feel good about themselves when they are depended on, they also need to know you want to be in relationship with them because you care for them not because you need them in your life. Therefore your independence makes your love more genuine.
Independence is a key to confidence
The more independent you are, the more confidence you have in yourself. Never depend on others to remind you or your capabilities, beauty, and strengths. Always be the first to see your worth.
Independence improves your mental heath
When people learn to be independent, they know their happiness is not based on how others meet their needs or not. Independent people do not rely on anything or anyone to find happiness. Instead they have the skills to identify their own strength and create their own path to happier more successful life without relying on external factors and people.
Set goal for your dependencies and independencies
Like most things in life, dependence is not a black and while matter. The goal should be to distinguish healthy and non-healthy dependencies. Use dependency to strengthen connections and independence to avoid abusive and degrading relationships.
There is a difference between making others feel you depend on them and fully depending on them to be happy in life.