Emotional Dependency or Emotional Responsibility
by: Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
Emotional dependency means getting oneís good feelings from outside oneself. It means needing to get filled from outside rather than from within. Who or what do you believe is responsible for your emotional wellbeing?
There are numerous forms of emotional dependency:
- Dependence on substances, such as food, drugs, or alcohol, to fill emptiness and take away pain.
- Dependency on processes such as spending, gambling, or TV, also to fill emptiness and take away pain.
- Dependence on money to define oneís worth and adequacy.
- Dependence on getting someoneís love, approval, or attention to feel worthy, adequate, lovable, and safe.
- Dependence on sex to fill emptiness and feel adequate.
When you do not take responsibility for defining your own adequacy and worth or for creating your own inner sense of safety, you will seek to feel adequate, worthy and safe externally. Whatever you do not give to yourself, you may seek from others or from substances or processes. Emotional dependency is the opposite of taking personal responsibility for oneís emotional wellbeing. Yet many people have no idea that this is their responsibility, nor do they have any idea how to take this responsibility.
What does it mean to take emotional responsibility rather than be emotionally dependent?
Primarily, it means recognizing that our feelings come from our own thoughts, beliefs and behavior, rather than from others or from circumstances. Once you understand and accept that you create your own feelings, rather than your feelings coming from outside yourself, then you can begin to take emotional responsibility.
For example, letís say someone you care about gets angry at you.
If you are emotionally dependent, you may feel rejected and believe that your feelings of rejection are coming from the otherís anger. You might also feel hurt, scared, anxious, inadequate, shamed, angry, blaming, or many other difficult feeling in response to the otherís anger. You might try many ways of getting the other person to not be angry in an effort to feel better.
However, if you are emotionally responsible, you will feel and respond entirely differently. The first thing you might do is to tell yourself that another personís anger has nothing to do with you. Perhaps that person is having a bad day and is taking it out on you. Perhaps that person is feeling hurt or inadequate and is trying to be one-up by putting you one-down. Whatever the reason for the otherís anger, it is about them rather than about you. An emotionally responsible person does not take othersí behavior personally, knowing that we have no control over othersí feelings and behavior, and that we do not cause others to feel and behave the way they do - that others are responsible for their feelings and behavior just as we are for ours.
The next thing an emotionally responsible person might do is move into compassion for the angry person, and open to learning about what is going on with the other person. For example, you might say, ďI donít like your anger, but I am willing to understand what is upsetting you. Would you like to talk about it?Ē If the person refuses to stop being angry, or if you know ahead of time that this person is not going to open up, then as an emotionally responsible person, you would take loving action in your own behalf. For example, you might say, ďIím unwilling to be at the other end of your anger. When you are ready to be open with me, let me know. Meanwhile, Iím going to take a walk (or hang up the phone, or leave the restaurant, or go into the other room, and so on). An emotionally responsible person gets out of range of attack rather than tries to change the other person.
Once out of range, the emotionally responsible person goes inside and explores any painful feelings that might have resulted from the attack. For example, perhaps you are feeling lonely as a result of being attacked. An emotionally responsible person embraces the feelings of loneliness with understanding and compassion, holding them just as you would hold a sad child. When you acknowledge and embrace the feelings of loneliness, you allow them to move through you quickly, so you can move back into peace.
Rather than being a victim of the otherís behavior, you have taken emotional responsibility for yourself. Instead of staying stuck in feeling angry, hurt, blaming, afraid, anxious or inadequate, you have moved yourself back into feeling safe and peaceful.
When you realize that your feelings are your responsibility, you can move out of emotional dependency. This will make a huge difference within you and with all of your relationships. Relationships thrive when each person moves out of emotional dependency and into emotional responsibility.
|About Author Margaret Paul, Ph.D. :|
Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?" She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing process. Learn Inner Bonding now! Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: http://www.innerbonding.com or mailto:email@example.com. Phone sessions available.
Article Source: https://www.bharatbhasha.com
Article Url: https://www.bharatbhasha.com/self_improvement.php/6173
|Other Articles by Margaret Paul, Ph.D.|
What is Emotional Freedom
My definition of emotional freedom is being free from feeling like a victim of and controlled by our emotions. We are emotionally free when we know how to learn from and manage our feelings so that we are not reactive to them and they don't control us.
How Do we Attain Emotional Freedom?
Emotional freedom is the result of learning how to take emotional responsibility, i.e., responsibility for our feelings.
What Does this Mean and How Do We Do It?
There are two different kinds of feelings:...
Is This Love or Emotional Dependency
? †† by Margaret Paul, Ph.D.The following article is offered for free use in your ezine, print publication or on your web site, so long as the author resource box at the end is included, with hyperlinks. Notification of publication would be appreciated.For other articles which you are free to use, see http://www.innerbonding.comTitle: ? Author: Margaret Paul, Ph.D.E-mail: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright: © 2005 by Margaret PaulURL: http://www.innerbonding.comWord Count: 703...
Emotional Dependency Vs Emotional Freedom
WHAT IS EMOTIONAL DEPENDENCY?
Lydia consulted with me because her relationship with her husband, Andrew, was falling apart. Andrew had moved out, stating that he could no longer tolerate Lydia's neediness and constant pull on him to make her feel loved and secure.
Now that they were separated, Lydia's emotional dependency was getting even worse. She was deeply addicted to Andrew making her feel better, if only through a brief text message.
Lydia believed that her feelings of safety, worth,...
What is Emotional Dependency
Are you emotionally dependent? You might want to go through this checklist.
__I cannot feel lovable and worthy without another's approval.
__I need a lot of attention from certain people to feel that I am okay.
__I don't trust my own feelings. I need others' to validate my feelings.
__I am afraid of rejection. I isolate, or try to be perfect, or agree with others, or give myself up, or shut down, and/or do many other things to avoid rejection.
__I am afraid to be alone.
__I often feel...
Moving Beyond Emotional Dependency
Are you ready to be your own person? Are you ready to move beyond neediness and into emotional freedom? Are you ready to stop needing others to make you feel that you are okay? Are you ready to learn to fill yourself with love and define your own worth?
I hope so! Being emotionally dependent is a very hard way to live.
When you are emotionally dependent, you set yourself up to be a victim of others' choices. If others are loving and caring, then you feel good, but if others are rejecting,...
Being A Happy Parent Part Of Good Parenting
When you were growing up, did you ever wish that your parents were happy? Did you feel safe when they were happy and peaceful?
My mother was rarely a happy person. Most of the time she was anxious, angry and felt overburdened, even though I was her only child. She rarely laughed and was often upset with me, or my father. Clearly, she made both of us responsible for her happiness and we consistently fell short.
I would have given anything to have had a happy mother Ė a mother who knew how to...
Does Psychotherapy Work
Many years ago, when I became a psychotherapist, all I knew was the traditional psychotherapy that I had learned in school, and that I had personally experienced with many different therapists and many different forms of therapy. For 18 years I practiced what I had learned, and I was never happy with the results.
I saw that people often felt better for the moment, or resolved a particular issue, but that when new issues came up, they didn't have a process for dealing with them. In all the...
You re Not Meeting My Needs
Sandra wants to end our marriage, Ted told me in our phone session. She says that I am not meeting her needs.
I often hear this in my counseling practice.
How did we get the idea that marriage is about the other person meeting our needs, or about our meeting the other person's needs? How did we get so far away from personal responsibility for meeting our own needs that we expect others to do it for us? What are these needs that Ted was not meeting for Sandra?
She said that I don't make her...
Parenting Emotional Incest
Jacob, a participant in one of my telephone support groups, was exploring the fact that he generally didn't like to be touched. He was sharing with the group a situation that used to happen with his mother.
She used to sit me on the couch with her and grab my arms and look intently into my eyes, telling me how much she loved me and how important to her I was. I don't know exactly how to describe what I felt when she did that.
Was it a yucky feeling? asked Sarah, another participant.
Are You Addicted to Your Children
†by: Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
Is it possible to be using our children addictively?
Anything that we use to get love, avoid pain, and fill up inner emptiness can become an addiction Ė even our children! If your children are your whole life Ė if you donít have a strong spiritual connection with a personal source of love and guidance, as well as other relationships and interests that you are passionate about, you might be using your children to fill an empty place within you.
If you donít have...
|Click here to see More Articles by Margaret Paul, Ph.D.