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Defining Emotional Dependency and the Top Five Ways to Become More Emotionally Independent

By HERWriter
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Women should also be able to accept their decisions and realize they did the best with what they had.

“Of course what we want to strive for is something called interdependence, where not only are you depending on other people, but you’re also reliable and you can be there for them,” Varma said. “You don’t want to be there for [other] people at the expense of your own needs.”

To summarize, here are the top five ways to become more emotionally independent in relationships and life from experts and from my own personal observations:

1) Recognize your self-worth and work on improving your self-esteem, which can be through focusing on positive thoughts about yourself, realizing your limitations and your achievements, working on goals, helping others and doing what makes you feel better. Accept your decisions and realize you are capable of doing what’s best for yourself (and get help if you’re not capable).
2) Realize that you control yourself, including your feelings, emotions and actions. Sometimes there are uncontrollable events in life, but you need to realize what you can control. Don’t let someone else determine how your life will turn out.
3) Spread out and recognize your emotional needs and don’t depend on one person. Work on building a variety of friendships and even talk to a therapist or psychologist.
4) Don’t schedule your life around everyone else. Realize that your needs are important and that you need to take control of your life and be independent. You can compromise and recognize others’ needs, but remember that you have to live with yourself and you don’t want to be miserable.
5) Awareness of all the above issues and about emotional dependency and co-dependency in general can allow you to work toward more independence and healthy relationships.


Add a Comment3 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Agreeing with the previous comments, my personal experience has been that both men and women have this behaviour.
"40 million Americans, primarily women, have been labelled as codependent"
for women to be co-dependent unless the relationship is with another woman there is also a man involved in this interaction. While taking the emotional temperature of the room and adjusting actions accordingly is taught traditionally as part of the women role in a household as the emotional caretakers of a household with the dynamics of families today often young men take on this role as well.

so putting this as a women's issue doesn't seem to do it justice, perhaps women talk about it more because it's more socially acceptable to do so, but I feel like we need to make room and relinquish the stoic crap that society including women push onto men, and allow men to own their emotional vulnerability for they can do the emotional work to move forward.
Which in turn by releasing them from their side of the dynamic will allow women to move forward as well without feeling the need to do the emotional work for both people.

October 12, 2017 - 7:06pm
EmpowHER Guest

Do men not experience this as well? It's important to mention how this is not specifically unique to women.

February 22, 2016 - 6:11pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I'm sure some men struggle with this as well, but this article was intended for women. Men are free to peruse the article if they feel that it speaks to their experience as well, but I don't think it's reasonable to demand the author to cater to you.

May 9, 2016 - 1:15pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.