The Ties that Bind Me Are Keeping Me from Flying: Emotional Dependence
If I feel like I’m tied down, I won’t be able to take off, I won’t be able to fly. If I don’t feel free, my wings will never open and lift me up. Knowing this, why are there people who stay tied to relationships that eat them up inside? The key could be emotional dependence and their need to be loved, appreciated, or valued.
Fear of loneliness or isolation is the foundation of emotional dependence, which leads to relationships that are too tense and rigid. Dependent people can’t imagine life without a relationship or someone to constantly validate them. The moment they feel alone or end a relationship, they look for another one almost immediately, feeling unprotected or abandoned.
When we want to fly we want to feel light and we want to have a nest to return to. However, once we get the tools we need, we can try to take off and see what’s outside and what we really desire, and most importantly, enjoy the flight.
If we’re in a harmful, bad relationship, this flight will not be possible. It will prevent us from climbing to the top and seeing a new point of view from there. Tied to the nest, it’s impossible to see everything around us.
What makes us strong, whole, secure people is decisions, not needs.
Good self-esteem is a fundamental piece of the puzzle
The characteristics that define people who create these kinds of relationships that are rigid and limiting are:
- Difficulty making decisions for themselves.
- Constant need for affection.
- Low self-esteem.
- Need for other people’s approval.
- Constantly being in a relationship.
The most important piece, and one that often triggers other factors, could be low self-esteem. People with low self-esteem feel weak and helpless, don’t trust themselves, and therefore seek that security outside themselves.
If we can become strong and create a good foundation of self-esteem, we can build a good relationship on top of it. When I feel confident in myself, I am able to decide what I want at any moment, and this allows me to build my wings.
Two strong and independent people make the decision to start down a path together while taking into account the pros and cons of the commitment. Thus, they can discern and make good decisions: their foundation will be built on good self-esteem and good judgment, not on needs or weak relationships.
It takes work to construct my wings
Working on breaking your emotional dependence on other people is takes work and self-discovery. What am I missing and what am I looking for in the other person? This is the question. Having space means we can ask ourselves if what they’re giving us is what we want or deserve.
If we lose this space and don’t give ourselves permission to think and be alone, we can’t see what we have or want. And most importantly, we’ll never find the freedom to decide if we want to fly or stay where we are.
Emotional dependence makes it hard for us to appreciate ourselves because we look outside to fill what’s lacking inside. Stop and think, do they make me happy? Do I feel valued? Do they help me be a better person? Are they motivating me or holding me back?
The idea in a healthy relationship is: I could live perfectly without them, but I’m better with them. The thing that makes us strong, whole, secure people is always a decision, not a need. Let’s work on our wings, our self-esteem, and let’s fly free.