Fear of Dependence

A concern that often comes up for people I work with is the question of dependence. Our culture encourages us to be independent, and not to depend on others. This seems curious to me, as we live in such an interdependent world.

When I get behind what people mean, dependence is often seen as needy and childish. The other assumption is that independence is always a good thing. It seems like the two are opposites, with dependence bad, independence good.

Maybe you experience something like this sometimes; it can show up as a difficulty in letting others get close to you, or in accepting help. You might give yourself a hard time or feel needy because you need emotional support during hard times. Perhaps you believe you have to cope with everything life throws at you and show no weakness.

I suggest that it is the extremes of dependence and independence that are a problem. If we are very dependent on others we can lack identity and require approval to feel ok about ourselves. If we are very independent we can be cut off and disconnected from those around us, leading to loneliness. Sometimes we can swing between these two poles, afraid to be dependent yet wanting human intimacy. Maybe the trick is to allow yourself to depend on others, while keeping your own identity clear.

If you’d like to talk in confidence about this or other issues, please contact me on chris.paul@creativedifference.org.uk  I offer a free half hour telephone assessment to see if working together could be beneficial for you. If you’d like to understand more about Counselling and Life Coaching please watch my videos at http://creativedifference.org.uk/what-is-counselling/ and http://creativedifference.org.uk/what-is-coaching/.

Chris Paul

Counsellor and Life Coach






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