If you are independent then you will always be okay, and no matter what happens in your life you will always have emotional support from someone important and very close to you… yourself. Being emotionally dependent means that you essentially look to others to gain stable emotions – for your happiness, confidence and approval. In fact what you should be able to do is to console yourself without the intervention of others, and you should look at your own approval as the most important kind of approval, and be able to spend time alone without feeling scared, lonely or upset.
Being emotionally needy and dependent ultimately results in trouble as it leads us to desperately seek the approval of those around us – leading to potentially self destructive behaviors, and as it leads us to feel desperate and depressed as soon as we’re alone. There are times all of us must be alone, and if you are constantly relying on others for yourself worth you will be vulnerable to manipulation and to heartache. Here we will help you to find emotional independence with a better understanding of yourself and how your mind and emotions work.
Spend Time Alone
Like all things, practice makes perfect – and if you want to get better at spending time alone, well then one of the best ways to accomplish this is simply to practice spending time alone. Go on a trip on your own, or spend some time without visiting friends, and you’ll become reacquainted with your own company. If you use this time to do some thinking, or to just enjoy being able to relax and do whatever it is that you want to do, then you can actually find that it’s not all bad and that you can quite enjoy the solitude.
Evaluate What’s Important to You
Going through school I was always highly confident and very happy which is unusual for a teen at a new school with acne. Part of the reason for this though was that I was very well aware of the traits I valued and what was important to me, which at the time was mostly physical prowess. I wanted to be Jackie Chan or Stallone and to that end I worked out and trained hard and won a few teen bodybuilding contests. I also had several other projects on the go – such as a novel I was writing and a website I was running. It didn’t much matter to me at that age then whether someone insulted me or teased me – because I only really cared about a few things that I knew I was good at. My ego was thus impenetrable, and my failings (acne) I was able to laugh off. This meant I never really got much teasing at school even though I probably deserved it because it was apparent that I was confident in who I was.
So evaluate the traits that you want to develop in yourself and the things you are proud of or that you want to achieve and focus just on those. If you do this then you won’t be dependent on other people’s evaluation of you because they won’t understand who you are and what it is you’re trying to achieve anyway. As long as you know you’re ‘on track’ you will be happy.
CBT stands for ‘cognitive behavioural therapy’ which is a school of psychology that looks at essentially ‘reprogramming’ your mind to help you to positively affect your behavior and your emotions. Your emotions very much arise from your thoughts and if your thoughts are negative then this will of course result in negative emotion. Therefore if you find yourself thinking about how lonely you are, or about how you want to win people’s approval, then it will only lead you to feel that way. Likewise if you think about how unconfident you are and focus on your weaknesses, then your self-esteem will plummet and you will end up relying on others to improve it.
The solution is to listen to the contents of your thoughts and to identify negative patterns that might be leading you to feel lonely or to feel less confident in yourself. Now you will want to replace those thoughts by focussing instead on your strengths and repeating to yourself the values you identified above and what it is that you want to achieve on your own.