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I live by their compliments, then die from their criticism!
It's always nice to be generous. We are for each other. But when it comes to our personal lives, there is constantly some equation to solve. Because our journey of life is well influenced by who we depend on, how much we build trust in relationships, etc.
“For everyone, you create to be dependent on you, you are equally dependent on them. Neither relationship is healthy.” ― Alan Cohen.
This is where I put my conclusion to this reflection.
I'm not free and I know that. Knowing this and still not acting upon this is probably my biggest weakness. You may wonder, what I'm talking about. And why did I put a concluding thought before even making it clear?
Let me tell you a long story...
I'm very independent in early childhood. I was raised by my grandma as my mom used to be a full-time job holder. My relationship with my parents was a bit complicated. I was never a problematic kid but I always knew I never felt good about myself. There was (and still is) a huge lacking in my self-esteem. I don't know how many times (probably millions) I depend on others' validation. Because this is what I learned from my childhood.
Later when I started to work on some of my trauma and anxiety, I tried to unlearn the seek of validation.
But the truth is, it's harder than anything. Because it's kind of engraved in my thought process.
Another thing is, learning to be generous. I knew my childhood experiences thought me to be selfish in different ways. Unlearning that and building such a character so people can depend on was the biggest challenge.
Now, in my 30s, I can say that; I became someone that people trust, depends on, ask for help, and so on. But I have to approve that this is not as much as it could be.
I couldn't build a huge friend and family circle. That's another reason. But the core reason is -
I never ask for help. I don't depend on anyone, not financially or mentally. My insecurities never let me depend on others. I don't trust anyone to do my job or to share my feelings either. This goes the same for my partner. This is a huge emotional burden!
However, I always seek validation and affection. This two-way emotion always puts me down. I'm telling you, this complex feeling is enough to ruin my happiness. It's like a battle to make sure one personality wins every time. Though I know it can never happen.
I can give you a real-life example.
If I tell you, I'm the one who never borrows a single penny from anyone, not from any family member, from any friends, and literally from anyone. But I do lend money, a huge amount occasionally to others. This goes the same for sharing any secrets or asking for help in personal life.
It's not always like I'm generous but I like to showcase my 'good side'. Because this is what helps me boost my self-esteem and keep aside my insecurities.
Do you see the mind game here?
The problem is, I know the exact reason, my internal emotions, and the consequences; so I can never get out of this mind game trap.
But don't think, I'm that much toxic that I always do things to experiment or to 'feel good' about myself. As I have said, I learned to be generous and that's very true. On top of everything, as a Mom and having a lovely family, many are automatically dependent on me and I love carrying out the responsibilities. Now, I can proudly say, in many cases, in my family and friend circle; I'm the one who people trust and depend upon for many things.
Our dependency makes slaves out of us, especially if this dependency is a dependency on our self-esteem. If you need encouragement, praise, and pats on the back from everybody, then you make everybody your judge.
-- Fritz Perls
This quote well explains my thought.
I may not dependent on others, but deep inside I made them judge my life. I'm captive of my thoughts. I let others depend on me but never trust anyone to depend. I know, to some extent dependency doesn't bring any positive impact. But having some emotional dependency is a lifesaver, as I found.