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Avoiding dependency

Love is not about two selfish people that only care about themselves and need each other, but two generous souls that hug one another, Anawim.

It is very important to balance your personal and professional areas. You also need to maintain your relationships with your friends and family, as well as having some time for yourself.

Love is not a cure for loneliness or an escape from the harsh reality of the real world. Genuine love is not dependency, two people love each other only when they are quite capable of living without each other but choose to live together.

There are three stages in our development:

happy

happy

teenage-girls

teenage-girls

couple

couple

Interdependence can be found everywhere. For example, bees need pollen and nectar from flowers in order to live and reproduce. Flowers also depend on bees for pollination.

bees

bees

Globalization and the communications revolution make our interdependence clearer day by day. On a more personal level, interdependence is defined as relationships of choice rather than necessity. Partners are mature enough not to depend on each other emotionally or financially.

cobweb

cobweb

Many old sayings teach us about the goodness of interdependence: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” “Two heads are better than one,” or “Four eyes see better than two.”

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go, Luke 10, 1.

Any interdependent relationship, either romantic or friendship, has these benefits: each member offers and receives support and resources, there is an exchange of information (everyone gets ideas and tips on how to perform tasks or how to approach problems, and feedback from their results and how they are performing their jobs), anxiety and stress are reduced, etc.

However, interdependence is not possible without independence.

But, what does this mean? An interdependent relationship requires two people who are mature and independent enough to stand on their own in order to work for the common good. A team will only reach its fullest potential when all its members feel valued, safe, and that they have a stake in it. They are all inspired to succeed and develop their talents. Then, they produce high quality work because they are all committed to the task at hand, and act from personal integrity. On the contrary, when some members let themselves be swept away by others (this is so because they have not achieved independence, for example, when they have not reached the necessary personal or professional competence or they are not emotionally stable), they become a liability for the entire team.

It may happen that the team thinks that they all work as one, that they have achieved consensus on collective goals, procedures, and practices, but sooner or later, their planning will fail or the quality standards of their products and services will suffer. Why? To put it simply, because these guys were not really involved in the decision making process, they did not regard the project as their own. When push comes to shove and they need to get their hands dirty, it will be as clear as day that something is very wrong, commitments or goals were unrealistic, perhaps people were not sufficiently prepared, qualified, and motivated, resources or support were not enough, etc.

So, what can we do? In a business setting, it is absolutely essential that every member is mature (independent) enough to make compromises, and everyone has the personal and professional competence to perform their tasks. Besides, everyone should be involved in the decision-making process about goals, standards, plans, deadlines, etc., as well as, their knowledge, opinion, skill, and experience, being heard, valued, and taken into account.

teamWork

teamWork

The same idea applies in a romantic relationship. It cannot be built on the need for love, affection, and protection, sexual desire, economic dependence, etc. It should be based on respect, love, and interdependence between two people. Each partner should have sufficient autonomy and maturity to establish smooth and effective communication which is completely necessary for a harmonious relationship to flourish. This means active listening, empathy, and being able to build trust together, but also to address and change what is hampering the relationship.

cooperation

cooperation

The dialogue between two free, independent, and mature adults should be continuous, open, sincere, and constructive. It should be focused on solutions and opportunities to grow rather than problems, blaming or covering up.

communication

communication

Interdependence also requires that each partner gives up some of his/her independence. It is about being able to assume responsibilities, make compromises, sacrifice personal goals and even professional careers for the sake of a better good.

Dependent people do not have the strength or courage to be able to say what they think, to show their true “self”, and thus they harm the development and growth of a healthy relationship. What can we do about it? The most difficult and important thing is to be able to recognise the problem. Then, we need to be patient and give our partner and our relationship enough time. More importantly, big decisions (marriage, kids, buying a property, etc.) should be postponed.

In summary, relationships need to be grounded in genuine friendship, interdependence, dialogue, and love.

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