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How to free yourself from emotional dependency

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William Perugini | Shutterstock

Talita Rodrigues - published on 08/11/23

Getting out of emotional dependency can be a challenging process, but it is possible and important for well-being and personal growth.

Emotional dependency is a pattern of behavior in which a person becomes overly dependent on another person to satisfy their emotional needs, their self-esteem, and their sense of self.

This dependency usually manifests itself in intimate relationships, but can also occur in other areas of life, such as friendships or family relationships.

Some common characteristics of emotional dependency:

  • Intense fear of being abandoned or rejected by the other person
  • Constant need for approval and validation from the partner
  • Difficulty making decisions without the influence of the other person
  • Low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence
  • Sacrificing personal interests to please the partner
  • Excessive feelings of jealousy and possessiveness
  • Loss of sense of identity outside the relationship

Tips for overcoming emotional dependency

Freeing yourself from emotional dependency can be a challenging process, but it is possible and important for emotional well-being and personal growth. Here are some tips that can help in this process:

  • Recognition: The first step is to recognize and admit that you are in a pattern of emotional dependency. This requires self-awareness and honesty with yourself.
  • Seek support: Seek support from friends, family, or professionals such as therapists or psychologists. Sharing your struggles with others can help ease the emotional burden and offer outside perspectives.
  • Develop self-esteem: Work on building your self-esteem and self-confidence. This may involve identifying your positive qualities, setting personal goals, and learning to value your own opinions and decisions.
  • Set healthy boundaries: Learn to set healthy boundaries in your relationships. This may involve saying “no” when necessary, and expressing your needs and expectations clearly and assertively.
  • Explore personal interests: Spend time on activities that interest you and are not directly linked to your relationship. Finding hobbies and interests of your own will help strengthen your individual identity.
  • Learn from past patterns: Reflect on the relationship patterns that led you to emotional dependency and try to understand the emotional origins of these behaviors. This can help avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future.
  • Cultivate your independence: Seek to become more emotionally independent by learning to deal with your own emotions and problems without relying solely on your partner.

Remember that getting out of emotional dependency is a gradual process, so it can take time. If you are experiencing significant difficulties, do not hesitate to seek the help of a mental health professional who can offer guidance and support. Be assured that there are many resources available to you. Life can be good, and it is possible to live solitude in a healthy way.

Mental HealthRelationships
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