La emotional dependence it becomes a problem when the person tries to fill the emptiness of his life with the partner, when he stops having goals and focuses exclusively on the couple relationship. At this point, an unhealthy relationship is created, both for the person who receives the attention and for the one who gives it.
Identifying emotional dependence is simple, if we do not deceive ourselves. The most obvious signs are:
- When the person has an almost pathological need to be with his partner because he does not tolerate loneliness.
- When he needs the constant approval of his partner and others showing excessive fear in the face of social rejection.
- When his self-esteem has hit rock bottom, usually because this person tends to sacrifice their individuality to satisfy the wishes of others.
The good news is that emotional addiction can be overcome.
Three steps to overcome emotional addiction
1. Recognize that the problem exists. It may seem trivial, but the truth is that normally we tend to lie because that way everything becomes easier. We think that if we hide the problem does not exist. So the first step in overcoming emotional addiction is to identify it. To do this, you need to consider the following questions and try to answer them honestly:
- Does your happiness depend on only one person?
- Does your happiness depend on how others treat you? Do you feel like the world collapses on you when someone criticizes or rejects you?
- Do you often put the needs and desires of others ahead of yours?
- Do you feel good about yourself only when others accept you?
It is worth remembering that it is normal for rejection to make us feel some discomfort and that there are people who are very important in our life and sometimes we put their needs before ours, but the person who is emotionally dependent on others always shows these behaviors. at pathological levels.
2. Recognize the harm caused by these behaviors. In this case, the goal is for the person to be aware of the damage they have inflicted on themselves with this type of behavior. To do this, it's helpful to list all the things you've done (presumably out of love or affection), but that ultimately caused you problems.
You may not easily remember these situations at first, not knowing what to write, so below are some questions that can help you compile this list:
- What passion did you neglect to satisfy others?
- What dream or goal did you fail to achieve because you took care of others?
- What negative situations did you have to endure in order for the other person not to abandon you?
The main goal of this phase is to become aware of all the suffering you have experienced just because you are the victims of an emotional dependence. This way you will feel more motivated to change by taking control of your life.
3. Build self-confidence. The main factor that often underlies emotional addiction is low self-esteem. These are usually people who have never had enough self-esteem or who have lost it during their life.
Therefore, the key to overcoming emotional addiction is to regain self-esteem. First, you need to convince yourself that you are worth a lot and that social acceptance is important but not fundamental. Each person can have their own criteria of judgment and personal tastes, and these do not always have to be satisfied by everyone.
A great exercise is to remember times when we felt really good about ourselves, safe and confident. We vividly remember every detail and, above all, the sensations they were experiencing. In this way we will be activating emotions and feelings that were thought to be lost, but which are still hidden somewhere.
Finally, another important detail is learning to distinguish between "need" and "desire". Normally in the mind of the person who has an emotional addiction these concepts are intertwined as if they were one.
To give an example, when we are hungry, we do not need to satisfy it necessarily with a dessert or a hamburger, but we can also do it with a healthy and natural food such as a salad. We actually crave burgers or sweets, but we don't "need" them.
Something similar happens in love, this in fact must not be based on the pathological need but rather on a conscious compromise. That is; you have chosen to share your life with your partner knowing full well that they are not essential to your survival.