July 29, 2016

Replacing Co-dependence with a Healthy Sense of Interdependence

Many people struggle with finding balance in their relationships which leads to unhappiness and problems.  Those who are co-dependent are very needy and lack self-confidence needed to set up and honor healthy personal boundaries.  It’s not healthy to be independent in a relationship; since we need to communication in relationships. Often, we need to consider others wants and needs as well as our own.

By honoring the interdependent nature of our relationships we can have reasonable expectations of ourselves and other people.  Healthy interdependent relationships mean that both parties work together for the success of the relationship, take responsibility for mistakes made, apologize when necessary, and put the needs of both before the needs of the individual.

Interdependence Requires Humility and Understanding

Individuals who are self-confident also have confidence in the ideas and abilities of others.  Interdependence requires humility and the understanding that those around us are just as vital for our happiness, fulfillment, and accomplishments as we are to theirs.  Healthy interdependent relationships are reciprocal in nature and involve both parties setting up, reinforcing, and respecting each other’s personal boundaries.  Healthy personal boundaries consist of the three feet of space that encircle us, our right to pursue our hopes and dreams, the right to say “no”, and the respect of the boundaries of others.

Helping Others Helps Us

It’s important to acknowledge that we live in an interdependent society.  We constantly rely on other people to pave and maintain our roads, deliver our mail, pick up our trash, stock the grocery shelves, build automobiles, and more. By helping others get their needs met we can also get our own needs met which benefits all parties involved.  Acknowledging our interdependence can also motivate us to improve our social skills involving communication, team building, problem-solving, cooperation, and negotiation.

When we honestly weigh the benefits of an interdependent outlook on life versus one that is co-dependent we can see the enormous value in setting healthy personal boundaries for ourselves and respecting the boundaries of others.  We also appreciate the fact that we will not always agree with everyone but respecting the needs and opinions of others when making decisions will enable us to make fair and acceptable decisions.  Having good self-esteem enables a person to avoid manipulating others in order to feel good.

Improving Mental Health and Learning Forgiveness

Healing family of origin issues and successfully treating depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc. and resolving trauma can improve cognitive abilities and self-esteem.  By learning how to forgive others we can be present in our bodies and stop re-enacting negative scenarios from our childhood.  We can also appreciate the fact that cooperation, compassion, and understanding can help us improve the relationship we have with ourselves and others.  Interdependence will get easier for us to engage in as we reap the rewards of this healthy new behavior.

Sources:

TheDifferenceBetween.com – Codependence and Interdependence

LizJansen.com – 9 Characteristics of Interdependent Relationships

DriveMomCrazy.com – Why is Interdependence more important than Independence?

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