Being emotionally dependent on someone can be tricky. You might be used to leaning on them for support, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy for either of you.
In fact, being emotionally dependent on someone can be a sign of weakness and could mean that you will struggle and find it hard to survive without that person. So in the long term, they’re not doing you any favors.
If you’re finding it hard to stop being emotionally dependent, there are a few things you can try.
5 Steps to stop being emotionally dependent on someone:
1- Learn to rely on yourself and self-soothe:
First, make a conscious effort to start relying on yourself more. This means taking care of your own needs, both emotionally and physically. It might mean reaching out to your friends and family less or spending more time alone.
Learn how to rely on yourself and self-soothe by reflecting on your mistakes and meditation or other coping techniques can serve you. When you are used to relying on someone else to make you feel better, it can be hard to break that habit.
However, if you can learn to soothe yourself, you will be less likely to seek out someone else every time you are feeling bad or hurting. There are a number of ways to self-soothe, including deep breathing, practicing mindfulness, journaling, or even just taking a walk in nature.
Experiment with different methods until you find something that works for you. The important thing is to find a way to calm yourself down when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Once you have mastered this skill, you will be less likely to seek out someone else for emotional support.
2- Build up your self-esteem:
A lot of people tend to be emotionally dependent on others, which can be really harmful to both themselves and their relationships. If you’re someone who tends to lean on others emotionally, there is one important thing you can do and that’s to build up your self-esteem to become more independent.
The first step to do that is to stop talking yourself down and to stop comparing yourself to others. Everyone is on their own journey and has their own unique struggles and successes, so comparing yourself to others is only going to make you feel more insecure and in need of someone else to even survive.
In fact, it will make you think without hesitation that you don’t measure up to others and cannot do anything good enough on your own. This type of thinking can be detrimental to your mental health. Not to mention what it will mean for you if something happened to the person you depend most on, or if they decided to walk away from you. In other words, you’re quite literally at their mercy.
So to take yourself out of such a situation, try to build up your self-confidence. This can also be done by challenging yourself in small ways to gradually see and confirm that you can achieve more in life. But also, learning to accept compliments from others and realize that you have value as an independent entity.
3- Learn to communicate your needs:
Another thing you can do to stop being emotionally dependent on others is to learn to communicate your needs openly.
This way you can honestly tell the person you’re dependent on, that they need to take a step back and watch you learn to take care of yourself alone. Tell them to intervene only when they deem that it’s absolutely necessary.
Also, you can express your needs for finding your own strength without offending the person that helps you the most or pushing them away. If you communicate clearly then they will understand that they have done nothing wrong and that you appreciate their continuous support. All it will be about is learning to be capable to survive without them too.
With some time and effort, you should be able to break the cycle of dependency and build a healthier relationship with them.
4- Believe in your own capabilities:
One way to stop being emotionally dependent is to hype yourself up and praise yourself in your mind. Start to see the good in you but without crossing the line and becoming full of yourself or arrogant either. There’s a right balance to find here, so be careful.
Believe in your capabilities and that you’re capable of handling things on your own. This can be empowering and will help you to feel more independent and self-sufficient. You may also want to gather the courage to try to go out of your comfort zones and do things you never dared to do before. This way you will prove to yourself that you’re more than capable of being your own independent person.
Remember, you are in control of your life and your happiness. You don’t need anyone else to complete you. Work on loving yourself first, internalize that you’re already whole, and the rest will fall into place.
5- Learn to have a little healthy selfishness:
Another big thing is to focus on your own happiness. This doesn’t mean you should ignore your loved ones when they need you, but it does mean that you shouldn’t base your happiness on them either. Make sure you’re doing things that make YOU happy, not just things that make other people happy.
In fact, if you find that you’re always resorting to external help it could be because you value others’ opinions more than your own. So learn to see your worth rather than waiting around for someone else to validate your feelings and ideas. It might be time to become a little more selfish.
Being selfish doesn’t mean being rude or inconsiderate. It simply means putting yourself first for once. Start making decisions based on what will serve you best, rather than what will please someone else or what they expect of you. Make time for yourself every day, even if it’s just ten minutes to read or relax.
And stop saying yes to things that you don’t really want to do. Life is too short to waste your time on things that don’t make you happy. Becoming more selfish may not be easy at first, but it’s an important step towards emotional independence.
In the end, if you want to take this to an extreme then you can check this article out on how to become heartless or a little more selfish than you are.