I often see trends emerging when working with clients. I ask myself if it’s just a coincidence or whether I am subconsciously moving my clients towards certain subjects that I’m interested in. (I certainly hope not!).
Last week I noticed that several of my clients were talking about their discomfort with feeling dependent on their partners. This got me thinking about what it means to be dependent on another person; how it makes us feel when we do and how we can learn about ourselves when these feelings come up.
One client I was speaking to said that she always ends up feeling insecure and diminished whenever she feels vulnerable with her husband. She convinced herself that her husband was unemotionally available and wouldn’t accept her neediness. Because of the narrative she created, she pushed herself hard and cut off from her feelings, believing that her husband didn’t care about her. She started to notice this had been a pattern throughout her life, and that she had never allowed others to offer her the support she truly needed.
We are dependent from the minute we come into this world. We rely on our caretakers to care of us and keep us safe. So it’s no wonder, even when we become adults, that we strive to feel safe and cared for. Yet, somewhere along the way, we are told (or tell ourselves) that being dependent isn’t a good thing; it makes us weak and we should independent. This narrative has become distorted. We cease to understand that, as humans, we are all interdependent; we all rely on one another and that (most importantly) we become stronger, not weaker by allowing our loved ones and friends to embrace us when we need it.
If we are able to learn and appreciate that when we sometimes need help it doesn’t need to translate into neediness, we can begin to normalize our thoughts and be more comfortable with asking.