If you have come to realize that you are unhappy in your relationships because you tend to rely on others for your happiness, then you are not alone. For an emotionally dependent person, it is very hard to figure out how to stop relying on others for happiness. In this article I will guide you through all the ways that you can stop relying on others for happiness.
By improving yourself and focusing on self-growth you can grow more comfortable in your own company. Which will then help you find happiness in yourself. Consequently, you will stop relying on others for happiness.
However, like most emotional development, it is easier said than done. So, if you truly want to know how to stop relying on others for happiness, you need to understand why it is bad for you, in what ways you are dependent, and exactly what to implement to see change. So, without further ado, let’s dive right into it.
Is It Bad to Rely on Someone For Happiness?
The short answer is yes, it is bad for your emotional well-being to rely on someone for happiness. For starters, you will not only be unhappy in all your relationships but unhappy in general.
If you depend on others to act and be a certain way to be happy yourself, you will likely have high expectations. Which will bring dissatisfaction when people in your life fail to live up to them. This will therefore completely ruin the quality of your relationship with the person you are depending on.
Eventually, you will start to lose confidence in yourself and grow more dependent. This is bad for you because there are times in your life when you will be alone. By destroying your confidence and independence you are setting yourself up for failures in those times.
So, by relying on others for your own happiness you will primarily be unhappy and dissatisfied in all your relationships. And in the long run, you will lose the ability to live your best life.
Why Does My Happiness Depend on Others?
There can be a lot of reasons behind your emotional dependence. At the root of it is the inability to rely on oneself and trust oneself. If you cannot rely on yourself to take care of your emotional well-being you are likely to seek someone else who can do it for you.
This type of behavior can develop from childhood trauma, a sense of inadequacy, insecurities, and so on. It can even start with a simple thought like ‘I am not good enough’.
Negative thoughts like these will become bigger with time and make you believe you cannot be happy on your own. So eventually you start depending on someone else for your own happiness.
On the other hand, it can also be because your life has always been controlled by someone else. So, you simply do not know how to take control of your own happiness and be independent.
How Do I Know If I Am Emotionally Dependent?
You can find out whether you are emotionally dependent by simply asking yourself four questions:
- Using your relationship to define yourself
If you use your relationships to define yourself it means you are not giving yourself enough time and space to make your own identity. Rather you are depending on someone else to define yourself.
- Feeling upset when your partner does not meet your expectations
If you are constantly setting expectations for your partner and feeling upset when they do not meet them, it shows you depend on their reaction and action for your happiness. Thus, when they do not act a certain way you feel dissatisfied.
- Feeling uncomfortable in your own company
If you do not enjoy the alone time it means you do not give yourself enough space to get to know yourself. This is why you cannot find happiness within yourself. So, you rely on others for your happiness.
- Always looking for other people’s approval
If you seek the approval of others rather than yours, it means you do not trust yourself. This means you rely on what other people think of you to be happy rather than deciding it for yourself. This constant need for validation ultimately makes you unhappy.
If your answer to all these questions is yes, then you are completely relying upon other people for your own happiness and well-being. This means you are most likely emotionally dependent.
13 Ways to Stop Relying on Others
For someone who is emotionally dependent on others for happiness, it is not easy to become self-reliant and start trusting themselves. But it is not an impossible task. By patiently implementing the following steps in your day-to-day life, you can slowly but surely achieve it:
1. Take A Closer Look
It is often easy to miss things that are right before our eyes. In this case, it is us that we forget to take a closer look at while we aIre busy looking at our surroundings. So, take a closer look at yourself and see if you can find anything worth celebrating within yourself rather than outside of you.
We are so busy chasing material happiness these days that we often implement the same concept in our relationships. We think that outside things or other people are responsible for our happiness. But there might be so much within us if we choose to take a closer look.
2. Find Something You Love
As emotionally dependent people, we tend to think that we can only be happy if our partner acts in a certain way. So, when they do not live up to our expectations, we feel unhappy. One way to combat this is finding something you love separate from your partner or other people you love.
It can be a hobby like singing or drawing. It can be anything really if you love doing it. When you realize that you can be happy doing what you love without involving other people, you will surely move a step closer to self-reliance. So, ask yourself what makes you happy, and do not hesitate to be experimental!
Once you have found something you love, try to add it into your daily routine gradually. If you go all in at first, you might give up easily. So smaller steps are a surer away to make it stick.
3. Create and Be Creative
Emotional dependence often stems from insecurities. In other words, when we think we are not enough, we look for happiness in someone else. Being creative and creating new things can boost your self-esteem. Which will help you realize that you are in fact, enough.
It does not even have to be a big project. A small painting project or a DIY project and even a small baking session can be empowering. Creating something gives us a sense of accomplishment and makes us realize our own potential.
4. Spend Time With Yourself
We are so focused on our partner or the people who are us that we often forget our own existence in a relationship. It is important to give ourselves space. Hence it is important to spend time with yourself.
Spending a night alone on a weekend paints a sorry picture. However, it is not only extremely important and healing but also enjoyable. The more you spend time with yourself the more you will realize what brings you happiness. And the less you will rely on others.
5. Take Responsibility
Emotionally dependent people are not good at taking care of their own emotional needs. Which makes them depend on someone else to do so. But the truth is, your happiness is your responsibility.
Now how can you take responsibility for your own happiness? The first step is to stop blaming others for not meeting your expectations. Secondly, you need to take a closer look at what makes you happy and make finding it your responsibility.
By addressing your emotional needs and making sure you take care of them, you can take responsibility for your own happiness rather than relying on others.
6. Prioritize Your Needs
If you think you are emotionally dependent, then chances are you have been called ‘needy’ before. It is natural for dependent people to be needy as they cannot take care of their own needs. So, they rely on others to do so.
When you are trying to become self-reliant, your priority should be you and therefore your needs. First, you need to identify your needs. An easy way to do this is to notice in which context you feel needy.
Once you have recognized your needs, it is also important to establish that they are important. If you do not take care of them, they will not simply go away. So, you must systematically care for them.
If you can take control of your own needs, you will no longer depend on someone else to take care of them for you. This transition will make you more self-reliant as you start trusting yourself more.
7. Get to Know Yourself
As human beings, our identity is not fixed. We use our surroundings to identify ourselves. The same goes for the people that surround us. We might be someone’s mother, someone’s brother, someone’s partner, and so on.
Sometimes we forget who we are among so many identities. To be self-reliant, you need to remember who you truly are, separate from all your relationships. The best way to find your true self is through self-reflection.
And to do so you need to spend time with yourself. If that is not doing the trick, journaling can be an amazing tool for self-reflection. Self-reflection will help you get to know yourself. This is important because you can only rely on yourself when you know who you are.
8. Redefining the Negatives
A lot of the time, dependence arises from the understanding that we are not good enough or reliable enough. To trust yourself and be happy on your own, you need to address these negative emotions.
An effective way of dealing with negative thought patterns is to redefine them. For example, rather than thinking you are boring, take a look at things that do interest you. Or rather than thinking you are stupid for feeling needy, try addressing your needs.
By redefining your negative self-image, you will be able to see yourself in a positive light. This will help you to be happy in your own skin by celebrating your positive traits. Consequently, you will be more confident in yourself.
9. Overcoming Complains with Gratefulness
When you depend on others for your own happiness, you are often left unsatisfied. Which is natural as another person can’t understand and satisfy your specific needs. This leads to a lot of complaining.
In your journey towards self-reliance, you can combat this by practicing gratefulness. A simple way to achieve this would be listing five things you are grateful for every morning when you wake up.
When you start to actively be grateful for all the positive aspects of your life, you will feel more satisfied with your own self. Therefore, you will rely less on others for your happiness.
10. Be Your Own Guide
When emotional dependence turns toxic it often pushes people to let others manipulate their lives. It is always important to keep the people in our lives in mind whilst making any decision. But we cannot solely rely on others to make the best choice for us.
If you want to be self-reliant, you cannot let someone else control your choices. Your choices should be based on your needs and wants while keeping others in mind. To do so, you need to become your own guide.
11. Give Yourself Some Space
In closed quarters, it is hard to see how emotionally dependent we are while it is very easy to become so. So, when you are trying to be responsible for your own happiness it is always a good idea to give yourself some space.
Creating a little distance between you and your partner can be a healthy way to evaluate your relationship. This practice will help you see your actions and thought patterns from afar. Which will then help you identify your needs and wants.
If you practice being alone in your own space, you will grow more comfortable in your own company. So, giving yourself some space will ensure you do not forget how to enjoy yourself without the help of others.
12. Speak Up
If you are to rely on yourself and trust yourself, you need to be honest to yourself and express your thoughts. If you hide away your vulnerabilities, they will only become your weakness.
Starting from addressing your problems to facing them, every step of the way you must learn to express yourself. By speaking up for yourself you will be able to better resolve your problems and needs.
But how can you do that? Start by doing it on your own first. When you are alone, try asking yourself questions and answering them truthfully. When you can be completely honest with yourself, you will naturally start to trust yourself.
Whether it be our personal or professional life self-reliance and self-trust is an important part of achieving both success and happiness. Without these attributes, you yourself will become an obstacle on your path to contentment. But using what I’ve shared in this article I’m sure that you can overcome this mental obstacle.
13. Take Up Small Responsibilities
According to world renowned psychologist JordanPeterson if you want to be successful in life then start by making your bed. At first making your bed might sound like a task too mundane to make any meaningful impact in your life. But the truth is far from it.
Taking up small responsibilities for yourself and becoming more self-reliant will make you feel more capable eventually. Things like making your bed, cooking breakfast for yourself and your family, doing the dishes and even taking out the trash will allow you to learn new life skills and give you a position among your family members.
Remember that you will start to feel self-reliant when you start doing things that allow others to rely on you. So, take up these small household responsibilities and I’m sure you will notice the changes in how you feel about yourself.
Why Should You Trust Yourself to Be Happy?
Trusting yourself is the most important factor in your journey towards self-reliance. If you want your happiness to be your responsibility you need to feel confident in your ability to provide that happiness. And you cannot do that if you do not trust yourself.
The world, the people around us, and the society we live in are all uncertain. So, to find comfort, peace, and stability you need to look within the self. If you can trust yourself, you will not need someone else’s approval to feel happy.
It is natural to have self-doubt, to be anxious, and have insecurities. But if you learn to trust yourself you will have a stable base to start building your self-reliance on. So, trusting yourself will ensure that you find your way back to happiness completely on your own terms.
By now you know everything there is to know about how to stop relying on others for happiness. However, knowing and implementing it are two very different things. It might be a difficult journey but one that will surely be worthwhile.
Once you have mastered self-reliance and can trust yourself to be responsible for your own happiness, you will most definitely see a positive change in your own life as well as in your relationship with others. I sincerely hope that this article comes to your aid in building self-trust. Be proud of yourself and be self-confident. Thanks for reading till the end.