Do you rely on others or only yourself? Do you have a rule to follow or you do it randomly, perhaps without even being aware of which side you’re leaning to?
Depending on personality, some people are more reliant than others, but everybody is to a certain extent. Our lives are based on dependency; yet it often results in disappointments. That feeling of being let down arises from expectations – small and big, realistic and unrealistic, objective and subjective, put across or kept inside.
Expectations = Disappointments
Knowing this perfectly clearly, the question is: How can you save yourself from the annoyances of feeling let down? Relying purely on oneself is a way of going about it, but it’s rarely done as it brings loneliness. Regardless of any extreme rebellious nature out there, nobody wants to be alone, unaccepted, and isolated. Everybody needs community; perhaps carefully picked, but community nonetheless.
As usual, the middle road is the best road, and learning to take it comes from trying out each extreme. At least, that’s my experience. Being raised on a strong ethical code and going out in the world with rose-tinted glasses; only to be terrified by all the injustice happening around me wasn’t easy.
Books can’t prepare you for it. If anything, they make you more naïve, though they do contribute to making you a better person.
Identify Your Priorities
As for the suffering, it’s inevitable and yet essential in life as a roadblock to be passed. A few things I’ve learned about dependency through the years:
1. Always be financially independent.
This means not borrowing money from your parents, friends, extended family – anybody. Even if you’re in a rut, figure a way out without getting into debt, like doing a meaningless job. I’ve worked three jobs and didn’t go back to my parents’ house. As an adult, I feel responsible for getting myself back on my feet. And the key to have more money isn’t saving, as commonly believed, but earning more. Of course it’s important not to spend overhead, but the more you’re making the more you can afford.
2. Don’t expect anything from your friends.
This isn’t some bitter statement about how your friends aren’t worth it or that you shouldn’t have ‘unrealistic’ expectations. Unrealistic means different for everyone. What’s unrealistic for certain people is more than realistic for others. So, why not get rid of any expectation? Friends are there to have fun with, to share, to laugh and cry, to do incredible things together, to be bored together, to be foolish together and support each other. Wouldn’t it be great if you are surprised by your friends’ incredibleness each and every time?
3. Don’t take your life partner for granted.
Your life partner is there for life. Being someone’s best friend, lover, partner, and family isn’t easy and the expectations are huge. Only by reminding yourself of their worth and huge role they’re playing in your life will you be able to constantly appreciate what you’re given.
4. Flexibility is all you need.
By being flexible to change, you’re doing yourself the biggest favor. The more you adapt, the easier it gets. On top of that, you won’t even notice small annoyances. The more obstacles you run into by openly embracing change, the better you’ll become at handling problems and get further on the road to full independence.
Obviously, this works for me and isn’t a general recipe for success. Test yours by trial and error. By identifying your priorities, you’ll find the right mix.
Are you depending on others or trying to be as independent as possible? What’s your mix?