Developing Interdependence by Kimberly Gibson, LPCC

step 11 meditationIn most intimate relationships, one must strike a balance between independence and dependency. If one is “too” independent in a relationship, then a genuine connection can be hard to foster and maintain. On the other end of the pendulum is too much dependency. If one becomes “too” dependent (needy) in their relationship, one’s partner may feel smothered and seek out their space. Ideally, in a healthy relationship, balance is achieved and inter-dependency is the result.

Inter-dependency is defined as the quality or condition of being interdependent or mutually reliant on each other. People in interdependent relationships are equals and find ways to balance how each other’s needs are met.

There are three suggestions on how to find that balance and develop inter-dependency in one’s relationship.

1) Listen to yourself. Check in and know what you want. Learn to speak up and share your feelings. If you find yourself disregarding your own feelings, wants and needs in order to be kind or maintain the status-quo then understand this dynamic. It may keep the peace in the short term but in the long run, it can cause resentments and power imbalances. 2) Listen to your partner as he or she shares wants and needs. Try not to jump to conclusions or make assumptions. Really listen and stay in the present moment and remember, over time, wants and needs can & do change. 3) Maintain your individual identity. People in interdependent relationship recognize the importance of maintaining their individual identify as well as their identity as part of a couple. One’s individuality can be maintained through work, friendships or activities. Maintaining one’s individuality can help to maintain perspective and not rely on an intimate relationship to meet every need, which will lead to a more balanced.relationship

Elana Clark-Faler
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