How Does Fear Create Relationship Dependency?

October 7, 2015   •  Posted in: 

When people fear themselves, they will sometimes turn to activities to try to outrun the fear. They may use alcohol, drugs, shopping, eating, gambling, or the internet to keep from being alone with themselves.

Other people may turn to family, friends or co-workers to crowd out their fear of being alone. For those who turn to people, relationships, in a sense, become their drug of choice, the way they cope with their fear of being alone.

Relationships were not meant to be based on fear. Relationships were meant to provide stability, strength, and a launching point for independence in life. Relationships were meant to provide a place to grow up, launch out, and come into your own. Something in that process gets twisted in relationship dependency. Instead of providing and enhancing independence, relationships become an avenue for dependence.

At the heart of relationship dependency is fear, the fear that the dependent person is not enough. This realization that “I am not enough” is, in a sense, true. We were made for relationships and were not mean to exist as lone rangers in the world. But for a dependence person, the understanding that “I am not enough” is followed with the judgment of “Therefore, I am flawed and unlovable.”

If you believe you are flawed and unlovable, this hard judgment can undermine your relationships. You may reach out to others seeking completeness but remain fearful of being unworthy of those relationships. Those relationships become vital for your sense of security, but that sense of security is never fully realized: “I am not enough, so I seek out others, but I am unworthy to be loved by others.”

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How do you talk to yourself?
  • When something bad happens, do you jump in to take the blame?
  • When something good happens, are you the last to claim credit?
  • What sort of reasons do you give for the things that happen to you and around you?
  • How quick are you to forgive yourself when you mess up?

When you are your own worst enemy, it can be challenging to escape from that constant condemning, criticizing, or demeaning voice inside your head. If you are running from yourself, this fear can lead to relationship dependency.

Our team at The Center • A Place of HOPE specializes in uncovering the layers of relationship dependency that may have accumulated over time. We specialize in whole person care—in understanding the full dimensions of an individual, and the life script that brought them to where they are today. Each person that comes to The Center • A Place of HOPE is unique, which means that their recovery journey will be equally unique. We are ready to help you on this journey to uncover your true, healthy, happy self. If you are ready to take the first step on this journey, fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to speak with a recovery specialist today.

Dr. Gregory Jantz

Pioneering Whole Person Care over thirty years ago, Dr. Gregory Jantz is an innovator in the treatment of mental health. He is a best-selling author of over 45 books, and a go-to media authority on behavioral health afflictions, appearing on CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, and CNN. Dr. Jantz leads a team of world-class, licensed, and...

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