An Independent Person's Guide to Depending on Others

For an extremely independent person, it can be incredibly difficult to learn to depend on others. Fear and frustration can arise when you must depend on—or even consider depending on—others for physical, emotional, financial, or other help.

Putting your trust in others can be both terrifying and exhausting. Yet, it can also help to ease your burdens, teach you humility, and strengthen relationships with your loved ones. If you have trouble letting go and accepting help from others, consider the following as a sort of “an independent person’s guide to depending on others.”

Learning to Strike a Healthy Balance

There is a fine line between depending on others and becoming codependent. An independent person may mistake “depending on others” to mean “relying on others to do everything for them.” Learning to be okay with the concept of dependency does not mean forgetting how to care for yourself or tend to your own needs.

Recognize there is a healthy balance to be struck. You can accept help from others without losing control of yourself and your own identity. Generally speaking, it is quite possible for people to comfortably depend on others for certain needs, without sacrificing their innately independent natures.

Accepting That Dependency Does Not Equal Weakness

There are many common reasons why it’s difficult for an independent person to learn to depend on others. Perhaps you feel that if you want something done right, you should simply do it yourself. Maybe you think it is faster and more efficient to just rely on yourself for all your needs.

You may have been hurt, disappointed, or let down by others when they did not follow through in the past. It is certainly not unreasonable to fear that trusting them again may leave you feeling alone and abandoned.

Whatever the reason, if the thought of relying on others makes you feel weak and incapable, you are not alone. Part of learning to depend on others, however, is accepting that dependency and weakness are not the same thing.

Accepting help from others does not make you worthless or a burden — nor does it mean that you are incapable of completing a task on your own. Rather, learning to become dependent on others means that you are humble, teachable, imperfect, and otherwise “human.”

Almost everyone is dependent on others for a portion of their needs or wants. Accepting this assistance and depending on their aid does not constitute a lack of ability or strength.

Keeping a Broader Perspective

If you are fiercely independent person by nature, it is important to remember that accepting help from others is not only sometimes necessary but also incredibly healthy and rewarding. Depending on others is often about so much more than yourself and your needs. It also allows you to strengthen relationships with the people in your life.

Many times, the people you depend on for physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, or mental help genuinely want to help you and lighten your load. Accepting their help allows them a chance to serve you and to find happiness in seeing you more at peace. And can become enrich both of you.

Also important to remember is that dependency should not mean relying on outside sources for happiness, purpose, peace, or meaning. An emotionally healthy individual knows his or her limits and recognizes when it’s appropriate to seek and accept help from others.

A major part of depending on others includes keeping a broader perspective of your life. Recognize the areas in which you may be lacking and could most benefit from working with others.

It’s up to you to find the best balance for your life and your individual needs. If you are feeling alone, overwhelmed, or lost, consider the positive impact depending on others could have in your life. Do not be afraid to reach out and ask for help where it is needed.

Contact me at (619) 708-3314 (phone or text) or at therapy@annegoshen.com to schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation to discuss how therapy might help the relationships in your life. Or, for more information, go to www.annegoshen.com

Dr. Anne Goshen