New Release by Shashi Tharoor
  • Meera

What does it mean to be independent?

When we use the word independent, the first thing that pops into mind is -'financial independence'. Is the ability to pay own bills enough to call one independent? My guess is a big NO! According to me, you can call a person truly independent when he/she is emotionally, financially, mentally able to take own decisions on all matters related to everyday living. You are independent when you don't need anyone. There is a difference between wanting someone and needing someone. Trust me, wanting is better than needing. You definitely want to stay with people purely for the joy of company. Being with someone because you are financially or emotionally dependent does not feel good, trust me. Being financially dependent on someone is bad for them as well as you. You will forever be insecure and will have to manage your relationship lot more than you manage your relationship with your boss. Okay, many would disagree because in case where other person loves you and is a giver, you wont feel that way. But the guilt of spending will burden you and you will feel like a liability most times and this is not good at all. Also you will be indebted to always being available to them because they have done a favor to you. Even if you are dependent on your parents financially, after a particular age; its just not right! Emotional dependence on other hand is less obvious. You cannot immediately notice it. But eventually it becomes toxic as your emotional dependence grows overtime and starts suffocating both parties. Emotionally dependent people cant manage their anger, sadness, feelings on their own. They need someone to vent out their feelings to, they just cant live with their feelings and this puts burden on the one who is listening all the time. After a point of time, the one who is listening stops listening and starts avoiding but its too late. From then on the emotionally dependent person has to learn from scratch how to deal with their own feelings. They feel sudden abandonment and many times it also affects their work and personal life. It gets difficult to figure out what went wrong and why suddenly they have to deal with their own feelings and emotions without having anyone to share everything with! Then there is mental dependence where you depend on the other person for all your . decision making. Everything you want to buy, the job you want to quit, the place you want to live, your goals, you are dependent on someone else to make all minor and major decisions. Now this affects big time. Because now you are like a toddler even after having a job, your own circle you are not confident enough to take your own decisions , you need to discuss with that person. This usually happens to people in romantic relationships. One of the partner puts over faith in the other's capability and smartness and dependent ones get the hit when relationship ends because now they have to learn to live on their own. Mental dependency makes them over depend on one person and most of their own capabilities are underutilised.

If you can identify yourself with any of the above being either financially, mentally or emotionally dependent personality, don't feel guilty- its okay. The other person also feels validated as being the smarter one and enjoys taking the lead until it becomes too much.The best relationship is the one where both people are independent and share responsibilities equally. Why have I written mostly about traits on dependent ones is because they are the ones who suffer most when relationship ends. They do validate, appreciate their partners and support them in all their goals and endeavours but suppose of their relationship ends, they are left to struggle from all angles. Mostly financially dependent partners are also dependent mentally for all major decisions and emotionally are more attached to the relationship because they have less exposure to network, go out more, or in many cases they suffer from inferiority complex that makes them feel they are less worthy and thus become needy. There are also instances where even the financially independent partner can become emotionally dependent for validation, boasting their superiority, anger management and sharing their stress and feelings. Equal dependence is quite possible where it comes to emotional dependency and that is why it hurts a lot after a break up. But mental and financial independence is absolutely necessary. There are again cases where one partner decides to take a back seat in career to take care of the house and other daily responsibilities but that does not mean you are any less and you must still hone your skills and keep yourself updated and equally part-take in all major decisions. Independence is thus majorly being able to live alone and take all decisions related to daily living and being a responsible person. Taking responsibilities is the only way to become independent and survive in the world.

Stay blessed, take care and never shy away from any responsibilities.

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