Would you say that you have psychological well-being in your life? Happiness is something resilient and sometimes hardly understandable. Therefore, you get to think for a moment what makes you feel good and that can be understood as your happiness. We get to understand that happiness implies well-being and that this happiness has two aspects.
We can refer to positive feelings or states of mind, as well as the avoidance of stress or depression, this being a hedonic perspective.
On the other hand, if we consider what is the realization of personal potential and the fulfillment of life goals, we would be referring to the eudaimonia perspective of well-being. Let’s see what this differentiation is for.
Are You Socially Competent?
If when answering the question you said that you feel good because you have achieved something that is important to you or you have social or romantic relationships where there is a reciprocal relationship that makes you happy, you would be an independent and socially competent person.
But what if you said you are only happy when your partner or other people relevant to you are happy? In this case, it would be manifested to be an emotionally dependent person.
Dependent people are not happy by themselves but show a dependent attachment to other people whom they idealize and pretend to please. This makes them submit to the needs of the other over their own.
The root of this dependence can be in an incorrect social learning in human relationships or a forceful understanding of your life due to the avoidance of problems caused by your partner. There can be some other reasons too including from an insecure attachment in childhood to an attitude of submission promoted by social stereotypes.
Male and Female Social Roles
The role congruence theory of Alice H. Eagly points out that certain social roles are considered more typical of boys or girls, with submission or modesty being more valued in girls and in women. This submissive style also produces a greater passive communicational style and greater dependence when making decisions.
Among the decisions that a person can make is to maintain relationships. Dependent people will show a way of relating in which the wishes of the other are more important than their own and excessive dependence on women would act as a factor that increases the tolerance to abusive relationships in the couple.
An abusive relationship is a violent relationship and this kind of relationship often lead to greater violence when the abuser realizes the power he or she possesses over the dependent person in the relationship. In fact, this study reveals that both the economic and emotional dependence of women or men on their partners increase the risk of suffering violence either orally or physically.
It also reduces the likelihood of reporting and leaving or ending this violent relationship. As a consequence of this emotional dependence, the abused suffer from anxiety, depression, obsessive thoughts, show low self-esteem, and are prone to repeat this pattern of negative and dependent relationships with different partners.
Therefore, when we read or hear the news of a homicide or excessive violence and we wonder why that woman or men did not leave the relationship earlier, we are blaming the victim for a situation in which, psychologically, s/he does not have enough strength due to his or her emotional dependence, that makes the abuser fall over and over again in believing that if his partner is happy, everything will be fine which never happens. But the person remains happy and has a logical mind, nobody would turn up violent.
Details That Appear During Youth
In many pieces of research, I analyzed what are the elements that promote negative and dependent relationships, which are manifested from a young age. Studies carried out on young couples show that violence occurs frequently.
This violence can be expressed in different ways, which can be grouped according to the following taxonomy: physical violence, psychological violence, and sexual violence. Psychological violence is the one with the highest prevalence rate.
In addition, this type of violence is also carried out through mobile devices and new technologies. These means allow the aggressor to have greater power over the victim, and the victim to be watched and questioned, making them more vulnerable and dependent. We can add another word besides vulnerable and dependent which is a ‘Good person’ with the fear of losing self-respect. These victims always prioritize their ideology of protecting the secret and they also think “what will other people think” of the abuse and their psychological and economical dependencies on the partner.
A Violence That Is Not Perceived from Within
In contrast to the alarming numbers of young people who experience violence within their relationship, the research that has covered this problem shows that the members of the relationship do not perceive this violence.
Young people often confuse violent or abusive behavior with displays of affection. What is happening to cause this confusion? There are many factors associated with intimate partner violence, some of which mask violent behavior with expressions of concern, love, play!
Among them, we find that emotional dependence plays a fundamental role in the normalization of young people regarding these behaviors, such as displays of love or loyalty, which will lead to a coercive or even violent relationship that can be maintained into adulthood.
A person can remain in an unsatisfactory relationship due to high dependency. The person believes that he or she meets important needs for him or her that in other alternative relationships he could not get. In many situations, the person does not think about leaving the partner rather always keeps hoping in that abusive relationship that it will get better. But eventually, the time passes
Jealousy and Control
However, we must not forget that there are also men and women who, although to a lesser extent, manifest this emotional dependence on their partners, making jealousy and control their way of trying to maintain this relationship, since they feel lost without it.
Therefore, we also consider the need to work on strengths such as emotional intelligence. Since it is proved that reduction of this toxic pattern of relationships when the ability to attend, understand, and regulate emotions in an appropriate way is improved. That is when emotional intelligence is improved.