Dependence & Reliance : Good or Bad?

Dependency is a funny thing. Reliance goes hand in hand and to be frank, sometimes it just seems to be the same thing. Over the years, I’ve come to notice that what were once endearing terms have found their way into sentences that mark a negative aspect about one while highlighting the positive of another.

“He depends on you too much.”

“She’s just way too reliant on you”

“Since people can depend on you, you seem to be a dependable person”

“Since she can rely on you so much, I guess you’re a very reliable person”

I don’t know how this happened in our society where relying or depending on someone is seen as a lack of individual confidence as well as a negative trait; however, being dependable or reliable is seen as a attractive trait. I think it’s time we change this mentality because these ideas have become generalized among the people in our society where even the slightest bit can lead you down the path of receiving wrongful judgement.

For example, an infant who is dependent on his or her mother is to be expected, correct? Do we question as to whether this infant is over-doing it? No. We’ve been taught that a baby is supposed rely on the mother. Now, is a girl or guy considered too dependent on their significant other if they find the need to rely on the partner? Yes and no. We’ve been taught that each individual should have their own individuality and that we give up our individuality if we lean on someone “too much.” This is absolutely absurd because then I believe we’ve taken the words out of their original definitions and created monster. Years and years ago it was expected that the woman depend on the man to provide for food and shelter. Back then a woman would put all her bags in one basket and devote herself to a man in the hopes that he would provide; it was never considered to be too much back then.

Of course, in our more “developed” time today we believe that independence is of great importance. Don’t get me wrong. I believe that it is of great importance as well, but our society has strained the idea so much that anything outside of independence is somewhat looked down upon. We’ve come a long way since the days when a man was the sole provider of food and the women stayed at home looking after the children; however, I think we’ve hit the opposite end of the spectrum. No matter how you look at it, people who depend on one another tend to be looked down upon since the common belief is that “you should be able to take care of yourself.”

Frankly, I think that’s a load of crap. Our society seems to have a hard time finding a right balance; it’s either this end or the other end. I think dependence and reliance all stem from the idea of trust. Could you really depend or rely on someone you don’t particularly trust? I don’t believe so. You depend on others because you trust that they will take care of whatever it is you’re depending on them for. We kind of look at those in love and those who get married in awe as they devote their lives to one another, and yet stand to judge those who depend on others. Although I don’t know if there is a particular solution that works or whatever, I stand somewhat confused wondering why, where, and when this change was brought up on our society.

I don’t believe it’s bad to rely on others. Yes, some may disappoint you because they’re not particularly reliable people; however, people will be people and people make mistakes. Blindly following someone and throwing away your life is never a good thing, but to have a balanced dependency is definitely not a bad thing. Some think that it may be weakness and a lack of individuality that leads down the path of dependency, but I think it takes quite a bit of strength to actually depend on rely on others. You give your trust to someone in the hopes that they will follow through, and believe me, trust is not something to be given easily. To muster up the courage to trust someone else with something that would normally be part of your individuality is quite a bold move.

So to wrap up this long venting session or whatever this was, I just want to tell all you guys out there that depending on one another or just on someone else is not necessarily a bad thing. We don’t want to go back to the stone ages and have reliance swing simply one  nor do we want to be self-indulgent closed off individuals that seem to have a need to shoulder all burdens of this world. Learn to trust and have the courage to trust. Broken or not, it’s a growing pain, and as you do it more you’ll realize who you can trust and what you can entrust with someone else.

Happy Thursday!

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