Humans… We’re built to be part of a tribe, and to belong. We’re genetically programmed to contribute to a group (whether that’s a group of 2 or 2,000).
There is an unconscious need to produce something of value, and we should not fight that.
Our independence within ourselves should not be completely lost in our effort to contribute to the success of others.
Keep reading for 3 reasons to maintain your independence in addition to the successful function of the tribe we belong to.
Good Mental Health
It’s a buzz-word these days, but it’s an important one. Mental Health is the foundation to everything.
Have you ever seen a brick building on a wood foundation? That would be foolish.
Don’t be a fool.
Imagine being paralyzed from the neck down, getting full time care from other people.
You’re waiting to be bathed, you’re being fed (sometimes via feeding tube), you can’t change the channel and it’s the 4th straight episode of 7th Heaven.
You scream out “SOMEBODY END THIS PAIN”. But everyone has left for the day, and you’ve got no one to help you… You’re screwed.
Then you realize, you’re not actually paralyzed, you only imagined it because I just instructed you to do so.
That situation is really extreme, and there sadly are real people who need everything done for them. But I’m not one of those people, and more than likely, neither are you.
A more ideal scenario is that you’ve got tasks to handle, and you can depend on a few other people to handle other tasks that contribute to the overall goal of the tribe.
That’s the goal. To be mentally clear on what our role is in the grand scheme of things; should anything change in our situation, we can adjust and keep on trucking with only a slight disadvantage.
Which brings me to my next point…
Ability To Continue Living
Simple enough concept, but tying ourselves up will make it difficult to adjust should life inevitably change course.
Preparing and consuming meals is a crucial part of staying alive, would you agree?
Some folks will depend on another person for all of their meals. That’s crazy, unless you’re younger than 13 years old!
If the person doing all of cooking decides to quit one day, I would be willing to bet the nutritional value of the meals being eaten will plummet.
It’s drive-thru this, or microwave that.. That’s no way to continue living, especially if we’re aiming for physical fitness (even a loose definition of fitness).
Being fully dependent on someone else for all financial support is a scary place to be.
But, a lot of moms are in that space (and some dads these days).
Honestly, the cost of childcare can be to blame for a lot of these problems. Who can afford to go to work for $13/hr and pay a babysitter $11/hr?
That’s a $520 paycheck for 40 hours of work, and keeping less than $80 after taxes is a waste of gas and time.
But once children are school aged, then a part time job around their schedule to put into your own savings would be a good move.
Also, closing gaps in employment by always having some type of income is great when you want to continue your career some day (unless you’re an entrepreneur or independently wealthy… In which case, tell me your secrets).
Wrapping ourselves up totally in another human being is an expression of love, it’s truly magically to find someone who we can fully connect with.
Being dependent on another person fully is another story that a majority of adults have learned the hard way.
If a significant other is lost in one way or another, finding yourself again will be a challenge and a journey.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t love. Because a world without love and vulnerability is not a world I want to live in.
Be happy with yourself emotionally while also being available to the one you love.
It should be easier to be happy when you are with your partner, but they should not be the only reason you are happy.
That brings me to my last point…
Have Meaningful Relationships
There are different kinds of relationships, and they’re all important in their own way!
These are important to nurture, as we typically see our partners on a daily basis, or speak with them frequently… I hope?
Each party in a relationship like this should bring 100% of themselves, and 50% of the relationship to the table.
There’s not reason to walk around as 50% of ourselves unless our partner is there. That’s a hard place to be, especially when relationships don’t always work.
So, this is me telling you that your partner would be happier to hear your ideas, support you, and give you time for your own hobbies to allow you to be better.
There’s only so much coaxing though, some partners just don’t have interests (this happens a lot in younger romances exiting High School).
Being co-dependent can be healthy, as long as we can clearly see where we end and our partner begins.
Do you have at least a couple of real friends that you interact with at least once a month?
If you answered “no”, please pick up your phone and find at least one friend to hang out with at least occasionally. It’s healthy and if you’re dating or married, make sure your spouse has at least one friend too.
I can’t tell you how many times I see people fully dependent on one person, and when that one person is unavailable, they’re lost…
It’s okay to do things alone sometimes, but we’re not meant to be solitary. Have and keep at least one good friend/platonic relationship with someone whom you get along with (or a group of someones).
This helps with creativity and the feeling of a community, which are both healthy things to feel and help us function properly as members of society.
The last category I’ll touch on.
Is that because it’s the least important? Yes, and no.
I make friends at work rather easily, as I’m a decent human being and get along with most people regardless of their background or history.
Does that mean I can throw away friends I meet at work? Absolutely not, I keep in touch with people when they or I inevitably change jobs.
Having people we can relate to at work is great since we all spend a large chunk of our lives working!
If we don’t handle our professional obligations first though, the friendships will cause distraction and strain that connection.
Ultimately, every aspect of our lives should be unique to ourselves.
At the end of the day, you need it for yourself to maintain your independence.
Be happy with yourself.
Be physically and mentally fit.
Be aware of healthy relationships.
Don’t settle for being treated in a way that you don’t accept.