What Kind of -Dependent Are You?

There are, broadly speaking, three kinds of “dependent:” co-, in- and inter-.

One is clearly undesirable, another is sometimes okay and a third (understood properly) is clearly superior.

Which do you think is which?

I’ll take them in order.

Co-dependent: being co-dependent means you not only are not divorced from your personal power, but your weakness is tied to, and dynamically linked to, the weakness(es) of another.

Then there’s independent.

Independent is okay, depending on how and when it manifests.  In contrast to co-dependence, it is clearly superior. Depending on how one treats and interacts with others, it does not necessarily do any harm.

It is, though, limiting and keeps the world small. As powerful as we are, there’s only so much we can do, and at any one time.

There’s no leverage in independence.

That leaves us with interdependent. And this one can be a tricky one. Mis-understood, as it often is, people shy away from it, or don’t even consider it altogether.

So, what is interdependence?

Interdependence is a relationship where members are mutually – and equitably – dependent to each other. Notice I didn’t say “on” each other, but “to” each other. It’s an important difference.

When I am in an interdependent relationship (of any sort), I am bringing my unique talents and strengths to bear, for myself and others, and benefiting from the same in others – the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

It’s amazing what can be accomplished when a group of people – each strong and talented in their own right – come together in a healthy interdependent relationship, whether it be at work, in the community, in a family or between two people.

The lesson is to be independent, and be interdependent to others, for your benefit and theirs.’

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