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Irrational Idea 8: Relying Too Much on Others

Click here for the introductory document in this series.

Irrational Idea #8

“It’s OK to completely rely on others because they are stronger.”

It’s important to do things for yourself and accept help from others. Are you self reliant or depending on others for too much?

  • Each person has a set of strengths and weaknesses. No one can do it all, and if they could, they couldn’t do it all—all of the time. Some have used this to rationalize their own dependency on others—often depending on someone so heavily that those who care for them are left with an unfair burden when the irrational person neglects to do things they are capable of doing on their own.
  • By relying on others, you will decrease your set of learned skills and your independence.
  • Depending too heavily on others decreases your own self-worth and causes you to be bound to them for their help. This also leaves you indebted to those who help you—and like monetary debt, the indebtedness can increase to a point beyond what can ever be repaid.
  • Depending heavily on others makes you vulnerable. Vulnerability causes you to neglect the development of skills or other coping methods. This causes you to lose security in yourself—this turns you into a very insecure person.
  • Once you lose the person on whom you rely, you will have become so helpless and pathetic that likely no one will want to take the place of your provider.

Rational Idea: “The only person I can depend on is myself, so I’m going to learn as much as I can so that I can be self-sufficient.” “When I do need help, and help is offered, I will accept it graciously.”

  • Develop skills and coping mechanisms to become secure enough within yourself so that you are comfortable relying on others when necessary, but do not become insecure and dependent.
  • Repay favors.
  • Recognize an acceptable level of reliance on others. Identify what mature adults should know how to do for themselves. Since you can’t do it all, know how to rely on others.
    • Know the social boundaries between dependency and trying too hard to be completely independent.
    • Do not refuse help—becoming defensive and rebellious in an effort to make an outward display of strength. Feel secure in yourself and accept help gratefully.

For a happy and emotionally healthy life, contact CrossRoads for counseling at 317-842-8881 if you are in the Central Indiana area. This series was inspired by and sourced from “A Guide to Rational Living” by Albert Ellis and Robert Harper.