Independent people know how to do things on their own, and interdependent people know how to do things with the help of other people. Emotion-ally mature people know how to do both. They can function on their own but still understand that other people can be used as resources to help them solve some of life’s problems.
Parents are always concerned about sending their children off to live on their own. They start to worry around the time that their children get ready to go off to college. The biggest reason for the concern is because, in the parent’s’ minds, they feel that they didn’t teach their children enough to survive independent of them. The parents may have the desire to speak frequently on the phone with their children questioning them about their activities, their grades, who they’re hanging around with and even if they’re doing their school work.
This constant questioning is directly related to the parents’ uneasy feelings that they have about their children living away from home. This constant questioning will often be interpreted by the children as meddling and can even put a strain on their relationship with their parents. They may become so annoyed by their parents that they dread any conversation, and when they do talk to their parents it is only out of a basic obligation they believe they have.
Emotionally mature people understand the power of a positive relationship with their parents. People who are emotionally mature realize that they were once dependent on their parents for their care and for their needs. They want to become independent of their parents when they are teenagers and may end up in a few battles with their parents in their efforts to achieve a certain amount of independence. When they move into their late teens and early twenties, they realize that their parents are a powerful resource in their lives and that they still need their parents’ help to manage their lives as young adults. They talk to their parents frequently, ask their advice and work to involve them with the raising of their children. Emotionally mature people realize that the relationship that they have with their parents is really the first and probably the most important interdependent relationship that they will have in their lives.
In reality, the quality of the relationship that a person has with his or her parents will affect the quality of every other relationship that he or she will have in the future. In my case, I always had a problem dealing with my mother and couldn’t wait to get married so I could move out of my house to get away from her.
I was married when I was twenty four years old. I left my home and discovered that I was physically free and living an independent life on my own. The problem was that I wasn’t free emotionally. The inability on my part to form an interdependent relationship with my mother (my father had already passed away) left me riddled with guilt. That guilt affected every other relationship in my life. I never felt the freedom to ask my mother for help with anything, financial or otherwise. This attitude of mine of needing to do everything on my own and not needing people, including my mother, was not the very best for me.
In order to operate independently and interdependently, it is absolutely necessary to develop a positive relationship with our parent’s. Our parents should be our first and our best resource to help us understand how to work in an interdependent relationship. There are about seven billion people on the planet so the chances are really good that we will all be around people for the rest of our life. Some of these people will have personalities similar to our parents.
In order to work with others, a person has to learn how to work with the first two people in their life, their parents. There is no denying that our relationship with our parents is the first and most important interdependent relationship that a person will ever have.