Nov 122012
 

I’m not needy, nor do I ask for much from those I love.

For whatever reasons, those just aren’t the sort of things I do. It’s a part of my disposition I’m strangely proud of–the self-sufficiency to rarely need anything beyond my own perimeter. Along with self-sufficiency, there’s also self-reliance–I’m wickedly independent and damn-near unwilling to rely on anyone. If something I need is beyond my reach, I go out and get it myself. All things considered, those traits have served me well–they’ve brought me far more success than failure.

With that said, I can see how those traits can be unhealthy, particularly when they’re practiced without compromise.

My own brand of self-sufficiency is accompanied by pride. It’s not a healthy sort of pride, but one that has left me nearly incapable of asking for help and almost unable to accept it when it’s offered. In looking back at my history (personal and professional), it seems I’d rather fail than ask for help.

In part, it’s my own massive ego.

In part, it’s never wanting to owe anyone anything.

 

  6 Responses to “self-reliance”

  1. I wonder about this a lot.

    Say you’ve had a shitty week. Do you vent about it to a friend, or use another venue for catharsis (writing in a diary, posting about it online, etc.)? Is the first option “being needy”? Is the second option “self-isolation”? No man is an island, but everyone is supposed to be independent and self-reliant. “You complete me” is co-dependence. Or is it? Does it take bravery to accept help from others, or is reaching out an act of cowardice?

    The truth is, like usual, somewhere inbetween. It likely comes down to those situations when you are asking for help “too much”, or when you shun the support of others “too much”. I put “too much” in scare quotes because what does it even mean? I haven’t the foggiest. It’s easy to overcompensate when you realize you’re doing it… I suppose finding the balance is just a skill that we learn over time.

    • @submissivedude:

      “Is the first option “being needy”? Is the second option “self-isolation”?”

      Yes! But for me, I’d have to reorder them as 1st option: self-isolation, and 2nd option: needy. :)

      You ask a lot of good questions. Obviously, these are questions I don’t have the answers to. Or maybe I do know the answers, but I’m such a prideful little thing that I can’t seem to put them into practice.

      *sigh*

      Onward to isolation, right? :)

  2. YES! I’ve been wildly nodding at this entry. I really relate to it. I wish I could say something more useful, but I think it is about finding boundaries and not feeling indebted to people. I think being aware that you do this is a step in the right direction though. Hope you’re okay. :)

    • @Amy: “I think it is about finding boundaries and not feeling indebted to people”

      You’re right about this, but as with most things, it’s easy for me to identify what needs fixing, but much harder for me to implement the solutions in my own brain. I swear, sometimes my head is my own worst enemy.

      “I think being aware that you do this is a step in the right direction though”

      I hope so!

  3. I can really relate to how you feel here. Not only do I hate to owe anyone anything, but I simply don’t like inviting others to get entangled in my affairs. I don’t think that for me, it’s pride as much as it is defensiveness. I have found that too often, there are strings attached to such help and those strings can become chains if you’re not careful.

    While it’s true, as submissivedude said, that “no man is an island”, I am like a peninsula, with only one heavily gaurded way in.

    • @slapshot: “simply don’t like inviting others to get entangled in my affairs.”

      I think I’m like this to some degree, but probably for a slightly different reason. I don’t like to get people tangled up in my affairs particularly when I’m not confident they can actually help. I don’t like setting people up for failure, particularly when the failure isn’t theirs (in my experience, failing for someone else hurts way worse than failing for myself).

      “I don’t think that for me, it’s pride as much as it is defensiveness. I have found that too often, there are strings attached to such help and those strings can become chains if you’re not careful.”

      I’ve got some of that, but I’m mostly prideful. It’s not even that the people in my life have even suggested strings, but my own head ends up making me feel indebted. Again, my brain is my own worst enemy!

      “I am like a peninsula, with only one heavily gaurded way in.”

      Well, perhaps since your peninsula is so guarded, perhaps you can join me for a picnic on my island sometime. I’ll bring drinks. :)

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