LSI 1 Series: Dependent

Lorraine McCarthy, Counsellor/Coach, Human Synergistics Australia

In describing ourselves as moderate to high in Dependent Style, we are saying we do not believe that our effort makes a difference. While this belief can be ingrained in our thinking, it can also reflect contextual situations in our lives which make us feel that we are not able to set and achieve our own goals. Either way it is a belief that warrants challenging as it severely limits our potential.

The way we describe ourselves reflects the way we speak to ourselves. We can hear it if we monitor our thoughts. If we describe ourselves as ‘self-doubting’ either as 1 quite often or 2 most of the time, we metaphorically stand in front of ourselves and say ‘I have doubts about you’ or ‘I doubt you’. This is a miserable thing to say to anyone, so negative and disempowering. Most of us would never do it as we understand the positive effects of praise and encouragement, yet we say it to ourselves.

Children are born with wonderful innate qualities. We are all born this way, ‘creative and original thinkers’. What glorious possibilities this offers us and those around us. What is to be gained by doubting? If we told a child that we doubted them they would over time lose their self-confidence and start believing that others knew better than they did. Very sad.

If peace and joy is to be had by knowing and being ourselves in life, then believing we have to modify ourselves in order to be acceptable will hold us back. ‘Over cautious’ suggests we should be careful rather than trust our own instincts and wisdom, ‘says what’s expected’ denies our own truth, ‘eager to please’ presumes that pleasing others is more important than our own satisfaction, ‘does things by the book’ ignores our own originality. Even ‘very tactful’ at the bottom of the list, asks that we carefully measure how we deliver our thoughts and feelings so as not to upset others. How tiring to constantly have to modify our true selves. What a waste of potential.

An item in Dependent that says a great deal about our current situation is ‘worries a lot’. If we score ourselves a 1 or 2 for this it warrants reflection. As caring human beings, if anyone shared with us that they worried a lot quite often or most of the time, we would be concerned for them, perhaps give them the opportunity to talk about things, help them work out what to do. If we say it about ourselves and do nothing about it, we not only reveal a lack of achievement thinking but also an absence of self-love and understanding. If a child told us they worried a lot we would hasten to comfort and reassure. Why would we accept it in ourselves? To worry is awful, it keeps us awake at night and is such a waste of energy.

The item at the top of the list, most strongly correlated with effectiveness is ‘reacts rather than initiates’. How stressful to never be in charge of one’s own life and what is happening in it. The second is ‘dependent on others’. What a precarious feeling to be powerlessly reliant on situations and people meeting our needs. What about us? We are innately such magnificent creatures. We are born with qualities and skills. We just have to believe it and trust in ourselves and focus our efforts on making a difference. How freeing and empowering would this be.


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