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DEPENDENCE : CONSTRUCTIVE OR DESTRUCTIVE

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes 21 seconds

# Life is about dependence . There are many examples like friends who  prefer company of friends for most transactions , they do not prefer doing things lone  .Organisation depends on its employees to take its agenda forward , why even a mighty Nation depends on its residents , just to be a NATION . If dependence is barred no collaborative alliances can exist & flourish . In fact in today’s world there is no such concept / person / nation who is 100 % self sufficient , who is not dependent on any one else for something or the other . There is a feel of reassurance in these examples .

# On the other hand , some other examples are : A child’s dependence on parents for many things , before he grows up ; A traditional , non working Indian housewife’s financial dependence on her husband . In these cases the dependent is almost at the mercy of the other person . This dependence does not have a good feel about it .

# Therefore is ‘ dependence ‘ good or bad , is it crippling or reassuring , is it a strength to ‘ depend on ‘ someone or is it a sign of weakness ?  … lets understand it a little more closely .

# Dependence in itself may not be good or bad … depends where is it coming from & importantly where is it taking one  from here on

  • In the latter case the dependence is one sided , there is one party who is perceived to be     ( more ) dependent on the other
    • This dependence is more physical / material & is ‘ external ‘
    • This dependence is also about some basic / survival needs
    • In an ‘ unequal ‘ relationship , self esteem of ‘ receiving ‘ party may be at stake
  • Dependence in the former case is relatively more mutual than one sided , or at least there is no ‘ hierarchy ‘ in who needs whom more –  neither party can be said to have an upper hand or being subservient to the other .
    • This dependence may go beyond addressing physical / material needs
    • In many cases it’s beyond basic / survival needs . These are likely to invoke feelings of reassurance , emotional support , comfort , confidence , even pride & hence the dependence is likely to be more ‘ internal ‘

# I would categorise the former one as ‘ Constructive ‘ dependence , which is facilitative & the latter one as ‘ Destructive ‘ dependence , which can be crippling & debilitating .

India’s dependence on US in the 60s for Food grains was Destructive dependence whereas the current one is a Constructive dependence

# Constructive dependence is a case where presence of the other entity is reassuring , an advantage ; but its absence is not crippling or a disadvantage . It is a case where you don’t physically / materially need it for you to stand on your own , but it is a warm mental feeling that , should I be in need , there is someone there , who I can fall back on .

# Destructive dependence is a case where without support one is inadequate — things will come to a halt . Destructive dependence is like crutches without which a person may not be able to walk , whereas Constructive dependence is like shoulder of a friend , you can put your hand around while walking on your own & feel good .

In Sum , dependence in itself is not a weakness , it can be your strength . However having an assurance ( or an avenue ) of dependence when you don’t need it , is the best form of dependence . Dependence works best when it’s mutual & building on each other than being helpless to the extent of being at  ‘ someone’s mercy ‘    in the other person’s absence . Life’s journey should be to evolve from a position of Destructive dependence ( if at all ) to the Constructive dependence .

However such a state can only be negotiated from a position of strength . Each of the partner in Constructive dependence needs to be independently strong & independent to be able to become each other’s support . A position of weakness can only lead to a Destructive dependence .

But then remember , feeling of ‘ dependence ‘ is more psychological than physical .

Tags : Collaborations, Competence

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