Stop Telling Misfits to Dream of Codependency

Photo by Osarugue Igbinoba on Unsplash

I never found that one partner or best friend who could meet my every need. Every time I came close was heartbreaking. I gave person after person the power to turn my life upside down in an instant until I decided I couldn’t afford to trust anyone, because for me, trust meant handing over the switch to my emotional roller coaster.

“You don’t need many friends. You just need someone,” I was told countless times as a “weird” kid. I now see that that’s a lot of pressure to put on “someone.” As I’ve built a healthy, diversified support system, I’ve broken many hearts of people who mistook my refusing to be their everything as my refusing to be their anything.

I hate leaving people hanging with nowhere to go, which has motivated me to build communities to make it easy for like minded people to find and support each other. This exposes how many deep connections I have in my life, which has led to many conversations trying to convince people that they’re still special to me. Quality or closeness of relationships doesn’t have to decrease with quantity or inconsistency. I try to be there for people when they need me most, but I can’t meet anyone’s need for confirmation that they’re more special to me than someone else, because that would mean limiting myself from nurturing the potential in other relationships. The more we nurture each relationship, the more learning and growth we have to bring to the others.

I’m done letting others hold me back from growing and holding others back from growing. I choose to appreciate the people in my life for the needs they fill rather than blaming them for those that they don’t. I choose offers and asks that support each other’s needs and desires rather than demanding sacrifices. I choose present connection over future promises, because the future is built on the present but dreaming of the future doesn’t meet our needs today.

Call to action: How can you meet your needs without pressuring others to neglect theirs? Here’s a list of needs for inspiration: https://www.cnvc.org/training/resource/needs-inventory (I’m not a Nonviolent Communication framework follower but I think they have some gems.)

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Enigmas Next Door

Enigmas Next Door

Facts & opinions on human centered design, community, & tech, work & online cultures. Welcome to my controverse. Twitter: @enigmasnextdoor Clubhouse: @qubit