Psychological Self-Help

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Otto Rank (1932), an early student of Freud, said it was important
to assert one's own "will." He believed that most neuroses develop
because people do not have the courage to be themselves; instead,
they suppress their true selves in order to please others. Many others
agree. Moustakas (1967) calls conformity a self-alienating process by
which he means that we cut ourselves off from our own feelings,
dreams, talents, and potential because we want to be liked. Other
peoples' fears of being "different" cause them to reject us if we are
"different" and unique. Thus, it is our fear of being rejected (by
conformists), that causes us to lose our own freedom and
Fritz Perls wrote a popular poster which reflects our common
struggle to get free of domination by others: 
"I do my thing, and you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your
expectations and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you, and
I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful. If not, it can't be
Love and dependency
Songs, poems, and novels attest to our desperate yearning for
love. Psychologists talk about it too (Fromm, 1974; Maslow, 1970;
Shostrom, 1972; Peele, 1976). Mature love, according to Fromm, does
not say, "I love you because I need you," but rather "I need you
because I love you." Romantic love is referred to as D-love by Maslow.
D-love is based on one's deficiencies, on one's weakness, as in popular
songs: "I'd be lost without you" or "Since you left me baby, my life is
over." We need someone else to make us feel adequate or whole and
secure. B-love is mature, unselfish love, i.e. based on a love of the
"being" of the other person. The self-actualized person wants but does
not desperately need love, so the loss of love to them is regretted but
not traumatic. If our loved one decides to leave us, it probably means
they are growing and/or trying something new. We could wish them
well instead of being crushed. We are crushed because we feel so
needy. Maslow's theory suggests our reaction to the loss of love
depends on how we look at it and our self-esteem (see chapter 6). 
D-love is like an addiction to drugs: we get hooked on someone we
can't do without because of our own inadequacies (Peele, 1976). How
common is this? Some form of "social dependency" (a lover or friends)
is the addiction of two-thirds of middle class teenagers; lower classes
use drugs and alcohol, according to Peele. More mature love--B-love--
is the opposite of interpersonal addiction. As a weak, needy person in
deficiency-based love we are absorbed by this one relationship; it is
our whole life. 
"If a person loves only one person and is indifferent to the rest of his fellow men, his love
is not love but a symbiotic (dependent) attachment, or an enlarged egotism."
-Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving
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