Extreme dependency and pathology
Methods for becoming more self-reliant and independent
or directing you
The last four chapters focused on behaviors and emotions that hurt
us and demand our attention--bad habits, stress, sadness, and anger.
The emotional pain pushes us to do something about these problems.
The concerns of this chapter--dependency, conformity, and indecision-
-may be comfortable and less pressing for change. For example, being
nice and doing what we are told or what our friends want us to do may
be the easiest course for us to take. It may not be the best, however.
Likewise, putting off a decision may be easiest, but we might be better
off carrying out a reasonable plan of action. Going with our feelings
may be easier than carefully weighing the pros and cons.
So, in some respects, a helpful discussion of dependency may first
need to "shake you up" or make you uncomfortable (like chapter 3)
before you are motivated to make tough changes in the direction of
self-reliance and self-direction. If we unthinkingly accept hand-me-
down values or traditions, we should be concerned. If we "go along
with the crowd" or drift along without planning our lives, we might
benefit from a little worry. If we feel terribly inadequate without a
partner, we might cope much better with life if we stayed single long
enough to become comfortable with our aloneness and independence.
We will review the studies that show how conforming and obedient
we tend to be. It is scary, but there is hope. For instance, humans in
developed countries are probably becoming more self-reliant,