cared for, the fear of authorities, a way to exercise power, a hostile
using of someone, seductiveness, etc. Unconscious motives are easier
to understand in others but that understanding can, with patience, be
applied to ourselves. Several excellent references are cited in this
chapter, such as Halpern (1976), Piaget (1991), and Shainness
(1984). Thoele (1994) offers encouragement to be your own person.
On a morning talk show, J. R. of Dallas fame said: "Many women say, 'My father--or my
husband--is just like you!' and when I say, 'Doesn't that bother you?' they respond, 'Oh,
no, I love it." They love the male arrogance and domination of others?
Become more sensitive to the relationships that often have
a master-slave aspect to them: parent-child, teacher-student,
husband-wife, boss-employee, male-female, seducer-seducee,
authority-client, minister-parishioner, doctor-patient, coach-player,
senior-junior, urban-rural, wealthy-poor, smart-dumb, attractive-ugly,
etc. There is no reason those can't be equal relationships or, at least,
more equal than they have been. Remember Frederick Douglass's
famous cry to slaves: The power of a tyrant is granted by the
oppressed. Furthermore, as the military says, familiarity between
unequals breeds contempt. So, be everyone's equal.
While I have chosen to deal with dependency in a separate
chapter, it is an area with close ties with other emotions and
personality traits. In many ways, conformity and compliance may just
be the calm, tolerant, flexible end of the anxious, hostile, rigid
dimension. Perhaps conformity is, in many cases, simply adapting
easily to others' needs and whims. In other ways, the weakness of
dependency and the selflessness of conformity seem the opposite of
self-actualization, i.e. joyfully finding your real self and maximizing
your potential (see next chapter). Like most aspects of personality,
compliance and dependency are very complex and different from
person to person.
Perhaps the greatest overlap is with depression (chapter 6)
because dependency is closely tied to helplessness. Like "learned