By Kathleen North

Emotional self sufficiency, however, is just as (if not more) important than the above. This is always the case but during these extremely challenging times, even more so. Individuals have an innate ability to feed and sustain themselves emotionally when they are with others. Being able to see, hear and touch them recharges our emotional batteries and can keep us going until the next meeting. Body language must also not be underestimated; those subtle physical signs and nuanced gestures that are totally lost when we are speaking on the phone or by electronically communicating.
If we are able to Skype, FaceTime and stay in visual contact with loved ones, why is emotional self sufficiency important?

I believe coping, indeed positively navigating through life with this ability is vital. It does not negate how important interaction with other people is, it should be considered another emotional asset in our lives. For those who live alone, developing such skills has become more of a necessity, purely because they have had to fine tune functioning by themselves. This does not make it easier but it certainly means they have had more practice.

Sustaining oneself is about the individual. Certain people find it easier than others to create a healthy, balanced world that loves the company of others but can manage, indeed thrive living their lives without always needing to feed off others. We live in a society where social media is a huge part of many people’s lives – for some the constant messaging and viewing of images makes us feel part of a much bigger community, as well as staying in touch with friends and family. Is this a way to feel included, popular?

Self sufficiency is the quality of feeling secure and content with oneself. It allows a person a sense of inner completeness as well as stability. At extreme times ad we are facing now, those with psychological resilience are less likely to be destabilised by traumatic events. Enjoying your own company maybe viewed as a somewhat lonely or that you cope with solitude better than interaction. This is not necessarily true. Individuals who are emotionally self sufficient can navigate through times in their own because they possess an inner stability.
Emotional self sufficiency is essentially the foundation of good mental health. A person can reap happiness from such a basis. It can be challenging to identify our feelings, let alone manage them. Emotional maturity can prove to be very attractive to others – someone who can manage their emotions will equip them well regarding relationships.

Is this a way to feel included, popular?

It can also be true that moving on from a relationship is exactly the time self reliance can emerge. This period of time can allow you to embrace your own thoughts and develop positive routines. Loving, committed relationships are a genuinely wonderful part of our lives, however being emotionally totally reliant on another person is not emotionally healthy. Whatever the circumstance where self reliance can prove beneficial, the ability to recognise and reevaluate situations can only be positive.

Can we change our emotional habits? It is difficult but it certainly can be navigated. It is easy to depend on others to give us validation but we must develop strategies to trust our emotional choices. The more we believe in ourselves, the easier it is to treat ourselves as independent and emotionally confident.

Unbeknown to us, people can have a particular affect on how we feel. Often they are not doing it consciously but are impacting on our emotional health by their words and actions. If you are aware a person in your life is negatively influencing you – spend less time with them.
The meaning of self reliance:

  • You create your own positive feelings.
  • You may have several friends, but you see them only when you want to. You appreciate they are there but are equally comfortable on your own.
  • It is possible to be happy when you are alone; even when spending significant amounts of time on your own you don’t feel lonely.
  • You are able to do anything you want to do.

Not depending on others to validate your choices is liberating. Decisions can start and stop with you. An essential truth is we are all different, with varying speeds, wants and desires. Recognise what works for you.

Not depending on others to validate your choices is liberating.

There is no doubt emotional self sufficiency is an essential aspect of wellbeing. It is the quality of feeling secure and content with yourself. This feeling creates a sense of emotional completeness and balance. Trusting and valuing our own instincts is vital as is making decisions.

It is essential to recognise that being self sufficient does not mean being a cold, disconnected individual. In fact, possessing an inner emotional confidence allows us to be more altruistic as we are content with ourselves and are happy to focus on others.

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