Experience the Thrill of Becoming Emotionally Independent

We all know the unpleasant feeling of being dependent on someone or something. You remember all the times your parents gave you money for something, you needed to take the bus (and thus had to comply with its schedule), borrowed something from a friend and so on.

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You felt uncomfortable and a little disappointed by the fact that you had to rely on others to survive your day. Then, as you were growing up, you realized that you can do most things yourself. You gained knowledge, started a job, found your own place, increased your income and got out of debt, bought a car and everything you needed… and became independent.

Or at least you thought so.

You settled down and everything was looking great at that time. But then many thoughts started popping up in your head. Many unpleasant memories, unsaid words, feelings and emotions you didn’t enjoy, even people from the past.

It was all in your head, that’s for certain. But it became much more important and crucial and suddenly you couldn’t enjoy all the things you’ve accomplished and worked so hard for. Maybe you abandoned your inner world because you were concentrating too much on the outer stuff – with its material objects, people, circumstances and primary needs. Suddenly, all that was inside started to affect what was outside and the balance was lost.

At that moment, you became emotionally independent. Mentally independent. And spiritually independent.

And worse, you realized that you’ve always been that way.

Emotional independence is a state of mind which we have all experienced at some point. It’s when your mind is full of uncertainty, you don’t take decisions for yourself, other people manipulate you and affect you in some way (usually negative), you let everyone treat you the way he wants and feel vulnerable, dependent, weak and confused.

It is often said that with all the things going on in the world today, we just can’t become fully independent. But there are some things to work on that can keep it to a minimum and let us be free and enjoy life.

How to Become Emotionally Independent

1. Accept yourself.

Stop denying who you are or who you were. It’s nice to have a great desire to improve yourself and become that new ‘you’, but first you have to get to know the one you have now.

Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses

2. Let go of the past.

In my opinion, one of the worst ways to live your life is to be stuck in your past. To constantly get back to it, remember past events and people and to be full of regrets. Some people always think that they could have done better if things had been opposite. They wish they hadn’t done this, or said that.

It’s a vicious circle and once you’re in it, you forget to live your life and soon end up being a sad person with no joy and dreams. Please, don’t do that.

Here is what you need to do:

  • accept your past with all the failures, mistakes, wrong decisions and regrets;
  • let it go – there is no place for it in your bright future;
  • forget the unessential – have a minimalist approach to life, eliminate the non-essential things and set your mind free;
  • forgive others, forgive yourself, forgive life for all the bad circumstances it put you in (but also be thankful);
  • learn from it – draw a lesson from every mistake you’ve ever made.

3. Decide for yourself.

Living consciously and independently requires making reasonable, logical decisions, and most importantly – ones you take on your own.

Stop relying on others to do things for you, talk on your behalf, or manipulate you only because they are more decisive, sociable or in control of the situation.

Define exactly what you want from life and don’t be afraid to say it out loud. You will also need to trust yourself and become more confident in what you say, do or think.

Think for yourself and even if you make mistakes, accept that and just try to do better next time. But don’t let others push you, change your mind and decide for yourself.

4. Don’t get too attached to people.

Everyone loves his family, kids, friends, pets and relatives, but some people tend to get too attached to others and that rarely ends well.

We do our best when we act as individuals and have our own point of view. So spare some time to analyze your relationships with the people in your life and decide whether you are too dependent on someone.

If you see the world through someone else’s eyes you most probably depend too much on them.

It’s better to expect less from others, so that they won’t disappoint you, because that will hurt your feeling and won’t bring peace to your mind.

5. Take full responsibility.

This is something you’ll have to do one way or another if you are willing to reach success, happiness, mental stability or emotional independence.

It means that you are completely aware of your thoughts, actions and feelings and accept them as they are. Take responsibility for how you feel, because no matter what, you are the one who chose to feel that way.

Realize that you are the only one who is responsible for everything that has happened to you. You are in charge of what you say, how you look, how you react to things, how you feel and how you behave.

Understand that, take responsibility and move on. It will be much easier this way.

6. Accept judgement and criticism.

People love to talk about others and to point out their bad sides. They do it all the time. But how you are going to react is up to you.

Whatever you do, there will be someone to judge it. So don’t try to please everyone and answer people’s expectations. I know that every human being wants to be accepted by others and we feel good when they like us… but we are dependent on people’s opinion.

To start living a free and peaceful life, you need to stop yearning for attention and acceptance and to just do what you think is right.

It’s better to trust your intuition and heart rather than relying on what society thinks is right.

The best way to react to criticism is with understanding. Try to put yourself in the position of the one judging you and who knows… maybe he has a point there and you are doing something wrong. Or by judging you, he is actually expressing how he feels inferior to you. Or maybe he has some issues and this is the only way he can let all the anger he keeps inside go.

Express compassion, be kind and show love. Most of the times this is all people need and the minute they receive it from someone, they give the same in return.

What about you? Do you consider yourself emotionally independent in some way? I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.

See also:

Becoming emotionally self-reliant
Top 5 ways to become emotionally independent

Lidiya K

Lidiya K

Author, blogger and podcaster in the fields of self-improvement and life hacking. Creator of Let's Reach Success.
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
Lidiya K

81 Comments

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  1. Lidiya, Through the lens of experience, the degree of emotional independence has grown as my awareness of the compassion, kindness and sharing of love that you mentioned has grown. It seems that one comes to the point where whatever interactions one has with fellow men and women, the truth of our being equal, the same, naturally overrides any other consideration. This awareness is of utmost value for me.
    Thanks, Lidiya
    Jerry

    1. Wonderful words. What you say is so true.
      And with love and compassion comes knowledge. understanding and consciousness. It’s in our nature to be humane and helpful.

  2. not sure about 4. Maybe I will agree with don’t get “in-meshed” with someone. But, strong attachment is vital to my emotional well being, at least. I am completely stitched together with my hubby and kids. they are my life. But, I can see that there is the definite possibility with un-healthy attachment. I whole heartedly agree with all else! πŸ˜‰

    1. Thank you for the insight, Carrie.
      You are right, as well. But what I meant was about those unhealthy relationships, you got me right here. I’m talking about people who often live in an imaginary world and have set someone on a pedestal, and are often capable of doing something irrational just to get his attention. Unfortunately, I know such people.
      So thank you for pointing out that and giving me a chance to make myself clear.

      1. you know, I kinda though you meant that. But it was worded in such a way, I wasn’t sure! thanks for clarifying and YES! I hate to admit, even I, in the past have had those relationships – they are destroyers of your peace for sure!

  3. I love your writing. I like no. 4 on attachment. It’s contentious, but so true. Not being attached does not mean we don’t love our family and friends but we should not get dependent on them for our social, emotional and spiritual well being. It definitely means not to attach yourself to the inanimate and material things in life. Sufi mystics like Rumi and Hafiz also talk about removing attachment from this world and attaching your mind and soul to the Lord.

  4. the idea of minimal resonated- sometimes we complicate things so much we can’t even imagine the essential. There’s something pure & simple in living the core of who we are.

  5. Thank you for coming by my page and taking time to read a post, then liking it! I appreciate it! As for emotional independence, sound advice. It takes strength to stand and evaluate on an individual basis. I must admit, I waver between the realm of independent and dependent. It is a precarious balance of sanity – some days I say, “I got this, you go away because you’re toxic for me”, while others, I feel like I need to have their energy to feed my own. That, however, is part of my problem in being an empath – emotions are often a thing that grip me so fully that I can’t breathe.

    1. I undestand you. And I think everyone feels that way to some extent.
      We are emotional creatures and have so many feelings every day. And some emotions can be destructive, if we don’t analyze where they come from and why we have them.

      Thank you for your comment!

  6. Very, very, nice indeed! Must truth and honesty to be found here. Excellent blog! I thank you for visiting my blog so the I might discover yours… it’s wonderful… πŸ˜€

  7. This is so relevant for me as a high schooler! I’m at that “self-discovery” period of life, and I love all these tips. I think taking control of my own self and being comfortable in my own skin can do wonders if I want to enjoy high school.

    1. It’s great that you’ve decided to discover yourself. The best thing to do would be to take control of yourself while enjoying every moment. πŸ™‚

  8. Thank you for this. This was my motivation for the day. Very uplifting. It is tough to move forward in life when you have a hard time letting things go. Self Mastery is key. Learning how to find that power within to know who you truly are. Take life by the day and always striving to be better.

  9. I love this. I really realized where my problem is now.. I attach to people like a leach. Anyways, I love your blog. If you wouldn’t mind I’d love some tips on shaping mine.

        1. Well, first of all, prepare to be patient and don’t post only to get followers.
          The most important rules are:
          – post regularly;
          – try to have great content that really helps and inspires people in some way;
          – comment on other blogs;
          – use the social networks to become more popular.
          Good luck πŸ™‚

          1. Thank you!! Of course patience is key to everything, but I love having tips from others. Helps me to create a path for myself. So thank you for your help and you truly are inspiration to me.

          2. I too love getting tips from others. It’s the best kind of experience we can have.
            So I guess we will be sharing advice whenever we can.
            Thank you and have a great day.

  10. Great post. Going to read this many times. Raw and truthful words we all need to hear once in a while to keep us moving in the right direction. Thank you for this! Keep posting the truth Lidiya! xx, Amalie

    1. Thank you so much, Amalie! I’m so happy when someone finds my posts helpful. That motivates me more than anything to write more and to improve myself.

  11. I don’t see myself as emotionally independent, but I believe in some ways I could be considered that. For instance I don’t take to insults that well especially when it’s in a disrespectful tone. But I often react after insults in a very angry manner, and to me this is my emotions getting the upper hand and I don’t like that. Emotions are very powerful and it is very hard for one to have full dependence from them in my opinion, but controlling them is another ball game. I enjoyed reading this blog though, you are very insightful and your words inspiring. Thanks for the follow on Twitter otherwise I would have never found this and keep up the good work.

    1. Anger is a big issue and one of the most difficult things to control. I also let myself get angry sometimes and always regret it later, it’s never the solution. After that I feel weak and out of control. And others are hurt too, by words or actions.
      But it’s great that you are completely aware of this side of yours. That means you can control it to some extent if you work on that.
      Thank you for your comment and for taking time to read my post.

  12. Thank you lidiya, no.4 I can relate to. It’s horrible when it suddenly strikes you that you are emotionally dependent on someone. Then trying to detach is even harder!

    1. I agree with you. It is a hard thing, but not impossible. And the first step is to realize it and be aware of the consequence, which you’ve already done. So keep your head up and don’t give up on taking control of yourself and improving.
      Take care πŸ™‚

  13. Great Article Lidiya. Liked it thoroughly. Thanks for supporting me always by stopping on my blog and liking my posts. You are such a supporter. So nice to have you there.

  14. There are always different ways, but the essentials are usually the same. I’m glad you agree with me on this one. Thank you for the comment.

  15. Hello Lidiya! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. πŸ™‚ I’m glad you did because I really love your blog and this post was a great first read for me! It really hit home, because I often feel emotionally attached to my friends or family while travelling, even though I’m so far away and have lived abroad for a few years. I think it’s necessary for some kind of attachment, but often times because I am missing one person or another, I lose sight of why I am in a certain country in the first place. If that makes sense. πŸ™‚
    Best wishes to you and I can’t wait to read more!

    1. Thank you so much for the comment. I’m glad you like my blog.
      I don’t think the attachment in your case is a problem, because you live away from them and don’t see them often. Maybe you think of the people you love all the time, which isn’t a bad thing. But if it is, it’s benefitial that you are able to confess that to yourself. Maybe it’s your weakness, but you are completely aware of it and realize the consequences.
      Thanks again for stopping by.

    1. I understand you. Most of the others in the previous comments said the same. But it’s good that you realize it and try to work on it. Keep going.
      Thanks for visiting my blog. I’m so happy you like it.

    1. Yes, I have! It’s wonderful and I’ll definitely write a few posts on the law of attraction as I’m trying to understand it perfectly and use it every day.

      1. Yeah! Even me too started doing it. I have a gratitude rock of my own in hand. πŸ˜€ The logic behind her concepts are so simple and it really do work in all respects from my personal views. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

        Rahul

        1. I then realized that all the other motivational books I’ve read, seminars I’ve watched on YouTube and so on, all come down to this simple law. It’s amazing how everything is so deeply connected.

          1. Yes, of course!! It really do work with every aspects existing on this revolving planet. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I was actually seeking for a person similar to Byrne. Your writing space looks really interesting and can be considered exactly under such kind of genre I guess. Keep up the good work, Gal.m/ πŸ™‚

            Rahul

  16. Blessings Lidiya,
    I would just like to say you have an amazing way with words and a great sense of courage in your heart. Wow! I truly admire that in you. The way to accomplish emotional independence is a choice we all must make, and that choice would be trusting in God. Everything you said in this article is of the spirit, the spirit is where our confident assurance lies. For some it is awake, and for others it is dormant.

    I like what you said about instinct, truth is, God has given all of us the spirit instinctively therefore, not one can deny him. The word says that one day every knee shall bow before Him. Then Jesus Christ spoke these words Himself; I will not put my confidence in man for I know what truly lies in their heart, I will entrust my life to God for He will never fail me nor forsake me. I am truly grateful for theses Holy Words Lidiya, God first loved me son now I can say with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my mind that I love Him as well. All good things come from the One True living God.

    God enables me to be independent from the majority of external sources in this world, I pray about it everyday. Galatians 5:22 will give you a greater understanding of the fruit offered by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Once again I must compliment your writing ability and the way you bring words to life. Your posts are like a breath of fresh air. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to write back. You have a wonderful night Lidiya. Many blessings to you and yours.

    1. Beautiful words! Thank you so much for reading my post and really getting its idea.
      I see that you find such joy and purpose in your faith.

      1. Blessings Lidiya,

        You are more than welcome. My heart is filled with joy because the Lord revealed your blog to me. I have truly been filled with the spirit, and find great encouragement in your words. Let’s just say that I have been inspired, I haven’t read anything this good for quite some time.

        As the Word says in Hebrews 11:1-What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen, it is the evidence of things not yet seen. That is the confident assurance we have been given by the one who hung on the tree. Like I have always told people, all battles are won on bended knees. The Golden Key of Faith lies within our heart, we just need to boldly stand before the door, take out our key and unlock it.

        I look forward to reading more of your great articles, I am praying for you Lidiya. Philippians 4:13-I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Have a wonderful day.

        Youth leader,

        1. Blessings to you too!
          I will have many more posts because there is so much in my head I want to express and I will be more than happy if it gets to people, touches and inspires them.
          I agree that faith lies in our heart, and can add that they key to everything is there. And I can’t say it is hidden there, because it just lies inside, and unfortunately people complicate things, bring stress and problems in their lives and thus lose the light, the path, and get confused. But if the mind is clear, if we worship kindness, love and compassion, we will reveal our true power. If everyone does that for himself and takes his journey, as an individual, the world will be peaceful and every minute of our life will be joy we will want to share with others.

          1. Blessings Lidiya,

            I give God all glory, honor, and praise for the words He gives me to share. As Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the light. John 8:32 says; If ye shall know the truth, the truth shall set you free. John 8:36 says; If ye knows the Son, then ye shall be free indeed. See, Jesus paid a debt He did not owe, and we owed a debt we could not pay.

            That’s why the Scripture says; greater is He that is in me, is greater than he that is in the world. So when we are filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, we are a willing vessel that draws others closer to God. You mentioned joy, joy unspeakable, it has an infinite measure, absolutely no boundaries and we can help ourselves when it comes to sharing it with others. It is truly amazing. Through faith, God gives us a testimony to share with others for His glory and the benefit of those who hear the story.

            I pray that you continue to stand firm under the canopy of God’s amazing love and His wonderful light continues to shine through you as His blessings rain upon you. As the Word says in 1 Corinthians 13:13-There are three things that will endure; faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love. As you may know; His love never fails, never gives up, and never runs out on us.

            Lidiya, you are in my prayers, I am praying that the Lord continues to fill you will joy unspeakable, does great and might things in your life, and that His power continues to shine through you and your words. God bless you girl. Have a wonderful evening.

            Youth leader,

            Michael

  17. I love your mind hun, and I agree with alot of what you say. I really wished more people could see life from such a clear perspective! #1 is definitely the beginning to changing anyone’s life!

  18. Emotionally independent? As in not co-dependent? Absolutely. I’ve learned the hard way — probably the best way — that I am incapable of completely fulfilling every need, desire, or expectation someone else may have from me! To do that or be that every single day of our lives together? HAH! I am not Superman (or God or many gods)! No one is capable of “filling” the plethora of wants, needs, expectations we have of others, or ourselves! Does that mean become anti-social? Hell no. Going to the other extreme is not beneficial for anyone or yourself! However, understanding first your own limitations, your own gifts, and articulating them clearly and confidently IS the first step. Once your own “house” is in order, then you are ready (and open) for healthy sharing.
    Ironically, the time it has taken me to reach this point has in the process left me “independent” in many ways, including intimately. Not because I’m emotionally unavailable; that is so far from the truth! In fact, it is because I am capable of intense emotional experience that I overwhelm many. And I am not referring at all to emotions-on-the-sleeve & inappropriate. As one knows me deeper, it challenges. It pushes some to unknown, uncharted, uncomfortable experiences…. and they run. Hence my fondness for birdcages with a permanently open door.
    And I’m rambling I think.

    Loved the post Lidiya! πŸ˜‰

    1. The first step is self-realization indeed. Not many manage to get to know themselves on a spiritual level, but it is ironical how those who actually do, are affected by what they’ve understood about themselves.
      Maybe this is what makes them independent in the way you mentioned. Because the more information you have about yourself, the more you realize that others don’t know anything about you. And it’s even harder for those who always seek for the deep, for the essence.
      I’m not sure how right I’ve understoond what you explained in the comment, but I share some of these traits too. I also agree about the open door πŸ™‚

      1. You have understood quite well Lidiya; I imagine more than we both realize. πŸ˜‰
        A good friend of mine described me as “self-actualized”. I really like that description and I encourage others to do it their unique way as well, with a strong awareness of others and “The Greater Good”. However, I will be a warrior, a defender of humanity against ANY who preach a monist journey or lifestyle, i.e. one way, one truth, one bible, one everything…. because nothing in our universe/multiverse or among the 7+ billion on this planet demonstrates ‘one path’ to happiness, or wholeness, or ‘salvation’ (of which is falsely proclaimed) based on total depravity rather than self-empowerment. Everything we need is within us already and around us. It was never taken away or stolen. πŸ™‚

        1. I agree with you on that too, although many others won’t. I actually wrote a post called ‘A Minimalist Approach to Religion’ and will publish it soon. I was a little worried though that many who like my blog will argue that, because I’m talking about religion, and yet haven’t even mentioned the word God in it. Simply because it is much more than that.
          At least now I know that one person already agrees with me πŸ™‚
          You said it right – it’s all within us. I’ve always been fashinated by the potential of every single person. And it makes me sad to see people who don’t believe in themselves and only that is what stops them from being more, or creating masterpieces and so on.
          Just imagine how more can be found in our mind than in the space. And yet people prefer to examine the outer world, maybe of fear to reveal the power that lies inside them.

          1. Oh Lidiya, if you don’t publish it then others who just need a little push, a little encouragement to believe in their own internal power, worth, & independence — along with you and I — might sink back into their hole like an ostrich’s head in the sand. The Dark Ages are long gone; no need to return to it, eh?
            I think you’ll find that speaking & living your heart outwardly (with humble respect of course) is MUCH MORE fulfilling than always giving to or bowing to someone else or something else… a form of non-ownership. “Creating masterpieces”.. love that. Imagine a world of incredible diversity & artistry all making a daily masterpiece together. πŸ™‚

  19. I love this post and is one that I really needed to hear. I have also had a problem with #4 particularly, because I’ve always had an unhealthy attachment in my previous relationships. I finally found the strength within me to end my most recent one and am on the track to finding emotional independence. It’s scary and been very hard, but I’m excited. I’m taking time to do things for me, learn through my mistakes, and keep moving forward. It’s very easy to fall down the path of becoming emotionally dependent, at least of me it is! Thank you again!

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