We need connection. Relationships are the most important thing in life. We exist in relationship. Relational needs are real and to the degree that they are met, we will be fulfilled, secure and satisfied. Healthy relationships dispel anxiety and loneliness, and help us build the kind of resilience that keep addictive cycles at bay. But we don’t need relationship to the point of enmeshment, where we lose ourselves in the connection.
We need freedom. We need to be able to say NO to things, to set boundaries, to be free to be ourselves- authentic-honest-real. We need to be able to choose things in freedom, we need to be able to be in control of ourselves, rather than be controlled by others. Adults want to be treated like adults and feel like adults. A major hallmark of adulthood is freedom. But we don’t want freedom from relationships or loneliness.
The Balance we need is both. We need love and relationship. We need to be able to CONNECT in authentic, intimate relationships, but we also have the need to exercise FREEDOM in the context of relationships. It requires work and it is a battle at times to attain and maintain relationships and stay free at the same time, but it’s definitely worth it.
Find friends and build trust and relationships with people that you can be free with. Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated out of freedom. Let your YES be YES and your NO be NO. Being defined and well differentiated as a person, but building healthy relationships is key.