# Life is about dependence . There are many examples like friends who  prefer company of friends for most transactions , they do not prefer doing things lone  .Organisation depends on its employees to take its agenda forward , why even a mighty Nation depends on its residents , just to be a NATION . If dependence is barred no collaborative alliances can exist & flourish . In fact in today’s world there is no such concept / person / nation who is 100 % self sufficient , who is not dependent on any one else for something or the other . There is a feel of reassurance in these examples .

# On the other hand , some other examples are : A child’s dependence on parents for many things , before he grows up ; A traditional , non working Indian housewife’s financial dependence on her husband . In these cases the dependent is almost at the mercy of the other person . This dependence does not have a good feel about it .

# Therefore is ‘ dependence ‘ good or bad , is it crippling or reassuring , is it a strength to ‘ depend on ‘ someone or is it a sign of weakness ?  … lets understand it a little more closely .

# Dependence in itself may not be good or bad … depends where is it coming from & importantly where is it taking one  from here on

  • In the latter case the dependence is one sided , there is one party who is perceived to be     ( more ) dependent on the other
    • This dependence is more physical / material & is ‘ external ‘
    • This dependence is also about some basic / survival needs
    • In an ‘ unequal ‘ relationship , self esteem of ‘ receiving ‘ party may be at stake
  • Dependence in the former case is relatively more mutual than one sided , or at least there is no ‘ hierarchy ‘ in who needs whom more –  neither party can be said to have an upper hand or being subservient to the other .
    • This dependence may go beyond addressing physical / material needs
    • In many cases it’s beyond basic / survival needs . These are likely to invoke feelings of reassurance , emotional support , comfort , confidence , even pride & hence the dependence is likely to be more ‘ internal ‘

# I would categorise the former one as ‘ Constructive ‘ dependence , which is facilitative & the latter one as ‘ Destructive ‘ dependence , which can be crippling & debilitating .

India’s dependence on US in the 60s for Food grains was Destructive dependence whereas the current one is a Constructive dependence

# Constructive dependence is a case where presence of the other entity is reassuring , an advantage ; but its absence is not crippling or a disadvantage . It is a case where you don’t physically / materially need it for you to stand on your own , but it is a warm mental feeling that , should I be in need , there is someone there , who I can fall back on .

# Destructive dependence is a case where without support one is inadequate — things will come to a halt . Destructive dependence is like crutches without which a person may not be able to walk , whereas Constructive dependence is like shoulder of a friend , you can put your hand around while walking on your own & feel good .

In Sum , dependence in itself is not a weakness , it can be your strength . However having an assurance ( or an avenue ) of dependence when you don’t need it , is the best form of dependence . Dependence works best when it’s mutual & building on each other than being helpless to the extent of being at  ‘ someone’s mercy ‘    in the other person’s absence . Life’s journey should be to evolve from a position of Destructive dependence ( if at all ) to the Constructive dependence .

However such a state can only be negotiated from a position of strength . Each of the partner in Constructive dependence needs to be independently strong & independent to be able to become each other’s support . A position of weakness can only lead to a Destructive dependence .

But then remember , feeling of ‘ dependence ‘ is more psychological than physical .



  1. Thank you Yatin for bringing in such deep thoughts about the facts of dependence. connotation to this very basic primal human behaviour can make it good or bad, all driven by perception of both parties. you might also might want to look at the concept of “counter dependence” as a concept that could be examined along with dependence

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