There are seven insufficiency perspectives: Specialness; Dependency; Helplessness; Powerlessness; Confusion; Indecision; and Victimhood.
Let’s explore each of aspect of the insufficiency mentality.
We are all special but we are also not more special than anyone else. If that makes you feel a flash of uncomfortableness then it’s a sign of your insufficiency thinking. Many times I will hear someone say, with resentment in their voice, ‘Pfff, I’m not special. No one treats me like I matter’. It’s the annoyance that is the sign. Let me say this again, ‘We are all special!’ As soon as we want it to be validated, have it written up on billboards in bright flashing lights, given special attention, or not be held accountable or responsible for our actions we are thinking insufficiently. Two possible things are happening. Either we don’t know we are innately special or we really want to be more special than everyone else - being as special as everyone else doesn’t make us special, in our mind. The other give away that we are thinking with an insufficiency mindset is our responses to what we perceive as invalidation of our specialness. Wherever we declare others are rejecting or abandoning us or that people’s specific actions, behaviours, or words prove we are worthless and unloved we are perceiving ourselves as inadequate, not good enough, and personally lacking something within.
When has your sense of being special triggered an ‘insufficiency mentality’ response?
This aspect is not about co-dependency, it’s about a belief of what we deserve. When we can look after ourselves, act on our own behalf but we prefer not to then we are coming from an insufficiency mentality. It is also expressed when we can see the skills others have and figure it would be disrespectful not to make the most of them. As well as when we believe we deserve to be helped and have is no hesitation in asking for help, with the expectation that other’s will take care of our needs, wants, and desires.
There are three different family environments that can enhance the propensity for dependency.
Parents who love to do everything for their children because it meets their need to be needed don’t teach the child to be independent but more significantly they do teach them that people love to do everything for them so they don’t need to take care of their own lives. Dependency is the result.
Parents who abdicated their responsibilities of taking care of the emotional, social, and mental health of children created a void. When we filled the void by becoming the parent we formed ideas about responsibility and what we were owed. Where we resented the responsibility and saw it as a burden we now believe it is our right to be taken care of to compensate for all we had to do as a child or teenager. Dependency becomes owed to us.
Parents who lacked self-care skills are unable to role model healthy self-management and self-control. Imitating our parent’s erratic, chaotic behaviours we feel confronted when held accountable for what others perceive as our hypocrisy, irresponsibility, and immaturity. Not knowing how to do things differently we revert to wanting to be taken care of rather than learning skills to enhance our own lives. Dependency becomes a family pattern.
What are your beliefs about deserving and how do they create your experiences of dependency? Remember dependency includes letting people do things for you that you could do yourself, seeing skills in others and using them with no consideration of how the other person feels, and expecting others to meet your needs how and when you want.
In part 2 I will explore the insufficiency perspectives of helplessness and powerlessness.