Dependent, Independent or Interdependent

Several months ago, I picked up a copy of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey, but just recently started to read it. Wow! So far, it is very insightful and I will probably be sharing from it more as I get farther into the book. I haven’t even gotten into the part about the 7 habits yet.

Before he launches into the meat of the book, he talks about 3 levels of maturity; dependence, independence and interdependence. Reading about these stages of development has been revolutionary for me. I have pinpointed what is causing some of the conflicts in a few of my relationships. Understanding that someone is operating from a completely different perspective than I am will hopefully help me avoid and diffuse situations. Here’s the breakdown of the 3 stages.

Dependent – the paradigm of you — you take care of me; you come through for me; you didn’t come through; I blame you for the results. Dependent people need others to get what they want.

Independent – Independence in the paradigm of I — I can do it; I am responsible; I am self-reliant; I can choose. Independent people can get what they want through their own effort.

Interdependent – Interdependence is the paradigm of we — we can do it; we can cooperate, we can combine our talents and abilities and create something great together.  Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.

I’m sure there are plenty of people who have figured these stages of maturity out for themselves, but for me, this was revolutionary. Over the past couple of years I’ve been learning how to be independent in regard to my friendships, not to set my happiness on the performance of people. Rather than finding my happiness in myself however, I am learning to turn to the Author of happiness and joy and love and everything good, and set my expectations on Him. This is far more sure than myself, or any other human, as a foundation for anything lasting. I’ll share more as I continue to go through the book.

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2 Comments

Filed under Getting It Together

2 responses to “Dependent, Independent or Interdependent

  1. JP

    Ordered the book myself tonight!

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