Independent Enough Theory

When those all-important personal connections aren’t working the way we want them to, we’re simply going to struggle. While this is true, most of us believe that the problems we’re having lie in what other people are doing or how we’re being treated at home, work or in our friendships. We believe our unhappiness is about what’s going on outside of us.

The really cool part is that we, as individuals, have the power to have the kind of relationships we want, regardless of what someone else is doing. The real power to change relationships comes from within ourselves by becoming Independent Enough to do the work to overcome the challenges we all face in order to have our most sought-after relationships.

By shifting the way I looked at the relationships in my life and self-reflecting on the role I played in different situations, I was able, for the most part, to have the kind of relationships I had always been looking for. Not that everything was, or is, perfectly fine and I’m trotting off to Nirvana! Far from it. I still fall back into old ways that don’t work well for me. But at least now, I can pull myself out of difficulties sooner and do more of what I have to do to be happier by getting enough psychological distance from others, self-reflecting, figuring out the changes I need to make and then stepping back into the relationship and practicing the changes I’ve decided to make.

I call this process “Independent Enough” and I’ve presented it to audiences in private corporations, at high schools and universities, with school organizations, community groups and nonprofit organizations, and other groups about topics such as: managing conflict, controlling anger, developing independence, and other key aspects of the process of becoming who you need to be to have the relationships you want.