Can a close/trusting emotional relationship damage the trusted person?

Can a trusted person be damaged by a close or trusting emotional relationship? Sounds illogical but it is possible. Deeper emotional dependence is often considered unhealthy but is an inborn tendency of humans. It is not necessarily a childhood characteristics that we need to outgrow.

Secure dependency is a sign of a healthy relationship, which helps one to be confident and independent in functioning. The more secure we are, the more independent we can be, rather, interdependent and self sufficient we can be. The availability of a emotionally close person provides comfort and security and their lack of access or unavailability can be distressing or hurting. Closeness with an emotionally unaffected person can reduce anxiety and help healthy unfolding of one’s personality. It gives confidence to take risks, learn new information, deal with problems and manage stress effectively in life.

Accessibility and emotional responsiveness are core of healthy bonding between individuals that help build trusting relationships. Our strongest of emotions arise in attachment/emotional relationships.

Insecure emotional relationships can be extremely distressing with anger and aggression experienced on loved ones. Requests for attention and reassurance from emotionally close friends or persons and their failure to respond can lead to anger outbursts, depression leading to detachment over a period of time. Depression maybe a natural response to lost emotional connections. This kind of response or reaction patterns can happen with any relation such as a parent and a child, siblings, wife and husband etc.

Maternal deprivation where an attachment figure is unavailable by rejection or abandonment or loss can be traumatic in the sense of ones ability to deal with fear and stress in one’s life. Unavailable emotional relationships can create insecure attachment with oneself and one’s world leading to inability to handle stress and their ability to emotionally relate to their loved ones.

On the other hand, a close or emotionally attached person can become manipulative or use ones closeness for their selfish needs of material or emotional gains which in the long run can be more damaging to the affected person than helping him or her to deal with the stress. An over-involved parental figure in child activities such as not letting child explore one’s world for fear of hurt or rejection can be damaging to the child in the short and long term as an adult.

In conditions like schizophrenia, it is a well established fact that over involvement, being very critical of ones behavior by an attachment figure or parental figure can be continuous stressors for the symptoms to reappear over a period of ones life time. Rather, these critical behaviors and over involvement can maintain ones psychological disturbance. Non availability of emotionally close relationship can lead to depression which can be limited to oneself or even run in families projecting relational  patterns in a family relationship with repeated cycles over generations.

The extreme form of malfunctioning can happen with unhealthy personalities, where ones close and emotionally related persons, manipulate emotions to the core leaving the attached person hurt and blunt by the distancing over a period of time. Here, such persons can use emotions and emotionally close persons as instruments of meeting their needs, using them as objects than emotional beings, even without their knowledge. In other words, the quality of manipulating one’s loved ones can itself become their natural personality tendency leading to more and more loss of loved ones over a period of their life time and possibly leading to isolation, denial and ultimately lost relationships.

Emotions and emotional relationships are complex and one needs to invest time and energy to analyze and retrospect in order to live and healthy and secure relationships. If one does not make the effort to invest time and energy into the relationship, one can be left depressed, isolated, and even ill.

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