Always needing a rescuer?
February 11, 2014 8:20 PM Subscribe
My significant other (female, early 20s) is amazing in all respects, but whenever faced with a problem whether large or small it seems like her instinct is to depend on other people to come and rescue her. What is this called? How do I help?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (31 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
She struggles with anxiety, and so insignificant things (to me) like getting a strongly-worded text from her boss become a full-grade world-ending problem, with her repeatedly sending an insane amount of messages, texts, and emails to me to try to get me to drop everything and "take care" of her, which I do when I can but is not always possible. I gather that this has worked for her with her parents up until now. I feel like when I give into it, I am encouraging an unhealthy dependence on other people.
I have trouble explaining to her that I can't drop everything every time something comes up for her, and that depending on other people to solve your problems every time is a really dangerous way to approach life.
I'd love to learn more about this concept of always needing other people to come to your rescue, as it is very different from how I was raised. I think my parents made a point of putting me into situations and explaining that I should fend for myself. It is also hard because it seems like her anxiety turns every problem into a life-or-death situation, and that is not always the reality.
I'm having trouble conveying the importance of an independent strength, or even the terminology.