- Low self-esteem.
- Need for advice and reassurance.
- Need for constant reassurance and approval.
- Need for care and support.
- Submissiveness (p.244).
Many of these traits and behaviors can be
an individual and be within the normal range culturally and
socially, and perhaps even be adaptive. Millon and Davis (2000)
describe characteristics of a dependent style that are healthy and
desirable such as genuine empathy, grace, agreeableness, humility, and
an ability to love unconditionally. It is when an individual
becomes subsumed into the identity of others, leading to the loss of
self both during and after relationships end that these traits become
(p.208). Further, pathologically dependent individuals do not
simply consult or ask for advice to process themselves, rather they
forfeit responsibility to others for their own lives, down to the most
Pincus and Wilson (2001) conceptualized dependency
as reflecting a "core motivation to obtain and maintain nurturant and
supportive relationships" based on psychometric analyzes of various
self-report tests (p.228). This motivation is doubtlessly shared
vast majority of healthy individuals, it is the manner in which persons
express this desire cognitively and behaviorally that can connote a
pathological level of dependence. Unhealthy expression of this
motivation can be seen in Bornstein's (1998) conception that
personality disorder is an overt expression of dependency desires with
little to no strategy for self reliance. Although individuals may
have some insight into their behaviors, the belief that they are weak
and helpless prevents any striving for change (pp.180-181). So where does this pathological
of dependency come from?