When a person loses touch with their sense of themselves as a separate, living, breathing entity, a consequence may be a very real discomfort with being alone.
Many people, but women in particular have a robust aptitude for noticing and reacting to the needs and feelings of those around them. This capacity usually starts with the well-documented ability of girls at a very young age to verbalize their own emotions and to aptly/intuitively notice how those around them are reacting.
Girls are socialized for empathy , care and responsiveness to others. Beginning in elementary/primary school they are often fearful of hurting one another’s feelings. This fear may make it hard for them to discuss their more negative emotions and eventually, in some cases, leads girls to the use of ‘relational aggression’ or passively harmful behaviour (i.e. gossip, eye rolling, social exclusion) to get their needs met in relationships.
Of course social awareness is a tremendous strength and when properly developed through the years can be used beneficially in adult life. However, caring can become a trap when a woman becomes so committed to staying connected to others that she loses touch with her separate sense of self. At the extreme, self-esteem may come to depend almost completely on relationships with others—for example, if they have a socially packed weekend they feel great about themselves–if they are alone with time to fill, suddenly they feel like they have done something wrong.
In this type of situation…………
….to be continued.