It Is Time for Tough Love

Tough Love vs. Dependency

Dependency – not confident, prone to mistakes, indecisive, desires security and support, fears having no guidance or support, frequently feels envious, not productive without reassurance, gets very attached to people, feels guilty when they disagree with people, seeks acceptance and recognition from peers, dramatizes their suffering, impressionable, can be talked into doing things, fears being unwanted or unworthy of love, never knows what to do next, personality is centered around low self esteem issues, swayed by emotions, can’t handle people being mad at me, freezes up in stressful situations, influenced more by others than self, avoids responsibilities, life lacks direction, prone to paranoia, prone to shame, daydreams about people to maintain a sense of closeness

Adam Zyglis Cartoon

Does the government breed dependency?  Certainly, for many, and not for all the right reasons.  There are kids growing up on welfare, who don’t know any better. They don’t choose entitlements, entitlements choose them.  Entitlements are all they know.

As a teacher’s aide, my wife worked in a dropout prevention program. There was a young women she had taken under her wing.  Our family welcomed her and her younger sister into our home and we treated them like family.

These young girls were basically in the same age group as our own daughters.  We did a lot of family functions, meals, movies, theme parks, etc… together.

When their behavior became more aggressive,when they began expecting to receive special treatment, whereby our own daughters did not, it was time to end the party.  Tough love.

Tough love?  Thinking back, there was never really any real familial love.  There was caring, a lot of caring.  The plight of these girls still tugs at the heart string of our own family members, but there was no familial love given, for that matter, none shared.

It was a voluntary union by all, arguably a noble union.  No one really got hurt, right?  This was what we knew.  This was what we considered acceptable behavior.  Others would consider doing much less, and find it acceptable behavior.

Why do seemingly noble gestures tend to haunt us?  Most of us “do-gooders” never learn from the ensuing realities.

Like Erich Fromm wrote about many years ago, in his book The Sane Society, as a society we’ve stopped short of loving.  One of my favorite Fromm observations, is also the most thought-provoking.

“Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes and it may go. How can I judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgment and decision.”
― Erich FrommThe Art of Loving

Loving someone is very, very, tough to do.  And according to Fromm, love is an art.  To become a master artist, you have to practice long hours, every day.  I would have to say “tough love” is becoming a “lost art.”  Does the absence of love breed dependency?  Is Fromm right?  Is our society going insane?

About Idea Capitalist
Family guy and entrepreneur. Small Business owner. NFIB Leadership Council member. Serial blogger.

2 Responses to It Is Time for Tough Love

  1. Pingback: Anytown Small Business Sequestration – Letter from the CEO | Idea Capitalists

  2. Oona Burke says:

    interesting thought. looking back at helping others, i tend to get burned and drained emptiness by people who received my help. in the end, i was exhausted. “tough love” means letting go and letting them do it on their own. it’s like taking care of babies/toddlers: allowing their freedom to figure things out, with a guiding hand – but not doing it for them.

    Like

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