Paradox: You’re Incomplete Yet Complete

You are nothing- completely worthless alone, yet at the same time you shouldn’t be needy around other people.

How the hell does this even make sense??? I think I have some ideas. This is going to be a messy post, bare with me.

You are not Independent

First, let’s get one thing out of the way: you’re not “independent.” There’s no such thing.

Isolate yourself on an island all alone with no human contact and you’re gonna lose your mind. It has happened to basically everyone, except for a rare few humans. Even then those rare few humans were already crazy, or they got by through imagining conversation with other beings or spirits.

Studies done on prisoners in isolation have revealed that your mental state very rapidly deteriorates in isolation. A lack of any social contact literally drives you insane.

Even if you aren’t hanging out with people every day, odds are you’re still around others, at least to a small extent of the day.

When you walk outside, you see other human beings. When you shop for groceries, you see people, and you can feel them seeing you. That’s what gives you life.

An introvert can also only be an introvert within the context of a group. Even introverts need to be out & about socially, even if it means they aren’t loud & laughing & fully engaged in the center of things!

The simple fact is that on a biological & physiological level you need other humans to even function. You are nothing without other human beings!

A Story Including Shrooms

After my break up with my ex, I took a large dose of shrooms. Tip: don’t take shrooms after a break up, you’ll morph into a supernova and cry giant universal cosmic tears for 5 hours straight.

Anyways, from that trip and others I have learned something very important: we are nothing alone. You literally can’t be you without the context of other people to validate you.

The ego would like to make you think that you are “independent” and “need no one,” but that’s simply not true. Even if you’re perfectly healthy & financially abundant, a lack of social contact will drive you mad.

Parts of the Whole

One interesting thing I’ve also learned about recently is personality theory, specifically the Myers Briggs Type Indicator.

Did you know that the MBTI doesn’t actually access personality, but cognitive functions? The #1 thing people get wrong about personality theory is they assume that all because someone’s “type” starts with E means that they’re the stereotypical extrovert.

That’s just not the case. I am an ENFP for example- extroverted, intuitive, feeling, perceptive.

The first cognitive function of an ENFP is “extraverted intuition,” which is like coming up with all kinds of crazy ideas. See: randomly living in Bulgaria, crashing a scooter in Thailand, traveling the world, starting an online business, filming YouTube pranks, creating music, etc.

The second cognitive function of an ENFP is “introverted feeling.” This is where things get interesting. People with the ENFP personality type can often be mislabeled as an “introvert’ because of their need for alone time to process emotions.

Despite having all of these crazy ideas, I’m also a very emotional guy and NEED to be alone to feel things & process my day. I prefer to live alone, having my mornings & nights completely to myself. That doesn’t sound like very extroverted behavior, does it?

Sidenote: type in “personality test” into Google and Email me what your 4-letter code is! I am ENFP. I’ve found the test to be strangely accurate, again because it’s based on cognitive functions rather than vague personality traits which are subject to change. Your brain functions do not change!

So where am I going with personality theory?

We Create the Whole

Each personality type represents a piece of the whole. In personality theory there are 8 cognitive functions, and in each type the primary 4 reveal themselves in different orders.

Some people’s brains are geared towards creating ideas. Others are better at analyzing data. Others have amazing memories.

The thing is, we can’t have all of the cognitive functions. If everyone was an ENFP like me, we’d be all in this idealistic fantasy world and struggle with maintaining order & discipline.

Each person is a part of the whole. We need introverts, but we also need extroverts. Remember how I said I/E is cognitive function, NOT personality? That’s the case here- what defines an introvert is simply that their brain functions differently than an extrovert. A feeler has a different brain than a thinker. An intuitive type thinks differently than a sensor.

As far as I know, it’s coded into our DNA this random creating of personality type. It’s completely possible for an introverted intuitive person be born into a family of extroverted sensors.

It also makes sense because a regular variance of thinkers is needed for society to function optimally!

A world filled with ENFPs (meeee) would not work, just like a world filled with ISTJs would not work.

Introducing INTERdependence

After all of this discussion of how we can’t socially survive with other human beings, how we spiritually get sucked dry & are nothing without the eyes of others, and how literally our personality types are created lacking qualities the others may have, how can we even be “independent?”

Well… we can’t. The truth is, we aren’t independent of anything. As it turns out, the enlightened state of being “one” with all is not so far off. For example, you are not you because you need food to survive- yes the food is “separate” of you, yet at the same time you are dependent on it.

There is no such thing as independence in this world. To be rich, others must give you money (or you require people to steal from, but that’s another story).

Interdependence is the level above independence- a paradoxical combination of both independence & dependence.

In the state of independence, you aren’t needy & demanding of others. You don’t expect others to fulfill you, but you also understand that they’re there to help you when you do need it.

This is a bit hard to explain unless you’ve had experience with being very needy before (I have!) then being independent to a fault (whooops) and realizing there’s a healthy balance between the two.

You are a “Sponge”

Another way I like to think of it as we being a “sponge” soaking in the environment around us.

This is something you simply can’t control. People that have a great support system will always be happier & healthier than those stuck in abusive families no matter how much visualizing & praying they do.

However, unlike an inanimate sponge, we have the ability to consciously give out a certain energy and also move ourselves to where we can soak in better energy.

This is the key to interdependence, is recognizing both that you need others but you can choose how you want to be treated by others at the same time.

Notice how I said you need other humans, not one single human. If your best friend is a dick, then drop them but get a new one too.

Interdependence is realizing that everyone needs a “best friend” and lover, but that you can get another if you’re currently being treated wrong or they leave you.

There are two types of things you can do as a sponge-human to improve your interdependence:

Giving as a Sponge

We can consciously choose the energy which we put out into the world. Imagine you’re working as a barista and two customers come in:

The first customer greets you with a pleasant smile, asks how your day is going, and leaves a generous tip. The customer then asks you out on a date.

Even if you don’t find customer 1 attractive, you would feel flattered! They’re a good person. They made you feel good.

Customer 2 comes in, barks their order at you, gets upset at how the latte is $.30 more expensive than 3 months ago, and then he complains that boys/girls are all selfish.

This person doesn’t stand a chance with you no matter how attractive they are.

The point is that you are constantly customer 1 or 2 to varying degrees 24/7. Of course being around a bad environment is more likely to make you mean, but at the end of the day you can choose to be around better people & give out a better energy.

What’s fascinating is that people continue creating the environment they have consciously or unconsciously chosen through their actions. People who are convinced the world is evil are unpleasant, and so people run which validate their beliefs of everyone being selfish. Kind people go around compassionately listening & giving to others, and their beliefs become validated as others flock to be by their side.

Now next time you walk in to a new social setting, consider whether you’re more like customer 1 or customer 2. Are you kind to the people around you? Do you listen? Or are you mean?

What you give often comes back to you. Of course, there are some people who will always be mean. I’ve walked in to a coffee shop having such a great day, left a good tip, and treated the barista so nice yet they were still a bitch. That’s just life.

The point is that what you give most of the time is what you’ll receive most of the time. Don’t be upset when it varies. Remember that other people are a sponge too, so what you give is often what they reflect back.

Receiving as a Sponge

Consciously giving can be hard when energy vampires suck the life out of you. When you’re constantly being filled with good energy, you have to constantly filter it out to give.

It’s a lot easier to give what’s being given to you. Has someone ever done something really nice for you, and then you went on to do something nice? Or has someone ever hurt you, then you went on to hurt another person?

That’s what happens because you’re a sponge. You can’t help but receive certain energies from other people. Until you’re enlightened (which takes a long time), you can’t expect this to change.

You need to choose to change your environment- that doesn’t mean changing the people around your environment though.

When most people get into self-help or self-actualization or mastery or whatever you want to call it, most people try to convince their friends & family of the joys of doing XYZ to better their lives.

The problem is it often falls on deaf ears! Unfortunately there’s nothing you can do.

If someone is being an energy vampire or negative, you can try set boundaries & hope they change. If they don’t, you have to pull the plug which is painful yet necessary.

At the end of the day, you must consciously choose your environment. You can’t magically decide to stop receiving negative energy when energy vampires come your way. You can’t magically decide to have “thick skin.” That takes a long time, so better to fix the solution permanently and let your skin thicken over time naturally, do you get what I mean?

You need to surround yourself with people that lift you up & support you. You need to have deep conversations with people. You need those people which treat you right in life.

Remember that you can’t really change your environment. You can give new energy to a clean slate, but oftentimes certain people are stuck in negative/positive energy loops regardless of what’s going on around them.

This can best be seen in the aging population. Some elderly people are weirdly happy 24/7, whereas others have let the burdens of life & work wear them down and they’re stuck in a negativity loop 24/7.

I’ve listened to old people complain & bicker over the most stupid shit while eating a delicious steak in a fancy restaurant. It was horrifying that people could even complain in such a setting, where I felt blessed just to have food which tasted so amazing!

I’ve also heard & personally witnessed countless stories of people remaining positive no matter what through adversity and it always showed up in the end.

Look, the point here is that your environment shapes you. I want to make this very clear: you can’t change your environment. Maybe just to an extent. You’re but a sponge in life. But, you’re gifted with the ability to choose your environment.

Interdependence

So, we have covered here that you are completely needy & dependent on other humans for your health, wealth, love, and happiness. That won’t ever change. You are not complete as an individual because it’s impossible for you to be fulfilled while completely alone.

However, we’ve also covered how you can meet the right people- specifically by changing your environment to receiving better energy, or giving better energy to new environments to receive a better response.

So what exactly is interdependence?

I say interdependence is the state of knowing that while you need people, these people can change. It is the self-confidence to meet new, better people. To be independent means to not need XYZ, which is impossible. Ideally you’ll be independent of any one person in life, but interdependent with the right people.

This is what I think we should all strive for. The ability to create your life as you please is a true power, and one that should no doubt be taught in school.

Now you know what you need to do: give better energy, receive better energy. That’s it. Go!

Did you enjoy this post? Let me know 🙂

-Michael