While human beings are physically separate, it doesn’t mean that they are emotionally or intellectually separate. And as connecting to another human being involves opening up and allowing another person to open up, there are going to be moments where one merges with another.
This is not only normal, is a vital part of feeling connected to another human being. This can be the result of a shared emotional experience, as a well as an intellectual experience.
But even if it is an intellectual experience, there are still going to be emotions involved. If this merging didn’t happen, human beings would feel incredible lonely and cut off from each other.
Loss Of Self
However, while someone can feel at one with another person through having a shared experience, it can also be the result of one loosing themselves. It is then something that causes them to lose touch with who they are, and to get caught up in another person’s life.
To have a shared experience based on each person mirroring what the other person is experiencing is going to enhance one’s life. But when one person is out of touch with who they are, and is going along with the other person, it is going to be unhealthy.
Of course, there are going to be moments in everyone’s life where this takes place. And yet, when it becomes a way of life, there are going to be problems. One can then end up having no sense of self and becoming an extension of the other person.
Needs And Wants
Through becoming enmeshed to someone, one is going to have very little, if any, awareness around what their needs and wants are. Visually, they are clearly separate, but mentally and emotionally, they are one and the same.
They may have moments where they are aware of what their needs and wants are, but that is likely to be as far as it goes; as the other person’s needs and wants will take precedence. The other person is then in control of what one does or doesn’t do.
On one side then, this is allowing someone to feel connected to another human being. But unlike a normal connection, where ones sense of self would still exist, one sense of self has disappeared. And this is also going to mean that one will feel a sense of power through being enmeshed to the other person.
But at the same time, it is also going to cause one to feel disempowered. At times, one may get what they want through pleasing the other person, but they are also going to have to compromise who they are in the process. And this is going to cause them to feel: angry, frustrated and powerless.
So unless one was getting something through being enmeshed, they wouldn’t be in this position to begin with. It doesn’t mean they are consciously aware of why they enmesh with others, but the benefit is there nevertheless.
If they felt empowered and were able to stand on their own two feet, they wouldn’t have the need to enmesh with others. At a deeper level, they are going to believe that they can only survive by pleasing others.
As this person is an adult, it can be hard to understand why they would have this belief. To look at it from another angle, this is the kind of belief that a child would have. At this age, their survival can depend on whether they please their caregivers or not. But as an adult, ones survival doesn’t have to depend on them pleasing other people.
And just because someone has grown up physically, it doesn’t mean they have been able to grow up emotionally. When this is the case, one is going to feel like a child and view other people like they viewed their caregivers.
Pleasing other people will then be something they feel compelled to do. If they don’t, they are going to feel as though their very existence is under threat.
What this shows is that their emotional development has been stunted. And this is likely to be the result of their needs and wants not being met during their childhood years. Instead, they could have been used to meet their caregiver’s needs and wants.
Their development is going to be affect and this is going to have caused them a lot of pain. And as they were not given the nurturing they needed, it is to be expected that they would become dependent on other people as adults.
If they didn’t do what their caregivers wanted, they might have been rejected or abandoned. At this age, being abandoned would have been overwhelming and could have caused them to feel as though they were going to die.
One didn’t have a choice in what took place during these years, but as an adult, they do have a choice. And it is going to be important for them to release the emotions that have stayed in their body from these early years. They will also need to receive the nurturing they didn’t get growing up.
This can be done with the assistance of a therapist or a healer. Realising ones power won’t happen overnight, but it will happen over time.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.