Why is positive interdependence so essential in our lives?

Christophe André (psychiatrist) and Rebecca Shankland (psychologist), guests of the program "Grand Bien Vous Fasse", explained why it is essential to cultivate positive, empathetic and altruistic social ties whose virtues are essential to our own survival, for others as well as for yourself.

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Why is positive interdependence so essential in our lives? © Getty / martin-dm

The psychiatrist Christophe André and the psychologist Rebecca Shankland are both specialists in positive psychology and health.

They emphasize a basic principle: we are all dependent on each other, whether we like it or not.

We are social, sociable, fragile animals, we owe our survival thanks to the bonds of solidarity and mutual aid.

As Christophe André explains it very well: "This interdependence is too often forgotten, when, in fact, it exists whatever one believes. Whatever our ideals, we are constantly in interdependence : we can not do otherwise in our lives than to be helped.

Humanity only survived because it is interdependent.

Interdependence to get better and open up to others

The relationship is mutually beneficial. Through this relationship, we will be able to bring out the best in everyone, starting with others:

Rebecca Shankland begins by stating that "when a person is in difficulty and they come to their aid, this will have the effect of further developing their skills and their way of enduring the difficulty in the future. This person will be able to more easily become independent for the future ".

The simple fact of being close to others, physically, generates a soothing effect, can reduce the perception of physical pain.

More generally, cultivating a positive interdependence increases the tendency to cooperation, to valorization, learning, in a climate where there is still a very marked representation of competition and of each for himself.

Altruism is also helping yourself

Positive interdependence has a reversible effect: by helping others, I help myself.

Christophe André: "Positive interdependence is not doing everything for others and forgetting yourself, it is simply rebalancing your tendencies. Helping others is also helping themselves, developing themselves. even and think about yourself.

It must be said that each time I am in benevolence, mutual aid, altruism, gratitude, it feels good for my body.

Rebecca Shankland : "We really observe a better mastery of his personal, emotional and relational skills. By increasing the cooperative behaviors of others, social emotion encourages the constructive bond between people and oneself.

Interdependence and independence harmonize together when they are positive

Our two specialists explain that today dependence (and interdependence in absolute terms) is too often seen as something negative. We are moving, according to Rebecca Shankland "towards a form of illusion of independence: this belief that addiction is necessarily a risk or harmful to everyone's life. But in fact, with this idea in mind, our time tends more to merge into individualism, to indirectly oppose individual freedom to interdependence "when these are two things intrinsically linked and socially beneficial, when they work together.

Even if sometimes others can give us the impression of being overburdened, overall, they will help us.

Christophe André translates by this the idea that independence and interdependence are inherently inherent when positive.

Rebecca Shankland adds that "this feeling that many follow, wishing to be as independent as possible, inevitably leads to self-confinement, and multiplies the risks of neglect by having an impact on those around you and on yourself.

While interdependence is really something that helps us to cope with difficult situations and the more we try to flee the other the more we risk becoming lonely (…) this is one of the first causes of depression and degeneration.

While, however, the more one has a feeling of well-being and serenity, the more one is able to help others!

Alone, we go faster, but together, we go further.

Go further

🎧 LISTEN – Why are we happier together? Great Good You Do

📖 READ Rebecca Shankland, Christophe André, These links that make us live. Praise of interdependence (Odile Jacob editions)

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