I know this man who is in late his forties. He is a successful and ambitious entrepreneur. He has worked hard to reach his goals, you can say that he has successfully reached the peak of his career. However, his personal and emotional life are far from being successful. Much of this is due to the fact that he has an obsessive relationship with his company and those who work for him.
Mr. T devotes himself to his business and his subordinates. He has reached the point in which he lives the lives of those who work for him and seek to have the last word in everything, even in personal matters. He takes their problems as his own and that ends up hurting and damaging his relationships with people who are not within the circle of his Company. Needless to say that has had countless affairs with his employees (did I mention that 95% of his employees are women?). He aims to change them, make them a success as he does with his business. He only seems to feel complete when these people act and do things as he wishes. As this rarely happens and if it happens, it does not last forever. He ends up feeling frustrated. He is completely devoted to them, how is it that they do not match up to his devotion? How can these people can’t correspond in the same way? He feels betrayed, misunderstood.
It seems that his ego feels complete only when another person validates him. Those who get to know him have the impression that he is an egomaniac, in fact, he is.
He is an individual who should have a healthy ego, since he is successful and hard worker. Unfortunately he’s not, because his Ego depends on others to feel validated.
This is not the typical case of a "workaholic" whose life is devoted to work and he lives for the sake of work, for ambition, power, money, success but do not care for those around him. On the contrary, this is the case of a lonely man that at his age has never been married, has no kids and constantly fails in his personal relationships but seeks ownership of his employees as well as his Company.
He has managed to succeed in his Company for the commitment he has given. The problem is not his dedication nor his commitment to his Company but the fact of he has no life other than his Company and his employees. He feels ownership over their lives, he dictates the dress code (often, he goes shopping with them to sanction their way of dress, and has sent Company memos in this regard), he criticizes how they talk, to whom they talk, to whom they befriend at the office etc. He obviously feels betrayed when they do not meet his own expectations.
At work he is a demanding boss, but ends up making half of their job because he cannot lose control. What he needs is a "loyal employee" who says "yes" to everything he says and asks; in order to feel validated. Nor is a relationship between "friends". Is a contractual relationship where one party hires another to perform a service and the other receives remuneration.
There are people who fail to adequately develop their individuality, because they tend to merge with others, this is a clear example.
Another example would be the of mother who is completely devoted to her children and their lives. When her children grow up and everyone leaves she feels betrayed by them. They are "bad kids" they have forgotten their mother! Instead of repaying their mother in adulthood, they follow their own path. This mother has lost the purpose of her life.
These individuals are not the typical "martyrs" who give everything without expecting anything in return. They give because they expect to receive a similar delivery. They pretend to be recognized, acknowledged and thanked and if this doesn’t happen they feel denied, misunderstood and betrayed.
They feel satisfied as they see those to whom they have merge happy. They have merged their emotive and emotional lives to those who validated them. To others who complete them.
We can only be happy and achieve healthy relationships with others when we feel well with ourselves. Our ego, feel pleased with itself. Loneliness is not a bad thing. It’s necessary to discover ourselves, to accept, value and love who we truly are (all flaws included). It is not healthy when our happiness depends on others, because we will always feel betrayed and unappreciated.