There have been many attempts to describe the levels of intimacy in human behavior. The basic categorization concluded in three major states of being, either in such a state or between states. That is, the relationship between dependence – independence – interdependence. My personal favorite (discussing mostly the state of being when one is dependent, then moves to independent and then is able to be and chooses to become: interdependent) is Jorge Bucay (which I undoubtedly suggest for further reading).
Moreover, the foundation of this concept is to understand the following (which I quote from various sources, since I couldn’t have put it better myself and is thus a collage of theories):
Independent Self is a bounded, unique, more or less integrated, motivational and cognitive universe, a dynamic center of awareness, emotion, judgment, action, organized into a distinctive whole and set contrastingly, both against other such wholes and against a social background.
Interdependence is a dynamic of being mutually and physically responsible to, and sharing a common set of principles with others. This concept differs distinctly from “dependence” in that an interdependent relationship implies that all participants are emotionally, economically, ecologically and or morally “interdependent.” Some people advocate freedom or independence as a sort of ultimate good; others do the same with devotion to one’s family, community, or society. Interdependence recognizes the truth in each position and weaves them together. Two states that cooperate with each other are said to be interdependent. It can also be defined as the interconnectedness and the reliance on one another socially, economically, environmentally and politically.
“Independent thinking alone is not suited to interdependent reality. Independent people who do not have the maturity to think and act interdependently may be good individual producers, but they won’t be good leaders or team players. They’re not coming from the paradigm of interdependence necessary to succeed in marriage, family, or organizational reality.”
Now the twist is, there is not only a balance to keep between us and others, we even have trouble perceiving our true self in relation to others.
Illusion of Self:
“According to research by Anne Wilson and Michael Ross in 2001, you see the person you used to be as a foolish bumbler with an awful haircut, but your current self as a badass who is worthy of at least three times the praise. The findings of studies showed you tend to accept credit when you succeed, but blame bad luck, unfair rules, difficult instructors, cheaters and so on when you fail. When you are doing well, you think you are to blame. When you are doing badly, you think the world is to blame. This behavior can be observed in board games and senate races, group projects and final exams. You attribute everything to your amazing skills when things are going your way, but once the tide turns, you look for external factors which prevented your genius to shine through.”