In this Theory, ‘dependency’ has a special meaning, when used in talking about people with a weak sense of ‘personhood’. Such a person suffers a lack of full, normal, healthy, inner freedom of choice about what to do and what to not do or what to avoid (by their behavior). There is a (perceived but ultimately fictional) desperate necessity to perform in perform in certain ways. These people are dependent – in ways explained below – on the outcome of these performances.

These people were, in early childhood, deprived of appropriate ‘mirroring’ by their caretaker, who didn’t regard them as a real, independent, autonomous human being because they were too caught up in themselves (narcissisitic). That generated some inner needs and Nature filled in with a strategy of choosing only behaviors which got them positive approval vibes, the closest they could get to being regarded as a ‘real’ person’.

More specifically, according to this theory, such a person’s experience of themselves as a ‘self’ is dependent on an unhealthy substitute for a normal, healthy Sense-of-Self. This ‘substitute’ is a good-feeling-about-oneself, an emotional ‘high’ from getting approval or positive vibes from the outcome of one’s performances, chosen behaviors.

Now the degree to which the person succeeds with the performance of a task or behavior determines the amount of ‘feel-good-about-the-Self’ – as a Substitute –Sense-of-Self. Therefore it also determines the zeal/eagerness (read: single-mindedness) with which the desired outcome of the action or behavior is still pursued; what the mood/disposition of the person is going to be like: relatively relaxed, fanatic or angry and controlling.

The SSoS is a way for the person who was unable to develop a Natural Sense of Self to feel ‘alive.’ But dependency on that way is so unhealthy and so detrimental to one’s life – even though it’s the best Nature could provide to the young child – that it’s comparable to the poor souls who cut their flesh in order to feel ‘alive’. The dependencies on and within a Substitute-Sense-of-Self are highly compulsive: a perceived necessity to achieve a certain outcome in order to gain some sense of existing as a person. That extreme dependency in turn gives rise to many other addictions.

Dependency is thus a fundamental and inevitable characteristic of the Substitute-Sense-of-Self-oriented System. When all or most of your behavior is geared toward generating approval from someone else in order to give you some fleeting sense that you are a real person, you do not have a natural freedom to choose what to do and what not to do or what to avoid doing.

You mistakenly (and subconsciously) believe you have to ‘perform’ a certain way because your very existence as a ‘real person’ depends on it. Thus you are a very ‘dependent’ person, dependent on behaving only in certain ways because you are dependent on the outcome of those behaviors.

You have an unhealthy dependence on the outcome of your actions because the outcome gives you a Substitute-Sense-of-Self (which you desperately need). You are unhealthily dependent on the outcome of your Ego-References and Hidden Agenda to get approval.