Everyone has a desire to communicate with others and to get attention from others. When someone has these urges, it is a normal phenomenon. However, too much desire to communicate and receive attention can become an addiction: relationship addiction. Relationship addiction is a phenomenon in which you lose yourself by pouring your mental energy into making relationships with others. To learn more about this addiction and to know how to overcome it, The Seowon News interviewed a professor Kang Kyung-Yeon who teaches 'Understanding of Human Psychology'.
-The Seowon News : What are the symptoms of relationship addiction? Also, what problems make people become addicted to relationships?
-Kang Kyung-Yeon : One of the most common symptoms ins an 'overreaction to others'. Addicts place high demands on those who have a relationship with them and exaggerate the importance of the relationship. So they spend an excessive amount of time with their partners. Also, they overreact to what their partners say, what they do, or even what they don't say. Relationship addicts are often obsessed with connecting more with their partners. They are obsessed with their relationships and try to relate everything to the relationship to the point that their social lives are almost gone. Often addicts make lots of unrealistic expectations of their partners. Rather than putting meaning in the present relationship, they are more interested in how their connections affect the future. So they expect and demand unrealistic expectations of their partners.
According to a number of studies on relationship addiction, falling into an addictive relationship happens when addicts have unfulfilled desires, emptiness, hopelessness and deep scars inside of their minds. That is, they are constantly trying to fill in their own emptiness through making relations with others. That is because they are afraid of being left alone.
-SN : How can we know if we're in an addicted relationship and how do we solve it?
-KKY : We need to look at ourselves and see if we are sacrificing time with our families, friends, self-esteem, time, and energy for the relationship. Also, we need to be aware if we continue our relationship even though they are harmful, such as dating violence for example. The way to prevent becoming addicted to a relationship is to draw a healthy boundary between you and your partner. So, when your lover meets other friends or wants to do a hobby, you should not think of that as a selfish act.
-SN : What would you say to students in addictive relationships?
-KKY : I hope that students understand that relationship addiction is not easy to solve alone because it has a strong emotional component. It's not just a matter of will. However, what's clear is that we can overcome it. Also, we can use the campus counseling center. With the counselor, we can get a happier life faster and think more clearly.
-SN : Thank you for interviewing with us. Lastly, if you have any last thing you would like to say to the Seowon University students, please share.
-KKY : You are a precious being and you are the hero of your own life. Other people are just supporting actors in your life. Everyone can fail, be rejected, break up will someone, and meet someone. In any relationship, the person you should pay attention to the most is yourself. I'm rooting for you to respect others as they are and to create healthy relationships with them.