The Three Stages of Human Development; Dependence, Independence and Inter-dependence

Psychologists have long established that a person must go through three stages of development in order to reach full maturation; Dependence, Independence and Interdependence.


Dependence is a state in which every person is born. This is a state where a person depends on others for their every need. A dependent person believes that the world owes them everything they need.

Dependence is a good thing for a season. It is good for babies. For grown ups dependence is a sad thing. In fact, it is a cancer!

The trouble with a dependent person is that they never take responsibility for anything. They always find someone or something to blame for why their life is a mess; if it’s not the government, then it’s that guy at work. “The reason I am not doing well is because my dad doesn’t love me enough”. That may sound like a good excuse, but that is all it is-an excuse.

If you are looking for excuses, you will never fail to find them. They are everywhere. “The weather is bad, my boss is an idiot, and nobody likes me here, if only I could go to another country…” That is the thinking and talking of a dependent person.
Dependent people always find reasons to justify their unproductive behaviors. “I am throwing litter around because there is no rubbish bin around here.”

Every person should seek to move away from an area of dependence and begin to advance into the sphere of independence.

“Sometimes you just got to give yourself what you wish someone else would give you.”- Dr Phil


Independence is the second stage of maturation. This is a stage in a person’s life when they begin to take responsibility for their life. The stage of independence begins with a realization that each person is responsible for their life and the choices they make.

Unlike the dependent person, the independent mind does not play the blame game. An independent person does not look for excuses, he looks for solutions. They don’t see impossibilities, they believe in possibilities.

An independent person realizes that the world owes them nothing except what they offer to the world. They realize that the world only gives what they ask for.

Independence is a fantastic stage. However, it is not the ultimate. The final stage of development is inter-dependence.

“In the long history of humankind, those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”-Charles Darwin


The independent person believes in his ability to make things happen. The inter-dependent mind realizes that by networking, a lot more can be achieved. “I can do it alone, but we can do it so much better together”.

Inter-dependence is the level where every person should operate. Believe first in your own ability, and then benefit from networking.
Unless a person can learn to work with others, to live with others and to learn from others he can not walk the paths of success. Life in its very nature is inter-dependent.

About Isaac C. Mwiya

Isaac C. Mwiya is an author, motivational speaker and trainer. He believes that each and every person was put on this earth for a purpose. His goal is to help both the old and the young to find their purpose in life and express it fully everyday. He wishes for every person to realize their true potential and become all that they were meant to. To bring Isaac to your next event call +260 978 638 389. You can also connect with him on and follow him on Twitter

Posted on November 10, 2013, in Motivational and Inspirational, Personal Development and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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