The key to healthy relationships is that neither person be permanently dependent on the other. The goal of healthy parenting is to raise children who eventually are no longer dependent on their parents. And the key to high self-esteem is to not be dependent on another person, thing, substance, or chemical for our well - being, because whatever or whomever we are dependent on is also our master.
High self - esteem comes with freedom and independence, not with dependence.
If we are dependent on another person financially we are constrained in making decisions about how to spend money. If we are dependent on another person emotionally, thoughts about that person crowd out all thoughts of ourselves and keep us from making plans and taking action for ourselves, and every action is guided by whether that other person would be pleased or displeased. Emotional dependency is not love, it is need. It becomes addictive, it strangles people emotionally, and it destroys relationships, as well as our self-esteem.
Self-esteem is that wonderful, nebulous quality that everyone wants and needs, and without which no one can function at his or her highest and best potential. Self-esteem has been described as a combination of self-respect, self-confidence, and a feeling of self worth. When you have high self-esteem you are glad that you are you, and you feel that you matter - that the world is a better place just because you are here.
If self-esteem is low, the deficiency creates a feeling of emptiness which some people try to fill with alcohol, drugs, food, excessive sex, gambling, destructive relationships, and other forms of addiction. But the emptiness can never be filled up in such ways.