Am I codependent? How can I tell?
In a codependent relationship, two people become so invested in each other that they can no longer function independently. Your mood, satisfaction, and identity are determined by the other person. One person is usually submissive and unable to make decisions for themselves, while the other person gains some enjoyment and satisfaction from controlling them and making decisions about their life.
Codependency comes with a set of personality traits and symptoms such as:
- You’re a people-pleaser who will do anything to keep others happy.
- You’ll sacrifice what you want or need to avoid upsetting or hurting other people.
- You don’t know who you are, what you like, how you feel, or what matters to you.
- Codependents focus on other people’s issues, emotions, requirements, and desires while neglecting their own.
- Codependents believe that other people are more important than themselves and prioritize taking care of them in order to feel loved, valued, and fulfilled.
- They rely on others for their identity and self-esteem.
Five Steps to Overcome Codependency
Codependency may manifest in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons, so it is important to prepare for your future by learning the following skills:
1. Start to Express Your Real Feelings
It’s difficult for you to express yourself with codependent relationships. You don’t want problems because because you’re terrified of the outcomes:
- Will the person I love the most decide that they don’t need me?
- I’m worried that they won’t want to be friends anymore?
- If I say something they don’t like then they’ll think I’m a bad person?
Once you become reluctant to be honest and vulnerable, you cannot have difficult discussions. Then you stop trying to satisfy your own needs and instead just avoid controversy. Your needs, however, do not disappear; they just become more and more demanding as time passes. You’ll start to become more passive because of this. Codependent relationships are often characterized by fear of no longer being loved. You’ll tell yourself that a bad relationship is better than no relationship.
2. Use Self Talk to Express Self Love
Codependency occurs when you view yourself as inferior. You’ll start to think that your own ideas are not important because other people know more than you. That will cause you to start listening to others instead of yourself.
Self Love means that you appreciate yourself and prioritize your own happiness and well being. You won’t sacrifice important things to please others and you will try to get what you deserve.
Self Love can help you break the codedepent cycle. Start to alk to yourself about what is going on. Challenge your negative notions and start a compassionate self-dialogue where you are worthy and can make decisions. You’ll find that you can start to see yourself in a self-loving way. As you discover your likes, dislikes you will discover your true nature.
3. Accept your emotions:
It’s true that no one wants to endure continuous emotional distress, but rejecting your feelings may worsen things. Emotions give us valuable information about the world, so eliminating or suppressing them is not advisable. This is known as emotional acceptance. When you’re codependent, it can be challenging to understand how to manage your emotions so it is easiest to neglect your emotions and focus on what others want.
To defeat codependency, you need to identify your true emotions. Try to recognize your feelings and develop a toolbox of coping abilities. You start by identifying and describing your feelings and then you notice them without judging them.
Codependency can be fixed with kindness rather than shame and embarrassment when you explore your fears. Your fears don’t make you weak, and they don’t have to control your life, they are a natural part of being human.
4. Heal from previous trauma:
Any type of trauma can damage physical, emotional, and relational health. Trauma often leads to codependent relationships in which the victim of trauma feels completely and destructively dependent on someone else. Codependency is a bad habit that occurs in both familial and intimate relationships. To eradicate codependency, we must address and cure the trauma at its roots.
When someone has experienced trauma, the ripple effect may result in the creation of destructive and unhealthy connections.When one person in a relationship has suffered an injury, it can negatively impact everyone around him or her. To recover from and minimize the repercussions of trauma, it is critical to maintain healthy, supportive relationships. However, too frequently relationships turn codependent, which harms both parties as a result. Trauma in childhood and recent or previous trauma can all create codependency.
Your prior traumatic events may have left you feeling damaged and wounded. In order to address them, heal them, and overcome codependency, you must first revisit them and learn to cope in healthier ways. When you’ve done that, you’ll gain the clarity, strength, and resilience you need to prevail over codependency.
5. Set New and Healthy Boundaries
Codependency is characterized by poor, rigid, and unhealthy boundaries between two people. In order to overcome codependency, you must challenge and reframe your boundaries, which are normally flexible, firm, and direct.
Your needs combine with your partner’s needs in entangled boundaries, leaving no tolerance or acceptance of one another’s individuality. You see that you and your partner spend almost no time apart. There are no activities that either you or your partner do alone, and there is no separate social network. As long as you and your partner don’t hang out with people without each other, you know each other’s social networks. When there is a fear of giving up control that restricts individual space and time, the relationship consumes all your time and attention.
Begin by paying attention to your anger and resentment when you are new to establishing healthy boundaries. Where do you begin? You may wonder. When you are establishing new boundaries, begin by paying attention to your emotions.
If you start to establish new limits, you may start to observe how you feel afterwards. After you say no, are you at peace and serene? Usually when we establish poor boundaries and say yes to things when we should say no, we feel irritated and resentful. These emotions may inform you that you’ve violated your own boundaries. It indicates that you were not being genuine. You were people-pleasing and your emotions are telling you so. Your emotions are asking you to say no. If you set a limitation, you must examine how you feel afterwards to see if it was the right one.
When you begin to set new and healthier boundaries, you may feel uncomfortable and guilty initially because you have a history of avoiding harming other people’s feelings. You will not be immediately respected for your new boundaries, and the other person will try to manipulate you into returning to your old ways. Don’t take the other person’s response as an indication that you are doing something wrong.
Self Care Impact can help with Codependency
We hope you will join us in exploring how your life would be different if you had more control over your codependent thoughts and emotions. We’re here to help you in the Denver area.
Let’s figure out what causes your codependency and find the methods that help you deal with your relationships in a healthy manner. Please contact our Client Care Coordinator for your complimentary 20-minute phone consultation today and read more on the Couples Counseling page on our website.
Self Care Impact Counseling envisions a new age of counseling for adolescents, adults, couples & groups that makes a REAL difference with core values of GROWTH | BALANCE | COMPASSION | INNER HARMONY.