Codependency is a term used to describe a set of behaviors and thought patterns in which the person takes better care of others than they take of themselves, has trouble saying “no,” needs for other people to like them/approve of them, and has difficulty getting their own needs met.
Codependency – The Questions
- Do you find yourself making decisions based on other people’s opinions?
- Is it important to you that people like you and want to be your friend?
- Do you have a strong desire to help others, but deep down you know you do it so that they will like or love you?
- Do you seem to notice everyone else’s problems and have a need to tell them what you think they should do to solve them?
- Do you sometimes tell little “white lies” to protect someone else’s feelings or avoid an argument?
- Do you feel anxious, angry or upset when people don’t do things you want them to do, or don’t do things the way you want them to?
- Do you find yourself in relationships where you do all the giving and the other person does all the taking?
- Do you feel guilty about setting boundaries, saying no or asking for what you need?
- Are you involved in activities that demand all of your time and energy and you are neglecting yourself?
- Do you find yourself being passive-aggressive when you feel hurt, resentful or guilty?
- Do you only feel happy/okay when the people around you are happy/okay?
- Do you sometimes find your day can be “ruined” by the behavior of another person?
Therapy can help a person with codependent tendencies to learn a different way of doing things, getting their needs met, improving their relationships and self-esteem.
I can combat codependency and set healthy boundaries by…
- Saying exactly what I mean.
- Practicing ways to keep myself calm even when others are behaving badly.
- Choosing not to be around people, places or things that are destructive to me.
- Saying “No” when it is appropriate to do so, and allowing others to say “No.”
- Not letting others make me feel guilty, and not trying to make others feel guilty.
- Being honest.
- Taking responsibility for my own choices, feelings and behaviors. It is not okay to blame someone else or let someone blame me for the way they feel.
- Respecting other people’s property and physical space, and asking them to respect mine.
- Not doing something for another person that they could do for themselves.
- Not bringing other people into a problem that doesn’t belong to them, and not letting someone bring me into their problem.
- Not expecting other people to rescue me when I have made a bad choice or I feel bad, and not rescuing others from the consequences of their bad choices.
- Following through with what I said I would do.
- Speaking up when I don’t like something.
- Not expecting others to read my mind.
- Allowing others to take care of themselves and respecting their boundaries.
- Making sure my words and my behavior match.
- Understanding that I cannot control other people’s behavior, and all I can do is take responsibility for my own.