How to overcome co-dependency (part 2)
Do you often seek approval from others in order to feel good?
Do you fall about when someone criticises you, even if it’s constructive?
Can you be clingy or stay in situations or relationships that you know you should leave?
If you have answered yes to any of these, then it’s likely you have codependent tendencies. The good news is, just because you are a certain way or always been, it doesn’t mean you always have to be. With the right help, you can become more independent and confident on your own.
What is Codependency?
Codependency is defined by the tie that binds us together. It is defined as excessive emotional and psychological reliance on another.
Codependent personalities usually follow a pattern of behaviours that directly interfere with emotional health.
Codependency Signs & Symptoms
Here are some signs that you have a codependent personality:
Valuing the approval of others more than valuing yourself
Having an exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions of others
Lacking trust in yourself and having poor self-esteem
Difficulty making decisions in a relationship
Although these signs can cause hurt or frustration, there are positive strengths in these patterns. In moderation, a codependent personality can draw people towards you and help you make faster connections.
Here are other positive traits a codependent can have:
They can sense uncomfortable emotions around them better than anyone else
Codependents tend to provide reliable and solid support for their loved ones
Codependents tend to be generous and giving
Everything in moderation will lead to a better result. But how will you know if it's in moderation?
Is it just caring or codependency?
There is no obvious difference between just being caring and being codependent. One of the first things you need to consider is the motivation of helping others. Why are you helping? Do you still have time for yourself? Or ask yourself what is the reason you are helping?
This will then help you start to recognise if you are just being caring or if you are being codependent.
Here are some more questions you can ask yourself that will help you distinguish between the two:
Is it difficult for me to focus on my own needs?
Am I helping or enabling?
Do I give or help in ways that negatively affect me?
Are my relationships unbalanced because I give but don’t receive?
If the answer to any of these is "yes" then you might be more codependent than caring.
The Three Stages of Codependency
There are three stages of codependency, ranging from moderate behaviours to more severe.
Early-stage. This stage is when codependents start becoming more obsessed with someone. In romantic relationships, it's easy to go unnoticed because you can be lost in the desire to please within your new relationship. Behaviour can be rationalised and downplayed or even denied.
Middle stage. In this stage, the obsession is increased and also the effort needed to keep the company of others. Along with that anxiety, guilt, and self-blame can often increase too. As those behaviours increase, your self-esteem starts to take a hit. It is often at this stage where you see an increase in negative behaviours towards their loved one. In an attempt to feel more connected the codependent will often try nagging, blaming or manipulating their partner and yet at the same time their own behaviours will become more compliant and dependent on them. It creates a very emotional and mental spiral at this point.
Late-stage. This is the most severe level of codependency which can have some serious effects on your health, both emotionally and in terms of your behaviour. It is often you will see stress-related disorders begin to emerge. Headaches, sleep problems like insomnia, muscle tension and even heart disease. You may also suffer a lack 0f self-esteem or self-care, anger, anxiety and depression.
The good news is that this can be reversible. With the right focus and help, you can overcome codependent tendencies, it does however start with you. Being in denial is part of having this personality. This may also be a denial of some abuse you might be encountering.
Acknowledging it can start the journey of healing.
If you need help overcoming codependency tendencies and to feel more secure in yourself.... Book a consultation with me and together, we will fight and overcome this!