Over the years, we have broadened our definition of codependency. Originally, codependency identified the responses and behaviors people developed from living with an alcoholic or substance abuser resulting in a number of attributes of these conditions.
Today, we perceive codependency as "meeting the needs of others with no regard to your own needs and a pattern of living and problem solving developed during childhood experiences." A codependent person survives on meeting the dysfunctional needs of others developing maladaptive and compulsive behaviors leading to significant pain and stress.
Codependency may appear to be harmless and often desirable to an unsuspecting, untrained person. However, for those of us who have survived it, we have a healthy fear of ever becoming engrossed again.
Taking a close look at your motivations and expectations of people in your life will help you determine if you have codependent tendencies. Codependency affects people from all walks of life and can often be described as enabling others.
Here are some statements that can help you determine if you are dealing with codependency tendencies:
I must be "needed" in order to have a relationship with others.
I am very skilled at guessing what others are feeling.
I can anticipate others' needs, meeting them before they are asked to be met.
I become resentful - with almost an empty feeling - when someone doesn't let me help them.
I am calm and efficient in other people's crisis situations.
I feel good about myself only when I am helping others.
I put aside my own interests and concerns in order to do what others want.
I agree with others so they will like me.
I focus my attention on protecting others.
I freely offer advice without being asked.
I ask for help only when I am ill, and then I am reluctant.
I cannot tolerate seeing others in pain.
I use sex to gain approval and acceptance.
I perceive myself as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well-being other others.
I get very hurt when my favors are not repaid.
Identifying with five (5) or more of the above statements can mean that you are dealing with some codependency issues.
Additionally, Some Signs of Unhealthy Boundaries (Codependency) include:
Falling in love with anyone who reaches out.
Being overwhelmed by a person by a person.
Acting on the first sexual impulse.
Being sexual for your partner not for yourself.
Going against personal values or rights to please others.
Not noticing when someone else displays inappropriate boundaries.
Not noticing when someone invades your boundaries.
Letting others describe your reality.
Dealing with codependent tendencies usually creates a significant amount of suppressed resentment resulting in guilt and angry outbursts. This can cause us to doubt ourselves, make us feel inadequate, and be overly derogatory to ourselves. Are you ready to overcome these tendencies and build your bridge to a more content and joyful you? Seeking out the assistance of a therapist/coach can help you learn how to identify these tendencies when they occur and how to think and react differently empowering you to take control of your life and improve how to treat yourself and your relationships with others.