By Amanda Wiegert, LMHC, NCC
Are you often unable to stop talking, thinking, and worrying about other people and their problems? Do you find yourself rescuing and taking care of other people but neglecting to take care of yourself? Melody Beattie, a well-known author in the area of relationships, once wrote “A codependent person is one who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior.”
Though the term, “codependency” was created to describe a relationship with an alcoholic partner, we have now come to recognize that the term can be used to describe many different types of unhealthy relationships.
Here are Seven Characteristics of Codependents:
- Find yourself attracted to needy people
- Feel responsible for other people’s thoughts, feelings, actions, and well-being
- Overcommit yourself to others
- Feel bored if you don’t have a crisis to deal with, problem to solve, or someone to help
- Try to please others instead of yourself
- Abandon your own routine in order to take care of or do something for someone else
- Feel sad because you always give to everyone else but nobody gives to you
Often times when we have been in an unhealthy or codependent relationship in the past, we will seek out comfort in yet another unhealthy or emotionally unavailable partner because that is what is familiar to us. These unhealthy relationships become a pattern that we feel we are unable to break free.
The good news is that you do not have to continue to allow these codependent behavior patterns to control your life! The process of recovering from codependent behavior takes time and hard work, but you can begin to overcome your codependency!
Here are 5 tips to overcome codependence:
Tip #1 Recognize the unhealthy patterns in current and past relationships.
It is important to recognize these patterns so that you can start working on, and fixing, the behaviors that are causing your relationships to be unhealthy.
Tip #2 Learn to detach with love.
This does not mean that you stop loving or caring for the other person. Rather, it means that you make a conscious decision to take a step back; and stop putting all of your time & energy into focusing on someone else. This step is very important so that you don’t continue to allow the chaos of someone else to destroy your life.
Tip #3 Challenge your own beliefs about your self-worth.
You should not need to prove anything about yourself to anyone else. The only person that needs to believe in your worth is YOU! Learn to love yourself; and start accepting yourself for exactly who you are in this moment.
Tip #4 Don’t let fear stop you from leaving a relationship and getting out on your own.
We can become trapped by our fears and in turn get stuck in self-defeating relationships for too long because we fear being alone or feel responsible for the other person’s happiness. In reality, this fear very well may be preventing you from finding the happiness that you deserve in life.
Tip #5 Visualize yourself in a mutually healthy relationship.
It is important to know what a healthy relationship looks like, as well as what things you want and deserve in a relationship. If you take some time to visualize your ideal relationship, it will make it easier for you to identify potential red flags for codependent behaviors in the future.
If you are noticing these patterns of codependency and want to overcome it then call (407) 622-1770. Make an appointment today or schedule a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation with Amanda! Click here to make an appointment online.
About the Author: Amanda is passionate about helping people navigate all stages of life. She believes great healing can emerge from trauma and challenges if we allow ourselves to be open to learning and exploring new ways of dealing with difficult life experiences. Read more about Amanda..