Did you know that codependency fits everyone to greater or lesser degrees? – At least, that’s exactly what Ruth Morehouse, Ph.D. and co-director of world-known Marriage & Family Health Center says.
If so, we should also admit the fact that the risk of finding ourselves in unfulfilling, dishonest relationships that feature emotional fusion is very high. Moreover, such unhealthy codependency can pervade any kind of interactions from work to family connections.
But still, codependency is not recognized as a distinct personality disorder by any version of the DSM. Thus, the codependent behavior is not something you should be afraid of – it’s something you should just be able to identify, treat, and overcome in order to live a fuller and happier life.
And we’ll tell how to do it step by step:
Stopping Codependent Behavior
The very first thing you should do to stop the codependent behavior is to identify it. Indeed, often it turns out to be quite hard, especially, if it’s about you or your next of kin.
The mixture of signs from this list should are exactly what codependent behavior looks like:
- Lack of confidence & low self-esteem
- Depression & stress
- Having no boundaries
- Familial dysfunction
- Emotional reactivity or low expressivity
- Inability to say NO
- Excessive desire to take care of others
- Poor communication
- Fear of abandonment and loneliness
- Love based on pity
- A desire to rescue others
- Need to be liked by everyone
- Need for control over others
- Feeling responsible for others’ actions
- You can’t adjust to changes
- Putting needs & feelings of others over your own needs & feelings
- Difficulty making your own decisions
Besides this checklist of codependent people characteristics, you can also take a codependency test online or be diagnosed by a professional.
How to Not Be Codependent Anymore
Once you recognize you’re in a codependent relationship by ‘symptoms’ listed above, move on to defeat this destructive and toxic condition. Take these simple steps not to be codependent anymore:
- Love yourself with all your perfect imperfections.
- Set personal boundaries. Don’t ignore the need for privacy and personal space.
- Be honest with yourself – do not waste own time and energy on something you don’t need (but somebody else does).
- Be honest with others. Don’t say YES if you actually feel like NO. Express your needs and desires.
- Make friends with yourself: learn more about your likes and dislikes, things that make you happy, and things that weigh you down.
- Avoid negative thinking – change it to higher expectation and positive thoughts.
- Do what makes you happy: find a hobby or an activity that you really enjoy even if your partner doesn’t share this interest.
- Work on your self-esteem through special programs, tools, books, and professional help.
- Stop feeling responsible for others – live your own life.
- Spend time outside your relationship: have a life of your own and respect your partner’s personal space.
- Believe in yourself. Yes, you can do everything without others’ help. Yes, you do.
- Don’t try to advise and counsel others when you feel like they need it. Do it only if they really want to hear your opinion.
- Spend more time with people who make you a better person and help develop your personal or professional skills.
- Don’t try to be a people-pleaser. Focus on your needs and never do anything just to please others or to control them.
Dealing with People with No Boundaries
If you notice that your partner doesn’t have boundaries, suffers from codependency and makes your relationship toxic, here’s how to deal with this problem:
- Identify Your Own Boundaries
Yes, first of all, make sure that you have a clear understanding of your own boundaries, needs, and desires. What is allowed and what’s not. What is acceptable and what’s not.
- Write Down Each Boundary Violation
Make notes each time they try to violate your boundaries with excessive attention, unsolicited advice, unnecessary help, or undue care. Record your reactions too. Analyze their behavior, decide which violations you can accept, and which ones should be stopped.
- Change Your Behavior Model
Some people intentionally violate other people’s boundaries to get some reaction out of them. Change the way you react – ignore it or just laugh.
Codependency is an issue of great importance, which can ruin not only your relationship but also your personality. So, never neglect to set your boundaries and respect the boundaries of the others.
About the author:
Nancy Cooper is an editor of http://sweetytextmessages.com. Maintaining interpersonal relationships emphasized the importance of her writing. Nancy believes that moral reasoning is the most significant factor in decision-making. She focuses on the value of motivation and inspiration while acknowledging that different people have different views.