Are you giving away your own power without realizing it?
Codependency sometimes gets a bad rap. Many associate codependency with weakness. In actuality, codependency often relates to those who have been strong for too long.
Codependency is frequently associated with dysfunctional relationships in established early in life. Codependent traits can often interfere with self-improvement and one’s own ability to thrive. Codependency is quite common. Read on for 16 signs that you may exhibit traits of codependency.
- You are human glue. You keep everything from falling apart. Dependability is your trademark. You are everybody’s go-to person at work. You are the rock of your family. You are a confidant to your friends. The weight of the world is on your shoulders.
- You are most often your last priority. ‘Me time’ never seems to happen. Sure you would love a day at the spa or a weekend getaway but everyone else’s issues seems to come up.
- You avoid confrontation most of the time. You are a peacekeeper to the point it may hurts. You quietly walk away from the conversations you replay one hundred times over in your mind. The word ‘no’ rarely exists in your vocabulary and you find yourself often roped into scenarios of being the do-gooder. Confronting authority figures, such as professor, bosses, law enforcement, or in-laws, instantly evokes inner fear.
- You rarely ask for help. Maybe you are conditioned to handling your own problems that you rarely ask for support. You are your own sole support system. Humor or intellectualism may be a way of masking your own vulnerability. You are the last person to ask for a favor or reach out for assistance even when it is truly needed.
- Making decisions can be difficult. While you may rarely ask for help, you often seek the opinions of others. Self-trust is not your strong suit. Advice from what to wear or what plans to make may be opinions you frequently seek. What others think matters. Making a wrong choice is humiliating. When you misstep, you almost instantly feel like a bad person.
- You attract or partner with addicts or narcissists. In a relationship, your partner takes the wheel while you sit in the sidecar. You are the Robin to your Batman. You are Yoko to your John. It just so happens that you seem to pick the more complicated variety of partner. Your partner may have a drinking or a substance abuse issue. They may exhibit narcissistic traits. Whatever the backstory may be, your partner is usually center stage while you may find yourself playing a supporting role in your own life story.
- You often feel used. You give freely and generously until your cup runneth empty. When there is nothing more to give, you become severely exhausted, withdrawn, or depressed. You may even become angry at everyone else for taking from you at your own expense.
- You have fewer social connections. Your work or spouse is so consuming, time for other friendships is minimal. You may find that the few friends you have do not really seem to understand you. Friends may chastise you for doing too much. They may not like your partner. You often feel judged and unfairly critiqued.
- Your relationships become all-consuming. It may be hard to find that special someone but when you think you have, you fall hard. You may find yourself helping your partner run their business better, put the pieces of some aspect of their life back together, or follow a dream of theirs before you follow your own aspirations. Human fixer-uppers are your thing.
- Low-self esteem is a reality. You may have the best job, a sharp wit or be in great shape but you are your own worst critic. In your past, you may have been on the receiving end of belittling by a parent, loved one, or in a prior relationship. These past criticisms still echo somewhere inside of you. You have no idea how to accept a compliment.
- Being alone scares you. Although you are used to depending on yourself, the idea of being alone is frightening. The fear of being alone may even make staying in a challenging relationship seem like the better choice.
- The desire to please is real. Perhaps you are the best party-planner and entertainer. You may write the longest, most detailed thank you notes with the neatest penmanship. You just may grant more favors to friends and acquaintances than a fairy godmother. You receive commendations for your stellar commitment to details and you appreciate each small piece of approval.
- Your partner’s problems are your problems. You work harder on solving your partner’s problems than they do. Boundaries are blurred. You often feel the need to control. You may even become frustrated, sad or angry when your advice is not followed.
- Someone else holds the keys to your happiness. If only your partner would stop drinking so much or if only your spouse would be more financially accountable, life would get on track. If there are conditions that need to be met for you to be happy
- Your future seems foggy. You can easily sketch a roadmap for success in someone else’s life but you doubt your ability to make it happen in your own. You are so busy that it is difficult to do justice to most any of your responsibilities.
Healing from codependency IS an option. Understanding codependency is the initial step in the healing process and clearing the fog of an uncertain path ahead. The moment you decide to take back your power, life may begin to improve for you while becoming more complex for those around you. Education, therapy, and support are key.
Originally published at medium.com