A Look into Codependency

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“Codependency, by definition, means making the relationship more important to you than you are to yourself” – Source

“When we focus so much outside ourselves, we lose touch with what is inside of us: our beliefs, thoughts, feelings, decisions, choices, experiences” – Source

As a very independent person, I have a {probably unwarranted} fear of codependency. For many people, codependency is a very serious issue that often goes hand-in-hand with mental health issues or substance abuse. For me and in this blog post, I just mean a much less serious but still important tendency to over-rely on those around you, like a family member or significant other.

Like feeling the need to ask permission from someone before making a decision. Consulting the other person before making solid plans. Seeking approval and affirmation from the person. Sensitivity to criticism from said person. Maybe feeling like this person should reciprocate the above feelings.

Here’s some tips on how to overcome it codependency if you feel yourself slipping into it:

  • Work on maintaining or establishing your own life: make and keep plans with your own friends; pick up your own hobby; join a team {like kickball!}.
  • Make time for yourself: just because you can hang out with someone doesn’t mean you always should. Making time for yourself is just as important as maintaining your other relationships.
  • Take ownership of your schedule: unless there’s an absolute need to consult the other person, set your own agenda. Don’t leave your schedule open solely in hopes that the other person will want to hang out.
  • Find inner peace or even approval from others: it’s not always enough to know you’re awesome, sometimes you need to hear it. Keep an Evernote of positive things people say to you. If you’re not getting great feedback from the person you feel codependent on, turn to your note as a reminder that other people think highly of you.

Have you ever felt codependent? How did you overcome or mitigate this tendency?

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2 thoughts on “A Look into Codependency

  1. In high school, I definitely felt codependent with one of the guys that I dated. After gaining more self esteem in college and finding my own hobbies afterward, I learned not to be codependent with my then boyfriend (now husband). This is an interesting topic!

    • Thanks for the comment 🙂 You’re right- I think finding your own hobbies is absolutely critical, but your mentality has to catch up with your actions in order to release yourself from codependence.

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