What is Codependency?
There are many misconceptions about the definition of codependency, and it surely doesn’t sound like a positive thing. It sounds as if two people are overly dependent on one another.
However, that is not necessarily what the term signifies.
Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do good feelings about yourself depend upon being liked or approved of by others?
2. Do you hesitate to share and express your emotions?
3. Do you feel guilty when you stand up for yourself instead of giving in to others?
4. Do you feel like a victim?
5. Are you miserable because of someone else’s behavior?
6. Are you highly critical of yourself?
7. Is it difficult for you to say “No”?
8. Does caring for or loving someone mean rescuing them?
Answering “yes” to these types of questions may signify that in some areas of your life you let another person’s behavior negatively affect you. Consequently, you may spend a lot of time and effort trying to get that person to change.
While sometimes it may be appropriate in relationships to think, feel, or act, in ways that may elicit a “yes” response in the above questions, too much or ingrained patterns of those type of responses may indicate codependency.
How can you feel more empowered in your relationships?
Would you like to feel more confident instead of guilty?
How do you love someone who is driving you crazy?
Therapy is often helpful to find answers for these types of questions.
For self-help there are some excellent books you can try:
Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
Codependency by Pat Springle (from a faith based/Christian perspective)