Do you often say ‘yes’ when you mean ‘no’?
Do you have difficulty identifying where you end & another person begins (Boundaries)?
Do you typically feel unsatisfied in your romantic/interpersonal relationships because it feels like ‘caretaking’ and none of your needs are getting met?
Are you fearful of authority figures &/or angry people?
Do you often anticipate the needs of others and are resentful when they don’t follow your advice?
…..If so, You may be struggling with Codependency (CODA traits).
Typically, when people think of Codependency (C0DA), they think of needy individuals who are overly dependent on others. Though the dependency part of this definition is accurate.. it is not that you NEED other people, it is actually the opposite. It means that you NEED people to NEED you. Ironically, most people who struggle with codependency are ‘compulsively self-reliant’ and avoid asking for help for fear of being a burden. However, these same codependent individuals have no problem helping (enabling) others who they feel cannot adequately live their lives, ie: mentally ill individuals, family members in addiction, etc. This enabling becomes a major part of a codependent’s identity to the point where they do not know who they are if others around them are not dysfunctional. Worst of all, they manage to recreate this same relationship dynamic with all family, significant others, and friends…until they learn how to live in recovery.
Individuals struggling with codependency often also have issues with passive and passive-aggressive communication, where they tend to fall into people-pleasing behaviors to prevent their biggest fear; abandonment. Codependent (C0DA) individuals will often do whatever it takes to maintain a relationship, regardless if none of their needs are getting met. This is one of the main self-sabotaging behaviors inherent with this ailment. Other typical patterns and characteristics include difficulty making decisions, living in denial, low self-esteem (harshly judging self and others), unearned loyalty/compliance, rigid/controlling, and over avoidance of confrontation, etc.
As for the origins of these codependent (CODA) behaviors, there are many situations which can create this personality type; growing up in a divorced/dysfunctional household where addiction was present (ACOA= Adult Child of an Alcoholic), having perfectionistic/permissive parents, being the ‘lost child’ or ‘black sheep’ in the family, currently living with emotionally unavailable or abusive significant others, trauma, among others.
If you have read this and identify, I want you to know there is hope and it does get better. If you wish to improve your relationship with yourself and others, please call Specialized Therapy Associates today for an intake appointment at 201-488-6678 and browse our website for more information.