Sunday, March 31, 2013

An Ounce of Prevention: "8 Signs That You're Codependent" 

This morning...

I was having a conversation with a young woman who was told by one of her accountability partners that she is *severely codependent*. As we were walking through some of the signs of being in a codependent relationship, I felt that it was important to share some of the signs on here too:

A codependent individual is hyper-vigilant, like a bear protecting its cub. She may also exhibit compulsive behaviors — which can be sexual or come in the form of excessive work, exercise, eating, spending money, anorexia, or nicotine addiction.

Here are eight signs of codependency:

Having difficulty making decisions in a relationship

Having difficulty identifying your own feelings

Having difficulty communicating in a relationship

Valuing the approval of others more that valuing yourself

Lacking trust in yourself and having poor self-esteem

Having fears of abandonment or an obsessive need for approval

Having an unhealthy dependence on relationships, even at your own cost

Having an exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions of others

If you seek out or maintain — even feed off of — relationships that are not fulfilling or healthy, you could be codependent. But according to Wegscheider-Cruse, once codependency is identified, it can be successfully nipped in the bud — and the individual can recover.

If you *seek* or *maintain* relationships that are not fulfilling or healthy, that is a telling sign of being codependent. That said, two great reads that address these kinds of issues well are Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself (Melody Beattie) and Living Successfully with Screw-Up People (Elizabeth B. Brown). I recommend that second one because honestly, a lot of people are codependent due to some deep-rooted abuse and low self-esteem issues that cause them to attract individuals into their space with the same challenges. The quicker you can get codependency uprooted from your life, the more you can trust who you choose to be in long term relationships with.



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