Has anyone ever told you that you were a people pleaser? Do you consider yourself to be a needy individual? In some cases, the exhibition of these traits could be a sign of codependency.
The simplest definition of codependent behavior is the reliance on another person to provide feelings of approval, happiness, and self-identity. Codependent people will also hold themselves responsible for the feeling, actions, and well-being of other people.
Codependent relationships are extremely unhealthy. The good news is that a codependent person can learn how to stop being codependent.
1. Live A Little
The codependent person will often find that they spend so much time concerned with the needs of others, they have completely lost themselves. It may take time before they are able to answer simple questions about their own likes and dislikes. They may need to reacquaint themselves with how they like to spend their time or what they want to accomplish in life.
The journey to relearn oneself can be difficult at times but is well worth the effort.
2. Learn To Detach
Any attempts to manipulate, enable, or fix another person is simply a silent agreement to live with the problem. There is no way to control another human being. The codependent person must learn to detach from others and allow them to live their lives. It is only then that the codependent person will have a life of their own. This will be difficult when a person has spent their entire life ‘helping.’ But help can fast become enabling with codependent people.
3. Avoid Hooks
Hooks are an important term for a codependent individual to understand. Hooks are acts like blaming and guilt-tripping by the other person. Hooking is done with the intent to keep the codependent person locked in place. Hooks will occur more often when the person realizes the codependent person is beginning to pull away.
The person using the hook will assess no blame to themselves for any situation. The complete fault for all problems will be the codependent person. The codependent individual in the relationship must be prepared to defend themselves against the inevitable hooks as they work to reclaim their lives.
4. Re-build Self Esteem
The root of codependence is low self-esteem. In a sense, the codependent person focuses on other people due to a belief that they are not worthy of their own focus. The situation gets worse as the codependent cycle erodes whatever self-esteem the codependent person possessed.
The solution to the cycle is rebuilding self-esteem. This is no easy task but it can be accomplished with some commitment. The codependent person can build self-esteem by showing love and concern for themselves. When feelings of unworthiness get in the way, this is one time when the ‘fake it until you make it’ philosophy should be used.
5. Perform Self-Checks
Once a codependent person finds the activities that make them happy, they should monitor their own willingness to participate in the activities. When self-healing activities are neglected in favor of coming to the aid of others, it is a good sign that a potential relapse is imminent. The codependent person should check their feelings regularly and remember to serve themselves before anyone else.
There is nothing wrong with being a person the cares about others and seeks to help when possible. The problem begins when this need to aid others becomes the reason for a person’s happiness and self-identity. Fortunately, individuals suffering from this problem can learn how to stop being codependent.