You might be asking yourself this question if you intensely struggle with shame, insecurity and panic in relationships. These struggles may lead you to disown your own needs, emotions and belief systems just to remain connected to someone despite the pain it causes you. If it feels like you continue to get into romantic relationships and friendships with the same type of people over and over again then you might be codependent.
Lets look at the definition of codependency to gain a greater perspective.
Definition of codependency: A way of relating to the world and others categorized by ongoing behavioral patterns of being in relationships that are destructive and lack reciprocity. This behavioral pattern is often associated with low value of self creating an inability to set boundaries without guilt, shame or fear and difficulties expressing needs and desires in relationships. Sound familiar?
What do codependent behaviors look like?
How do I overcome codependency?
1. Identify your true core values by making a values list. A core values list can be difficult to create when you struggle with codependency as you may not be used to looking within (instead of to others) about what is considered acceptable. Click the link for a great list of values examples.
2. Identify how well your current relationships with your parents, partners and friends fall inline with your values. Identify the ways your codependent behaviors go directly against what you have identified you value.
3. Journal about how you learned to sacrifice you basic needs to remain in connection with others.
The 5 basic needs according to the research
4. Get support!!!!! You are not alone: Go to codependence anonymous (coda) meeting
Young, J. E., Klosko, J. S., & Weishaar, M. E. (2003). Schema therapy: A practitioner's guide. New York: Guilford Press.
Photo Credit: indra Nugroho, twenty20.com/indraemon07