For many, the term codependency often brings addiction to mind, typically associated with drugs and/or alcohol. For others, it may conjure up the idea of a relationship in which the people involved are incapable of doing anything on their own, or an overly needy partner/friend/family member who wants to spend every second of their time with us. While these are the most classic examples of codependency, it can actually show up in many different ways for each of us.
What is Codependency?
Codependency simply put, is when someone believes that happiness is dependent on something external or someone outside of ourselves. Codependency can show up in the form of the need for money, drugs, alcohol, food, approval from other people, or any external factor that can help us “feel better” about ourselves or our current situation. Let’s run through a few of the different ways that codependency can show up.
My top 8 signs to help identify codependency:
- Trying to change your partner or control what they do
- Jealousy, obsessions, possessiveness in relationships
- Low self-esteem & self-worth
- Not being able to make decisions for yourself (always needing to get permission)
- Constantly seeking approval from others
- Losing your individuality and being defined by a relationship
- An inability to set boundaries
- People pleasing
This list can go on and have a ton of nuance. Giving yourself permission to acknowledge and say that this exists in ourselves in some form is already a step towards compassion and self-love.
How do I stop being codependent?
- Be self-focused – no one can make you feel bad. You need to own who you are.
- Spend time with ourselves – don’t overload your schedule to distract yourself. Make dates to be by yourself.
- Get in tune with yourself – the more you know what you’re feeling, the more you know what you need.
- Be the good partner you’ve always wanted for yourself
- Write in your journal – you can lie to yourself in your head, but you can’t lie to yourself when you put pen to paper. The truth will set you free.
- Practice being in your body. Exercise, walk, dance, etc. it’s important to physically be with yourself.
Self-love is the antidote to codependency, but it’s something you have to actively practice. Once you make yourself a priority, things like saying no and setting boundaries will become easier and guilt-free. Get to know you. At first, it may sound strange or feel uncomfortable and that’s ok, like I said, it’s a practice and becomes easier the more you do it. Spend time with yourself, learn and honor your likes and dislikes, and be there for yourself. It’s time to put yourself first and fall in love with the real you. In doing this for yourself you automatically become a better partner and friend to those you care about, and will also attract people who love the real you.
If you haven’t already, be sure to join my Facebook group to access free resources, regular content updates, and a supportive community.