Are You Codependent?
Today I want to talk a bit about codependency - a subject that I've learnt so much about recently. I think that so many people have unknowingly become largely or partly codependent due to past experiences and learnt behaviours or coping mechanisms. It isn't good or bad, but just something that can be a huge help in your journey of personal growth to become aware of.
Codependency can be a difficult trait to notice because it's a way of life that a codependent person is used to. But over time it can build up more and more, so it's best to start working through it early on before it affects your relationships with others and with yourself in an uncontrollable way.
Three of the biggest signs of codependency are as follows:
DENIAL | whether it be of your feelings and emotions or those of others, or denial of something you've done that you are scared to take responsibility for or to have your name attached to.
CONTROL | of people and/or situations. This can be really subtle or really obvious. It can include phrasing questions in a certain way to get the kind of answer that you want, or bringing up a past situation that you want to receive more approval, support or thanks for from others. It also includes saying things to subtly or obviously make someone feel bad, or victimising yourself to get people to compliment or feel sorry for you. Controlling relationships of any kind in a way that makes you feel more loved, appreciated, included, safe or happy is another form of codependent control. The list could go on for a million scenarios.
LOW SELF-ESTEEM | maybe you speak harshly to yourself with everything you do, you struggle to often see yourself or your work as being good enough, you highly value the approval and opinions of others about yourself, or you may struggle to make decisions for yourself even with the smallest things.
Codependency is largely based on worrying about what others think of you, your work, your lifestyle, your thoughts, your opinions, your lifestyle, and so on. It often comes from learnt behaviours and prolonged or repeated periods of pressure, stress and/or worry. Noticing the learnt behaviours and codependent thoughts or reactions listed above is the first step towards overcoming codependency, and gradually you then learn or realise where and when those learnt behaviours came about in your life initially.
Being codependent is not a good or bad thing - and that is important to remember. It's just something that exists in your behaviour. As codependency can make your relationships difficult (either in your head or visibly difficult to others), surrendering to the control you grip onto so tightly is a further step to overcoming it. You have to learn to accept your powerlessness in situations and of your codependency, to love yourself and others just as they are, to know you are always worthy, to take responsibility for your actions and to speak kindly toward yourself and others with nothing but love and acceptance for where you are in your journey, or for where others are in theirs.
Taking the time to work through your past experiences that contributed toward your codependent behaviours can be a huge help, too, and learning to see the part that you played in them then, and the part you play in them now.
You are worthy.
You are loved.
You are a precious being.
Sending love out to anyone who needs it, Ally x