Codependency is an emotional dependence to another person, usually family, friends and partners. Codependency has been described as the need to be needed or even an addiction to people. The partners of those dealing with addictions are most associated with codependency, but this is not always the case. Codependency can affect anyone. You have made an important step in recognizing codependent behaviors.
Do you feel an overwhelming need for approval from a loved one? You may spend a lot of energy to have another person approve your actions and define your self-worth. You may subconsciously believe that you need people to validate your sense of identity. It may feel that without your relationship with them, you have low self esteem or a lack of identity.
Are you re-arranging behaviors to suit the needs of a loved one? People with codependent behaviors commonly fit into a caretaker role. Codependency differs from being a caretaker for the elderly, children or a very ill loved one. If you are neglecting yourself on a regular basis to meet the needs of someone who is in relatively good health, this may be a sign of codependent behavior.
A codependent person may sacrifice everything to make sure that their loved one has all of their needs met. Consistently giving money or necessities at the expense of not paying your bills is an example of codependent behavior. The core reason behind this type of action is the need to have the approval and validation of the other person. If you are giving all of your money, time and energy to you someone, but neglecting your own need for self-care, this may be codependent behavior.
Do you have a history of unstable relationships? Risk factors for codependent behaviors usually begin in childhood.Consequently, you may have a history of relationships that have ended badly or were abusive. A pattern of unstable relationships may be a sign that codependent behaviors are present.
People with codependency may stay in relationships that are harmful because they have an intense fear of abandonment. Abandonment typically occurs in childhood and can have a profound impact on adult relationships.
If these behaviors feel familiar, can get better. Some psychologists believe that codependent tendencies can start in childhood from negative beliefs about self and a faulty way of viewing others. Therapy can help to process these behaviors and help you in achieving healthier relationships and a strong sense of self.
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