How to Understand Codependency
Codependency is a concept that is suddenly gaining traction, although it is not a new concept; "Codependent No More," the seminal work by Melody Beattie, was written in 1987, 25 years ago. Prior to this, the term was used solely by those in the psychiatry field, and it has only just recently begun to find its place as a social idiom; it is quite possible that you clicked on this page looking for adefinitionof codependency, and in this you are not alone -- many sufferers would not be able to enlighten you.
There are a few good definitions of codependency in the introductions to articles with the term in their titles, on wikiHow and elsewhere; but even these adequate definitions cannot be applied in a blanket-like fashion, as they attempt to describe a highly amorphous, human condition. While these definitions will be provided in Step 1, understand that codependency is a disease that often cannot be very effectively attacked head on, for reasons that hopefully will become clear, but that it is possible to understand, and overcome codependency, whether it be yours, or someone else's.
It is often said that we areallcodependent, sometimes.
Understand that codependency is not interdependency.We are all interdependent, and while there are many definitions for codependency, they all add up to "not interdependent". Some popular definitions of codependency, with their respective references, are:
- "Non-matured personal interactions, often passed through generations within families".
- "Simply giving to get. When you are trying to make a relationships work by trying to get all you can from the other person you will soon bankrupt the relationship."
- " ...a relational disease, or immaturity, generally passed down through families, that has become more prevalent as baby boomers retire".
- "Underdeveloped self esteem (no boundaries) combined with an inappropriate caring for others (invading a boundary), and an inappropriate reliance on another's response (invading a boundary), in a negatively reinforcing loop".
- "...an excessive or inappropriate caring for someone else that is oftentimes overlooked in relationships, but always leads to an unhealthy balance."
See the first 5 definitions from Google.Unfortunately, most definitions of Codependency are of the symptoms.
- "Codependency (or codependence, co-narcissism or inverted narcissism) is a tendency to behave in overly passive or excessively care-taking ways that negatively impact one's relationships and quality of life. It also often involves putting one's needs at a lower priority than others while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others..."
- "...a condition that results in a dysfunctional relationship between the codependent and other people. A codependent is addicted to helping someone. They need to be needed. This addiction is sometimes so strong, the codependent will cause the other person to continue to be needy. This behavior is called enabling..."
- "There are many definitions used to talk about codependency today. The original concept of codependency was developed to acknowledge the responses and behaviors people develop from living with an alcoholic or substance abuser. A number of attributes can be developed as a result of those conditions. However, over the years, codependency has expanded into a definition which describes a dysfunctional pattern of living and problem solving developed during childhood by family rules. One of many definitions of codependency is: a set of *maladaptive, *compulsive behaviors learned by family members in order to survive in a family which is experiencing *great emotional pain and stress...
- "We are set up to fail to get our needs met in Romantic Relationships because of the belief system we were taught in childhood and the messages we got from our society growing up.""As long as we believe that someone else has the power to make us happy then we are setting ourselves up to be victims""As long as we believe that we have to have the other in our life to be happy, we are really just an addict trying to protect our supply - using another person as our drug of choice. That is not True Love - nor is it Loving."
- "In its broadest sense, codependency can be defined as an addiction to people,behaviors, or things. Codependency is the fallacy of trying to control interior feelings by controlling people, things, and events on the outside. To the codependent, control or lack of it is central to every aspect of life.
The codependent may be addicted to another person.In this interpersonal codependency, the codependent has become so elaborately enmeshed in the other person that the sense of self - personal identity - is severely restricted, crowded out by that other person’s identity and problems.
Codependents can be like vacuum cleaners gone wild.Drawing to themselves not just other people, but also chemicals (alcohol or drugs, primarily) or things - money, food, sexuality, work. They struggle relentlessly to fill the great emotional vacuum within themselves..." An appropriate addition to this last definition might be that a codependent is chronically uncentered, in a way that you are not; and their 'center,' or 'where their focus is,' will often veer toward you in a way that you can discern; it often has a child-like quality to it. If this were an actual child, you would be OK with it.
See how a mature person has boundaries.Briefly, this means that there are things that it would be very difficult to talk them into; a codependent can usually be swayed much more easily, as they generally have a more poorly defined center.
Recognize these articles, within wikiHow, that link to "codependency".
See that while there are codependents, virtuallyanyonecan exhibit codependency in certain situations.
- Codependency is a kind of caring; you will see its opposite in people who just...pathologically don't give a **** (about, seemingly, anything), or narcissism (which is probably "pathological anti-codependency").
Recognize that codependency masquerades as many of a society's most common individual psychoses.Labels such as controlling or type A, drama queen, people pleaser, doormat, wallflower, empath, etc, can be, and usually are, indications of a codependency. Passive-aggressive or manic-depressive behavior is generally attributed to codependency.
- While the controlling or "type A" labels might initially seem inappropriate when associated with codependency, understand that like narcissism, they are just a different, although still de-centered, "caring" reaction; "aggressive codependency," if you will.
- Codependency is debilitating and can bring about life-altering changes if it is not curbed; seek to find alternate means of happiness at all costs.
- Understand that we are discussing codependency as a personal attribute, and focusing on its debilitating effects in an intimate, or familiar (family and friends) personal setting.
- The same attributes that make a codependent difficult to remain familiar with translate into an engaging openness to strangers, making them great customer service or sales representatives, bus drivers, and/or responsible employees in general. codependentsmicro-care.
Video: Codependency: What It Is, What It Feels Like (HD)
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