Sunday, August 16, 2015

Recommend Resources: Dealing with Codependency in Yourself and Others

What does it mean to be codependent?  It is not an easy term to define - it applies in different ways to different relationships.  But one over-simplified definition is:

"Dependence on the needs of others."

This term was originally used to refer to people who lived with alcoholics or addicts, and became dependent on the addict's needs in an unhealthy way.  However, even a short reading about codependency will prove that the unhealthy habits can apply to most all of us in one way or another.  The point isn't really to label or define; the point is to understand.  We need to understand ourselves and our sometimes unhealthy habits in order to grow.

Another reason for this discussion is that anyone who works with people for very long will undoubtedly run into someone who is struggling in some way with codependent tendencies.   Here are just a few of a long list of possible characteristics:

* you make regular sacrifices of yourself to please someone else
* find yourself constantly drawn to needy people
* needy people are drawn to you
* you have a lot of fear, anxiety and resentment
* you have a tendency to control someone else (even under the guise of helping them)
* you have a tendency to be controlling and belittling of yourself
* you are often in denial of your own feelings and needs
* you have weak boundaries
* you grew up with an addict or a strongly controlling person
* you currently live with an addict or a strongly controlling person

Here are a few helpful resources if you are curious to learn more about this subject for yourself and for others:

This is a short but powerful video to give you some insight into codependency.  You may even have to say "ouch" a couple of times as you listen!

Codependent No More
by Melody Beattie

Codependent No More - WORKBOOK
by Melody Beattie

The Language of Letting Go
Daily Meditations on Codependency

Codependency for Dummies
by Darlene Lancer

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