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By Darlene Lancer

Part of Codependency For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Focusing on someone else is a real problem for codependents. Letting go isn’t easy. Turning that around so that your focus is on you doesn’t make you selfish; in fact, it’s showing respect for someone else’s autonomy and boundaries. Here are some practical things you can do to:

  • When you’re together, remember not to watch the other person.

  • Don’t obsess or worry about him or her. Imagine putting the person in God’s hands or surrounded by healing light. Send them love.

  • Don’t judge others, just as you don’t want to be judged.

  • Don’t have expectations of others; instead, meet expectations of yourself.

  • You didn’t cause someone else’s behavior. Others are responsible for their behavior, and you’re only responsible for yours.

  • Write about your feelings in a journal. Read it to someone close to you or a therapist.

  • Practice mediation or spirituality.

  • Pursue your own interests and have fun.

  • Remember you cannot change or “fix” someone else. Only he or she has the power to do so.

  • Take a time out. If you’re starting to react to someone or are in an argument, it’s a good idea to step away and take some time to think things over. A good idea is to write in your journal.

  • Write positive things about yourself in your journal every day. Look for things you did well or like about yourself, and write them down.

  • Take the labels off. Sometimes, you can have expectations and make assumptions about someone very close to you which you wouldn’t of a friend. Ask yourself how you would treat the other person if he or she wasn’t your partner or parent.