Codependency For Dummies
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If you’re wondering if you’re codependent, take a look at the following list of symptoms. You don’t have to have all of them to be codependent, and there are degrees of severity of codependence. If untreated, codependency gets worse over time, but with help you can recover and be much more effective in your work and relationships. Here are some common traits:

  • Low self-esteem

    • Not liking or accepting yourself

    • Feeling you're inadequate in some way

    • Thinking you’re not quite enough

    • Worrying you are or could be a failure

    • Concerned with what other people think about you

  • Perfectionism

  • Pleasing others and giving up yourself

  • Poor boundaries

    • Boundaries that are too weak and there’s not enough separateness between you and your partner

    • Boundaries that are too rigid and keep you from being close

    • Boundaries that flip back and forth between too close and too rigid

  • Reactivity

  • Dysfunctional Communication

    • Difficulty expressing thoughts and feelings

    • Difficulty setting boundaries — saying “No” or stopping abuse

    • Abusive language

    • Lack of assertiveness about your needs

  • Dependency

    • Afraid of being alone or out of a relationship

    • Feeling trapped in a bad relationship and unable to leave

    • Relying too much on others opinions

    Intimacy problems

    • Avoidance of closeness

    • Losing yourself

    • Trying to control or manipulate others

    • Feeling trapped in a dysfunctional relationship

  • Denial

    • Denial of codependency

    • Denial about a painful reality in your relationship

    • Denial of your feelings

    • Denial of your needs

  • Caretaking

  • Control

    • Controlling your own feelings

    • Managing and controlling people in your life; telling them what to do

    • Manipulating others to feel or behave like you want (people pleasing is a manipulation)

  • Obsessions

  • Addiction to a substance or process

  • Painful emotions

    • Shame

    • Anxiety

    • Fear

    • Guilt

    • Hopelessness

    • Despair

    • Depression

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in relationships and codependency. Ms. Lancer has counseled individuals and couples for 28 years and coaches internationally. She's a sought-after speaker to professionals at national conferences and in the media.

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