Codependency — Are You Over‐Involved?

By Darlene Lancer

Codependent attachment is excessive. Instead of two people with separate minds and independent feelings, the boundaries between you and (call him or her “X”) are blurred. You can spot it when

  • Your moods depend on X. You can’t be happy if X isn’t.

  • You have strong emotional reactions to X’s opinions, thoughts, feelings, and judgments.

  • You worry and think about X’s problems.

  • You analyze X’s motives or feelings.

  • You ponder what X is doing, not doing, thinking, or feeling.

  • Your attention to X prevents you from having time for or interest in your career, hobbies, activities, or friends.

  • You only want to spend time with X and drop other activities if X disapproves or won’t accompany you.

  • You try to please X because you’re afraid of rejection.

  • You’re anxious about doing things alone.

When you’re over‐involved, you’re myopic. Others are extensions of you and you of them. You try to control their opinions, feelings, and actions to get what you need and feel okay. You try to manage them to avoid witnessing their suffering. You try to impress and please them, persuade them to agree with you, and you react with hurt or anger when they want space.