I’ll help you with:
The term co-dependent describes a large group of learned behaviors,
often practiced as "rules" most of you learned as a child.
- Do as I say, not as I do (hoo boy, do I remember this one.)
- “You’re selfish…..can’t you think of anyone but yourself?”
- Don’t rock the boat, you’ll upset ______(Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister, etc.)
- Keep your feelings to yourself.
- Be strong, be good, be right!
- Make us proud (even though we have unrealistic expectations)
- It’s not okay to talk about problems.
- Solve problems by talking to other family members, but never the person with which you have the problem.
- Don’t kid around, you have to be serious.
These behaviors, and so many more, teach you to be passive, and limit your ability to get your needs and wants met in a job or a relationship.
You develop, among other things:
- Controlling behaviors
- Ineffective communication skills
- Ineffective social skills
- Perhaps become depressed
- Become a fixer for other people’s problems, whether they have asked you to or not.
- Try to please everyone, except yourself.
- Or worse, make yourself physically ill.
- Find yourself saying “Yes” when you really want to say ‘No”
Codependency takes a tremendous toll, emotionally, mentally and physically. You may feel overwhelmed, drained, resentful, helpless, or angry and these strong feelings can make yourself physically ill.
Counseling helps you do something about it, because you’ll learn how to:
- Identify your co-dependent behaviors,
- Replace them with better boundaries,
- Develop effective listening and speaking skills,
- Discover what you want or desire
- Learn how to assert yourself, respectfully to get them.
This will 1) build your self-esteem, 2) develop closer, healthier relationships and 3) become more honest and genuine.
Can people with codependent behaviors recover?
Absolutely, unequivocally YES!
By taking a good look at yourself, allowing the necessary time to let your changes work for you, and developing a healthy relationship with yourself.
When you take this step, you’ll be surprised and amazed at your new found relief, peace of mind and sound, stable happiness.
"I have stopped engaging in “I’m right”, “You’re wrong”, power struggles with my Mother. I’m actually beginning to enjoy (wow, never thought I’d use that word here) spending time with her again. Even though I had already read several of the books you recommended, I couldn’t have done it without your help. Thank you." P.G.
"…I’m happy to say that being a doormat with my friends is finally at an end. What is even more amazing to me is that they are still my friends. The fear I had, that they wouldn’t like me if I stood up to them, has gone away. I fell better about myself than I ever did in the past. Thank you for your patience and support." F.Y.