5 Signs That You're Codependent
We all struggle with self-esteem from time-to-time. Especially in the age of social media influence, it is all too easy to compare ourselves to others and begin believing that we are falling short. In times like these, it is natural for us to rely on the support of a loved one to pull us out of our slump. Most of the time, however, we are able to pull ourselves out of these slumps. We remind ourselves that we are worthy of happiness; that feelings are not facts, and that we are will feel as good as new in a short matter of hours.
When it comes to codependency, this is far from true. Codependent individuals will entirely lack a stable sense of self-esteem. They will rely on their romantic partner to meet all of their emotional needs, and will derive all of their self-esteem from their current relationship. Additionally, codependent individuals will consistently sacrifice their own needs in order to meet the needs of their partner. It can be difficult to determine whether or not you are struggling with codependent tendencies, seeing as most codependent individuals often believe that they are in healthy relationships. However, if you take an honest and thorough look at the way you act within your relationship, you may find that you feel somewhat trapped. Do you ever resent your partner for expending less emotional energy than you do? Do you feel that you are constantly putting your partner’s needs before your own? Do you feel that you make many sacrifices, and that your partner does not reciprocate?
If so, you may be codependent.
Below are 5 telltale signs that you struggle with codependent tendencies. If you find that the following statements are true for you, seeking professional assistance in overcoming your codependency may be hugely beneficial. Not only so that your romantic relationship can begin to heal – but so that you are able to begin living the fulfilled and contented life that you deserve.
1. You say ‘yes’ all the time, even when you don’t want to.
Codependents tend to have extremely weak boundaries, and have a hard time saying ‘no’ to their significant other. They feel responsible for the well-being of others, and sacrifice their own well-being in the process of people-pleasing.
2. You actively avoid conflict.
Believe it or not, a major component of intimacy is conflict resolution; fighting with your significant other does not mean you do not love one another. The true strength of the relationship lies in how you are able to resolve your disputes. Codependents actively avoid conflict altogether. The may accept the stance of their partner even if they disagree. This often leads to deep-seated resentments.
3. You feel better taking care of others than you do taking care of yourself.
Many codependents will feel guilty for taking time to themselves. Because much of their self-esteem is derived from helping others, they feel better about themselves when they have someone to take care of. Of course, self-care is crucial to every healthy and functional relationship.
4. You suffer from low self-esteem.
Codependents often feel unloved and inadequate, and spend a lot of time comparing themselves to others. Underneath low self-esteem is hidden feelings of shame; many which first developed in early childhood. Perfectionism is also common amongst codependents. If everything is perfect, it is more difficult to feel unworthy. Of course, there is no such thing as the perfect partner – and there is certainly no such thing as the perfect relationship!
5. You have trouble communicating.
Dysfunctional communication is a benchmark sign of codependency. The majority of codependents run into trouble when it comes to communicating their feelings, thoughts, or personal needs. Codependents would rather avoid upsetting their partner than be honest and forthcoming. Manipulation is also common amongst codependents. Communication becomes muddled and dishonest as they attempt to manipulate their partner out of fear.
If you can relate to the above-listed statements, there is a good chance that you are a codependent. What does this mean? In most instances, codependency in adult relationships often stems from dysfunction in childhood. Young children lack the life experience and cognitive ability to recognize that the dysfunctional relationships they are observing are unhealthy; they are incapable of understanding that their parents lack the skills to provide secure attachment. If you struggle with codependency, it is not because you are flawed in any way – you simply need to re-learn how to develop and maintain healthy relationships.
Jessica Baum specializes in codependency in adult relationships, and believes that codependent behavioral patterns can be successfully overcome with intensive therapeutic intervention. Jessica helps codependent individuals to develop an unwavering sense of self-esteem, set and maintain healthy boundaries, and practice self-care.