Codependency is easy to diagnose in others but nearly impossible within ourselves.
I went from believing I was the only healthy one around to despairing over my attachment patterns.
If you find yourself unhealthily relying on others for your self-esteem, if outside validation is your drive, you might want to keep reading on how to heal.
Discover your internal and external codependency triggers
Once you know what’s more likely to get to you, you can prepare.
For instance, not getting text replies or feeling left out in friendship groups sets me spinning fast.
I will feel shame and loneliness, which in turn aggravates my codependency patterns (clinginess).
And in turn, what makes you feel better? Calling friends, going for runs, creating art?
Awareness is, as always, the first step.
Do not judge what comes up, only register it.
You are responsible for your own feelings
No matter what banal or horrible actions others display, nobody can affect your mind but you.
It’s not a matter of right or wrong, or fair or unjust.
Do you want to be right or happy?
Acknowledge your agency over your own feelings.
This will make you feel less helpless, and shift focus towards what’s actually in your control.
Learn how to say no and accept the feeling of guilt
This is the biggest one I struggle with.
Even when I know saying no would be okay, I just can’t get myself to do it.
And when I say being able to sit with guilt, I truly mean shame.
Guilt is objective, and can be rectified. Shame is personal, sticky, a dirty secret.
Cancelling on plans or deciding to break up may bring guilt, but shouldn’t bring lasting shame.
Support is not equal to codependence
Feeling like we need others can make us feel weak.
Ironically, true support can feel like codependence, when the real deal is just deeply programmed already.
Learn to ask for and accept other people’s help, as freely as you offer it.
Needing other people is fine: it’s not manipulation, it’s not a loss of agency.
What’s stopping you from reaching out to loved ones?
Hopefully these tips helped you as much as they helped me.
I’ve based these on notes I’ve taken during my therapy sessions so you know they are legit!
How do you identify codependency in your life?