Codependency as a behavior pattern usually stems from the previous experiences that caused issues with self-esteem and affected our ability to differentiate ourselves from others. The individuals most likely to become codependent on others or sometimes codependent on external validations to feel whole.
For example, codependency and people-pleasing can originate from taking care of a family member with substance abuse or chronic mental health issues. Or another example of codependency on external validation would be striving for straight A’s in school in order to be noticed and accepted by parents, friends and other family members.
Codependent individuals usually have a constant need for approval and need praise to feel worthy and confident. Moreover, they may struggle with low self-esteem and an intense fear of abandonment. Also, codependent people always put the needs of others ahead of their own and tend to feel responsible for other people’s feelings.
While codependent partner may feel that they are needed and in control in a relationship, codependency usually creates problems such as feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, a lack of personal time and boundaries, anxiety, stress, and depression.
If you suspect you may have codependency issues, don’t be afraid to ask for help in overcoming this unhealthy attachment style. The first step in recovery and change is getting support and guidance. Fusion and codependence are deeply-rooted habits that are difficult to recognize and change alone.
A mental health professional can help you acknowledge your behavior patterns and work on your past experiences. Furthermore, counseling for codependency can help you make your own decision, establish healthy boundaries, start asserting yourself in a healthy way and discover your own interests outside the codependent relationship.
Benefits of Asking for Help
Acknowledging that you have codependency issues is a big step forward in overcoming this unhealthy attachment style. Counseling can help you become more independent, step by step.
1. Find out who you are.
Counseling for codependency can help you get to know yourself and discover who you are outside of the codependent relationship. The best way to find out about your true feelings, thoughts, and needs is to practice journaling. Writing down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences can help you reflect on your behavior and notice the gap between your feelings and your words and your actions.
2. Practice assertiveness.
Assertiveness is a great way to improve your self-esteem and become more autonomous. It can help you set healthy personal boundaries, express your feelings and needs clearly, and treat yourself and others with respect. This is a skill you can practice – assertiveness will teach you how to develop a healthy contact with yourself and other people. Moreover, it will empower you to stop suppressing your thoughts and feelings and pretend to be someone else.
3. Take care of your own needs.
You are great at meeting other people’s needs. On the other hand, you usually ignore your own. Identify your emotional, spiritual, physical, and social needs and learn to find ways to meet them. Consider your personal hobbies and other things you enjoy doing outside the relationship. This will help you become more self-responsible and independent.
Coaching can help you learn how to tend to your own needs, build boundaries, and become more autonomous. Because becoming independent is essential to emotional, social, spiritual, and physical fulfillment and life satisfaction.