THIS IS A CHECKLIST OF SOME BASIC CODEPENDENT BEHAVIORS. WE LIVE IN A CODEPENDENT SOCIETY BUT WHEN WE COMBINE THESE CHARACTERISTICS WITH TRAUMA, DEPENDING ON THE SEVERITY OF THE TRAUMA A PERSON MAY BE MORE WOUNDED THAN ANOTHER. MANY OF THESE BEHAVIORS ARE ALSO LEARNED BEHAVIORS ESPECIALLY IF ALCOHOLISM OR ADDICTED BEHAVIORS OR ABUSE WAS IN THE HOME.
FOR SOME PEOPLE THAT ARE GETTING HEATHIER AND WILLING TO CHANGE THESE BEHAVIORS THEY MAY ONLY COME UP DURING A CRISIS. THIS IS WHERE PERSONAL AWARENESS COMES IN. FOR EXAMPLE: A PERSON MAY BECOME CONTROLLING WHEN FEAR IS TRIGGERED IN A CRISIS SITUATION OR WHEN CONCERNED ABOUT A LOVED ONE. THE SOLUTION IS: SELF AWARENESS IS NEEDED IN ORDER TO REPLACE THE UNHEALTHY BEHAVIOR WITH THE HEALTHY BEHAVIOR.
DO YOU WANT TO BE MADE WHOLE? IF YOU DO THEN YOU NEED TO ASK YOURSELF SOME QUESTIONS AND THEN BE WILLING TO MAKE CHANGES THAT NEED TO BE MADE. I have listed the character defect...then a basic solution...depending on the severity of the problem a person may need counseling...or professional help. Do not be ashamed...it's time for you to take responsibility for your happiness. There are also some book references available...such as Codependent NO More and other books by Melody Beatte. (amazon)
DENIAL PATTERNS: Codependents...
have difficulty identifying feelings.- HEALTHY- allowing yourself to feel and taking responsibility for them.
minimize, alter or deny their feelings.-take responsibility for how you feel..if you are hungry, angry, lonely or tired..admit it. handle feelings in a good way.
perceive themselves as being completely unselfish and dedicated to the well-being of others.(self righteous) remember no one has it all together. Look inward.
LOW SELF ESTEEM PATTERNS: Codependents..
have difficulty making decisions. HEALTHY-do not be afraid to make a mistake, try fail, try fail, try succeed. Trust your judgement. Be teachable.
judge their thoughts, works and actions harshly, as never being good enough...HEALTHY-drop the judgement no one is perfect, you are enough.
are unable to ask others to meet their needs or wants...HEALTHY-you are helping others, you deserve to have your needs met too. Be direct and ask.
value other people's approval of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors over self-approval. HEALTHY-important to improve of yourself, others approval may not be valid. Trust yourself...You are Enough...this helps to build self esteem...important to have a healthy relationship with yourself.
COMPLIANCE PATTERN: Codependents...
Compromise their values and integrity to avoid rejection and other people's anger.HEALTHY-Choose to think about what is important to you and trust yourself, this will avoid resentment towards yourself and others later....You deserve to be treated with love and respect...it starts with YOU...how do you treat YOU?
Are very sensitive to others' feelings and assume the same feelings. HEALTHY-this can get out of balance by having an over exaggerated sense of responsibility for others. You own your power, let others own theirs. Everyone has to go through their own experiences to learn their life lessons.
are extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long. HEALTHY-being loyal is great but not to the wrong person(s),be loyal to yourself first and love you. Don't put yourself in danger anymore. Having a healthy relationship with SELF comes first.
place a higher value on others' opinions and feelings and are afraid to express differing viewpoints or feelings. HEALTHY-How you feel matters, but you must take responsibility for your feelings and opinions. You matter expressing your point of view is important too...sometimes if can be a lttle distressing but not dangerous. Take responsibility for how you say it...say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't say it mean.
put aside personal interestes and hobbies to do what others want. HEALTHY-You are important if this is a habit you will become resentful and angry, besides you want to teach people how to treat you...respect yourself first.
accept sex as a substitute for love. HEALTHY-sex is not love...there is more to a relationship then sex. You deserve the most important parts of the relationships such as: what you have in common, communication, acceptance, patience, time spent together getting to know eachother. Love YOU.
CONTROL PATTERNS: Codependents...
believe most others are incapable for caring for themselves. HEALTHY-People will resent you if you do not allow them to live their lives. We all have a free will and are entitled to our choices. Let them learn from their mistakes, let them discover their uniqueness, gifts and talents.
attempt to convince others what they should think and feel. HEALTHY-You may care about others but let them learn their lessons while on their journey called life, people do not like to be treated as if they can not think for themselves. People are entitled to their right to take responsibility for the way they feel.
become resentful when others refuse their offers of help. HEALTHY-You may want to help, but others have the right to say no, regardless of what you may think. You don't want to behave as if you have it all together. Let people go through it and grow. Let them know you are there for them if they need you.
freely offer advice and guidance without being asked. HEALTHY-You may give good advice, but people don't always want it. Allow people to live and learn for themselves, let them know that you care and are their to help if needed. Ask them if they want your advice.
lavish gifts and favors on those they care about. HEALTHY-only do this if your motives are genuine and you don't expect anything in return. Do not manipulate people or try to buy a friend or a person's love, it's not for sale...and neither are you.
use sex to gain approval and acceptance. HEALTHY- when we approve of ourselves we don't self sabotage ourselves and set ourselves up to be heartbroken.
have to be needed in order to have a relationship with others. HEALTHY-it's good be there for those we love but we should not look for people that are not healthy in order to manipulate and control or to make ourselves feel important. Actually this type of behavior keeps us focused on the sick person so we don't have to look at our own lives and what needs to be changed. The Key is to focus on changing ourselves, not others.