Are You Codependent
Are You Codependent?
By Royane Real
Keywords: codependent, co-dependent, codependency, co-dependency, alanon,
support groups for spouses, addictions, codependent relationships
In a relationship between two emotionally healthy adults, the roles of giving and receiving help are balanced. Both people offer help and receive help from each other in approximately equal amounts.
However, there are some people who always take on the role of being the helper, no matter what relationship they are in. These people give, and give, and they always seem to get involved with people who have very serious emotional problems, such as addiction.
And they exhaust themselves trying desperately to save the other person, even at
tremendous cost to their own health.
These people have friendships that focus exclusively on trying to solve the
problems of their friends. We sometimes call this quality “co-dependency”, and
we may label people who are obsessed with helping others “co-dependent”.
A person who is co-dependent will tend to have relationships with people who
have a lot of problems – emotional, social, familial and financial. The
co-dependent person may spend much of their own time, money, and energy helping
other people who have problems, while ignoring the problems in their own life.
Why would somebody be co-dependent?
A person who is co-dependent often suffers from a deep sense of worthlessness and anxiety, and tries to derive a sense of self-worth by helping or rescuing others. A person who is co-dependent may not know how to relax and feel comfortable in a friendship where both people are equals and the relationship is based on enjoying each other’s company. Co-dependent people may even feel anxious if someone they have been helping gets their life in order and no longer wants their help. The co-dependent person may immediately look around for someone else they can “save”.
Do you feel like you give and give in your relationships but you get very little back? Are you always trying to save somebody or rescue somebody that doesn’t have their life together? You may be co-dependent. Take this quiz and find out.
If you frequently take on the role of helping the people who are your friends, how can you tell if you are acting out of genuine kindness and concern, or whether your behavior is in fact co-dependency?
When is it healthy to put the needs of other people first, and when is it unhealthy?
There aren’t really any hard and fast lines between the two.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to see whether your “helping” behavior may actually be co-dependency:
If you answered “yes” to a lot of these questions, you may indeed have a problem with co-dependency. This does not mean that you are a flawed person.
It means that you are spending a lot of energy on other people and very little on yourself.
If it seems that a lot of your friendships are based on co-dependent rescuing behaviors, rather than on mutual liking and respect between equals, you may wish to step back and rethink your role in relationships.
There are many excellent books available on the subject of co-dependency, such
as “Codependent No More” by Melody Beattie.
Attending support groups such as Al-Anon can also help you reduce the stress of
codependent relationships, and get you to focus on your own life instead of
endlessly trying to rescue all those around you.
This article was written by self help author Royane Real. For more information about how you can have more friendships and better relationships, get her new book "How You Can Have All the Friends You Want" Download it today at http://www.royanereal.com
IdeaMarketers - www.ideamarketers.com
May 6, 2006
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