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How to Break Codependency

by Susan Corey

Codependency behaviors demonstrate relational patterns in which a person attempts to create a sense of self-purpose through controlling relationships with others. Codependents focus on people who are closest to them. This can be a spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or a family member. They seek self-fulfillment through controlling others. Their behavior compares to continuously spinning a slot machine waiting for the jackpot to hit to solve all of life's problems. Being extremely entrapped and caught up in the other person for identity restricts the codependent's self-worthiness and self-identification. Codependency is a potpourri of mixed feelings and behaviors. A codependent person may be passive and follow the crowd, or overaggressive, controlling others. A dysfunctional home that does not provide children with attention and the feeling that their needs count can cause a person to develop into codependency, according to PlanetPsych.

Seek help or a recommendation for counseling through your medical physician. Appoint codependency recovery as a primary priority.

Learn the behavioral symptoms of codependency through counseling and reading recommended books. Recognize yourself in the symptoms by listing the behaviors you demonstrate in relationships with significant others.

Meet with others going through codependency recovery for support. Define yourself to discover who you really are by listing your talents and abilities.

Stop controlling others by bringing to a halt telling them what to do and making them your responsibility. Do not intervene in others' lives by advising them and questioning their actions. Concentrate on you and your shortcomings, not those of others. Stop trying to fix others and concentrate on what is missing in your life; you may be feeling loneliness, depression or grief.

Determine what codependency behaviors you are displaying -- are you passive or overaggressive with others? If you are passive, learn to be selfish -- put yourself first by making sure your personal needs are met first instead of putting yourself last in social situations. State your opinion in social situations instead of being passive, agreeable, and going along with the crowd. Do not be so compliant and passive to fit in with your social group. Learn what you want and prefer in all situations, such as work, social events or a relationship.

Stop trying to rule over others if you are overaggressive. Stop guiding others in their decisions regarding what they should and should not do by coming up with a cue to remind yourself that you can only control you. You are responsible for only your mistakes, and not those of others.

Build your self-esteem by finding or trying out new interests. Ask yourself what you want to be in your life, not in others' lives.

Tip

  • For help with codepency, consider researching CoDA. This organization provides help with codependency behaviors and is an excellent resource for recovery from this disorder.

About the Author

Susan Corey started writing professionally in 2010, with her work focusing on topics in education. She wrote a manual, "A Guide For Teaching Students With Learning Differences," which is in the Oklahoma State University Library. She holds a Bachelor of Science in speech language pathology from the University of Tulsa and a Master of Science in applied behavioral studies from Oklahoma State University.

Photo Credits

  • male and female image by Ramona smiers from Fotolia.com