Do you say “yes” when you mean “no,” try to help the unhelpable and neglect your own needs to serve people who take you for granted? Do you so intensely crave love that it feels like you’d do anything to get it? Do you secretly like when people need you – like, a lot – because it’s evidence of your worth? If so, you might be a Codependent.
Which is a drag for you, since being a Codependent is no fun. Instead of giving and serving others because it makes you happy, you do it so they will like you, praise you, include you, and prove to you that you’re an okay person. You’ll basically ignore your own wants and needs (which is easy because half the time you don’t even know what those wants and needs are) to perform nutty, over-the-top acts of service. When you don’t get love and appreciation for your efforts, it’s horribly painful for you.
This is pathological stuff – meaning so not healthy. And it’s not just about family and friends. either. Codependent relationships can be formed in many contexts: with peers, work, romance, and more. The Codependent dynamic is basically the same for each scenario. The Codependent seeks out the neediest aspect or person of the group and works hard to become indispensible to that master. The Codependent then feels worthwhile. Miserable, worn-out and used, but worthwhile.
- Resolves to fix unfixable problems
- Feels massively guilty for taking the time for self-care
- Acute and ongoing case of doormat-itis
- Tolerates abuse with the best of ’em
- So good at pretending everything is okay when the ship is sinking
A Happy Codependent
There is no such thing as a truly happy Codependent because true happiness is self-generated and the Codependent can’t manage it due to a an inner void where the happiness generator should be. The Codependent may experience moments of glee and ecstasy based on getting a desired response from others, and that feeling will last only as long as the external source continues to deliver. Since they cannot control the world, and they cannot generate their own good feelings, Codependents are typically moody people who experience extreme emotional highs and lows.
Bonnie and Clyde, Bennifer, Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, Ike and Tina Turner, Amy Winehouse and Blake Civil-Fielder, Madonna and Sean Penn
The Codependent will attach to needy types like: The Starving Artist, Victim, Stoner, Slacker, Starving Artist, Con Artist, Gambler, Vampire, Brat, and more.
Codependent in Love
Codependents can get so excessively preoccupied with the people they love that they believe they can’t live without them. What adds insult to injury is that the type of people Codependents usually attract are emotionally unavailable users and jerks who don’t treat them right, expect everything, give very little and appreciate nothing. Of course, these relationships are completely destructive.
Life is exhausting for the Codependent. Toiling away at unfixable problems, catering to the helpless and indulging the weak is hard work. Add the abuses of nincompoops and the oversight of fools to the mix and you have a pretty bleak existence on your hands. To bear all of this while neglecting one’s own general health and wellbeing is pretty amazing actually. So how about it Codependents of the world — why not give yourself a little more credit?
How to Play It
Break the chain. If you’re Codependent you probably learned to be this way in a dysfunctional environment and it’s the best way you’ve figured out so far to get by. But it’s not the only way. People heal themselves and break out of the emotional slavery of codependence every day and you can too. Recognize where you’re at and disconnect with the people and things that oppress you. Start finding ways to build your self-esteem. Do what’s good for you.