You may have heard the term “codependent” thrown around, but what does it mean when it comes to interpersonal and romantic relationships? Codependency is defined as a characteristic of a person who belongs to a dysfunctional and one-sided relationship. This person relies on their partner to meet all of their needs—regardless of whether they are related to self-esteem or their emotions. If you believe that you or a friend may struggle with codependency, contact a therapist from Counseling Services of Parker today.

Those who struggle with codependency will likely struggle with the following:

    • Low self-esteem. When these people feel as though they are not good enough for their loved one, or if they compare themselves to others, this is usually a sign of shame. People who are codependent also strive for perfectionism.
    • Pleasing others above themselves. Those who are codependent may have a hard time saying no to others, even if a situation makes them feel uncomfortable.
    • Control. Feeling in control of their lives can help codependent people feel more secure and safe. However, this control limits their risk-taking and their ability to open up about their thoughts and feelings. This can manifest itself in addictions that help them either loosen up, such as alcoholism, or tighten up, such as workaholism. They also want to control those who are close to them, so they may either be people-pleasers to their loved ones or they may be overly bossy in instructing others in what to do.
    • Poor communication. A codependent person may have a difficult time opening up because they either do not know what they are feeling, or they are afraid of telling the truth about how they feel in case someone will get upset. Communication can become both confusing and dishonest.
    • Obsession. Those who struggle with codependency are more likely to obsess over other people and situations because of the anxieties and fears they may have. If they believe they have made a mistake, they will overthink the situation and stress themselves out.
    • Denial. Refusing to own up to codependency is quite common. Most people believe that the problem lies outside of themselves. They will usually continue to complain and try to “fix” another person, hop from relationship to new relationship, or hop from job to job without ever believing that they may be a major part of the problem.


Codependency Stems from Anxiety

Anxiety can manifest itself in many ways, one of which is being rejected by those you love and care about. Codependency is a common issue that many people struggle with, and fortunately, it’s fairly simple to improve if you have proper guidance and an understanding of your behavior. Both shame and low self-esteem can lead to these issues, but working with your anxiety and your feelings of shame with a professional therapist may help you see your behavior differently. Change is possible. A healthy, balanced relationship is possible! Contact us today at Counseling Services of Parker to learn more, as well as to schedule your appointment. Check back soon for part 2 of this blog!