Are you constantly putting the needs of other before yours? Is your relationship one-sided? Do you allow others to fill their needs but discount yours? Are you afraid to disagree and state your opinion? Is it important to please people or you think they won’t like you? Is your mood dependent on the mood of someone else? Do you wish there was more reciprocity in your relationship?
Co-dependency develops for a number of reasons including a history of childhood trauma, having poor boundaries and low self-esteem. When you feel worthless and not good enough to stand up for yourself in relationships, co-dependency can result. To improve your relationships, co-dependent patterns should be recognized in order for change to occur. The work is to break the patterns of behavior you have developed that keep you in a co-dependent status.
Here are 10 ways to break co-dependency:
1. Stop ignoring your needs or thinking they are unimportant. Relationships are not supposed to be one sided. Over time, you will become resentful if your needs do not get met and you are always doing for others.
2. Get out and interact with others. One way to break the cycle is to develop relationships outside the one that feels co-dependent. Join a group, serve in your church or go out with friends occasionally. This will give you perspective.
3. Change your thinking. If your thoughts are negative, work on making them more positive. Stop listening to one voice that may want to keep you in that dependent place.
4. Set boundaries. This is one of the most important steps to breaking co-dependency. Know where your needs begin and where his or her needs end. Set limits and stop doing for the other person.
5. Don’t put your life on hold. Evaluate your life calling and purpose. Continue moving forward on both fronts.
6. Find your happiness through your spiritual life. We can always find joy and peace in our relationship with God and should not depend on others to make us happy. Yes, you want to be happy in a relationship, but your happiness should not depend on the other person.
7. Take time for a little self-care. This is not being selfish so do it and lose the guilt.
8. Spend some time alone and figure out who you are apart from the other person. You can grow in a relationship together, but you have to know who you are in order to be attached to another. Separate, but attached, is the healthy goal.
9. Don’t fall prey to being blamed, having others play the victim or accept guilt trips. Decide if your behavior was appropriate and then refuse to be the target for other people’s issues.
10. Stop thinking your worth is determined by others. You are worthy because God created you and sees you as one of His. Don’t give others the power to define you.10 ways to break co-dependency