I am, by no means, an expert on this subject, this is merely me on my own personal journey taking you along for the ride. I ask a lot of questions of myself, of my relationships of the people in my life and I do not stop until I have satisfied my curiosity. You could say that it is my disorder and I am sure it drives those around me insane.
A guy named Ernie Larson says something really true which relates to the whole codependency thing, it’s that
“What we live with we learn; what we learn we practice; what we practice becomes habit; our habits have consequences.”
The following are statements which portray relationally addictive people:
1. We come from a dysfunctional home in which our emotional needs were not met.
2. Having received little real nurturing ourselves, we try to vicariously fill this unmet need by becoming a caregiver, especially toward people who appear needy.
3. Because we were never able to change our parents into the warm, loving care takers we longed for, we respond deeply to the emotionally unavailable person whom we find familiar and whom we try to change (to give us what we need) through our love.
4. Terrified of abandonment, we will do anything to hold on to a relationship and avoid painful abandonment feelings. We first experienced these feelings while living with people who were never there emotionally for us. Most often, we were not aware that we were not getting what we needed!
5. Almost nothing is too much trouble, takes too much time, or is too expensive if it will “help” the person we are involved with. Our thoughts are other-oriented rather than self-oriented.
6. Accustomed to lack of love in personal relationships, we are willing to wait, hope and try harder to please.
7. We are willing to take far more than 50 percent of the responsibility, guilt and blame in any relationship.
8. Our self-esteem is critically low. Deep inside we do not believe we deserve to be happy. Rather, we believe we must earn the right to enjoy life. We forget that we were all created equal and by the same maker.
9. Having experienced little security in childhood, we have a desperate need to control people, outcomes, and relationships. We mask our efforts to control people and situations as “being helpful.”
10. In a relationship we are more in touch with our dream of how it could be rather than with the reality of how it is. We don’t want to hear the little voice inside that tells us what is!
11. We are addicted to a person, people, and/or to emotional pain. This is not because we enjoy pain, but it is familiar; we understand it; it is all we know.
12. We may be emotionally and/or biochemically predisposed to addictions to substances, food, gambling, sex, etc.
13. Drawn to people with problems or to chaotic, uncertain, or emotionally painful situations, we avoid focusing on our responsibility to ourselves: to become all of the potential we were given!
14. Since we have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, it is easier to be concerned with others rather than with ourselves. This prevents us from looking at our ourselves. We give away our personal power!
15. We may tend toward episodes of depression and/or anxiety. We try to forestall these episodes through the excitement of an emotionally unstable relationship or through addictive behaviors.
16. We are not attracted to a person who is kind, stable, reliable, and interested in us. We find “nice” people boring or unattractive.
17. We “stuff” our feelings and have lost the ability to identify or express what we feel.
18. We tend to become isolated from people and become afraid of authority figures.
19. We become approval seekers and lose our identity in the process.
20. We can’t stand it when people are angry at us. We hate criticism! We get defensive and “explain” ourselves in an attempt to show the other person how they are wrong.
21. Our world view is that of the victim. We sense and gravitate towards people whom we will allow ourselves to be victimized by.
22. We judge ourselves harshly. We use a more lenient yardstick to judge others.
23. We experience guilt when we stand up for ourselves. To avoid guilt, we give in to others.
24. We confuse love and empathy/pity and tend to think we “love” people we can pity and rescue.
25. We are reactors to life rather than creators of life.
Here’s a quiz as well