Loving yourself, living happy, feeling free… all the best feelings. That’s what I’m into. But in the name of love, in the name of being a good person and in the name of “being responsible”I’ve taken on way more than I ever should.
Being overly-dependent on others and overly-responsible for others is a super-common predicament that can make you feel like you’re… not really yourself. Or worse: miserable and spinning out.
What’s worse: it’s somewhat romanticized and celebrated as though this overdependence is deep love, extreme commitment or heroic friendship.
If you’re not sure why everything feels so hard, so tiring, so difficult… and you’re feeling way too much like you’re being drained, let down or trapped in relationships and commitments that are far too intense and stressful… you might want to ask yourself some of the questions I was asked when I hit a wall and had to purge this stuff from my own life:
Do you feel like you’re overly-dependent on what people feel about you, what they do for you, how much attention they give you or if they approve of what you’re doing? Do you have certain expectations of how people “should” love you or what they should do for you? Or… do you find yourself on the other side of the spectrum, giving insanely to the point of fatigue, crossing your own boundaries in some way (IE: over-sacrificing emotionally, financially, with your time, with your safety…) and then coming up empty-handed, dancing around for someone to notice you or pay attention to you?
You can get past this. And when you do, freedom and light and a much easier life is waiting!!!
Either way, if you’re in this type of strained dependency, you’re likely not happy with it, not fulfilled and maybe not even feeling well or sane or even healthy.
The great news is: it’s so common, it’s fixable and it’s freeing to get beyond it!
Sometimes the way we perceive ourselves is directly related or dependent on how others perceive us. We crave the approval and happiness of others, to determine if we approve of ourselves, and the level of happiness we deserve. There is term for this, codependency. This is a relationship where one or both parties feel they can not exist with out the other person, and that other person’s validation is required to feel, happy, secure, and whole.
Codependency is a dangerous, slippery slope. In codependent relations, one person often sacrifices their own happiness, getting little or nothing in return and sacrifices their own needs, in order to feel approval and love. Scott Wetzler, PhD, psychology division chief at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, explains, “Codependent relationships signify a degree of unhealthy clinginess, where one person doesn’t have self-sufficiency or autonomy.”
This can happen in friendships, romance, families and work… Anywhere you’re working with others you can have this overly-attached situation occur. Usually it happens because it’s something we’ve become “used to” in some way. Either we saw it as kids, admired it from others around us, or sort of accepted it because, I mean, drama has become culturally “usual” which, in itself, is confusing!
THIS article in PsychCentral.com shows some ways to evaluate if your are codependent or have attributes that look like codependency.
A lack of self love can drive this dependency.
Low self esteem is a feeling that you are not as capable or as deserving of confidence and happiness as other people are. People who lack self-esteem often compare themselves to others and sometimes project confidence to fool those around them… but, their internal dialogue is generally filled with “I can’t”, “I’m scared,” and “I’m not good enough.”
People pleasers get swept away in what other people need and want.
Do you find yourself always listening to other people’s problems? Do you always offer help, even when you are struggling yourself? People who fall under this category want everyone to like them. They don’t want to let anyone down, and will go lengths to listen and offer advice even when they can’t adhere to their own advice. They tend to put the needs of others above their own.
The difference between people-pleasing and simply helping people, is the motivator. Fir people-pleasers, the idea of saying “no” and letting others down is anxiety provoking, therefore they’re motivated by fear.
It’s hard to be open and honest when you’re over-dependent on someone’s approval.
When you are codependent your communication tends to be dishonest. You don’t want to let anyone down, so instead of being truthful, you communicate what you think other people would like to hear…solely for a sense of approval.
Plus… dependency on others is a slippery slope that can keep you stuck in super-toxic relationships.
This is an obvious one. Despite how capable a codependent person is, they fear being alone, or worse rejected. For this reason, they may stay in unhealthy relationships, even abusive relationships, to prevent being alone
You can get past it!!!
As a child of alcoholics, drug addicts and massive co-dependents, I didn’t know another way to be… and because I had no respect for the behavior I saw… I became a big loner. It took me years of getting my ass kicked by engaging in co-dependent friendships and relationships every time I tried to have them…and getting drained, used, run over and really hurt… to finally learn that I could fix this.
I can not recommend enough attending a local Alanon meeting if you’re open to it. And if you can’t bring yourself (or there are none around) you can attend THIS meeting online and do the 12 Steps to recovery from this actual emotional affliction that can operate like an addiction.
You’ll learn to re-focus your attention on yourself. Learn to have your actions and your ideas about yourself be contingent on your own needs and values. Learn to say “no” to things that do not resonate with you. Detach from trying to please others in lieu of taking care of yourself.
If you’ve been lost in other people, you might have forgotten all that makes you feel good about yourself. Take time to learn or re-learn your own likes and dislikes and do much more of what you love.
And…. you’ll be able to start to accepting yourself as you are. Stop trying to please everyone around you for fear they will not accept and like you. Be who you are and love who you are.
If you don’t want to go to a group, you can get help. Councelling, therapy, skilled life coaches, energy healers… the world is full of help that you can find if you’re ready to be free.
If you’re stuck in this, I just know you can get out of it. And as scary as it feels at first, it’s so worth it to keep moving forward…!!!
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