From Pick the Brain
Consider the following scenarios.
You have a friend who is extremely needy. They complain that you don’t call them enough. They become upset when you make plans that don’t include them.
Your significant other constantly seeks your approval. It seems as if they cannot make a decision without first consulting you.
Your parents have not accepted the fact that you are an adult. They make you feel guilty for growing up and wanting to be independent.
Each of these relationships represents some level of co-dependency. Co-dependency is referred to as an “addiction to love” and typically involves an imbalance in the relationship. One person requires most of the energy, attention and affection while the other person feels compelled to provide these things.
If you find yourself involved with someone who is co-dependent, there are several steps for establishing boundaries and developing independence.
Discover what conscious or unconscious purpose the relationship serves.
All relationships (even dysfunctional ones) fulfill some sort of physical, psychological, spiritual or emotional need. Take some time to figure out what it is about this particular relationship that keeps you hooked. Ask the questions, “Who is this person to me?” “What role are they filling at the moment?” “What am I getting from this relationship?”
Sure he never responds to your text messages. But when he does, he showers you with compliments. Perhaps your friend is unreliable when you need really need her but she supported you through rough times.
When you discover what needs are being met through a co-dependent relationship, you develop self awareness and can begin to find healthier means of fulfillment.
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SBM Nation, have you or a friend ever been in a co-dependent relationship? How did you get out of it? Are you still in one today?
Pick the Brain is a website dedicated to self improvement with a focus on personal productivity, motivation, and self education.