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Codependency: How to Spot and Stop it

Codependency is more than just clinginess. Codependency is the more extreme version, where someone will plan their entire life around pleasing the other person and showcasing an extreme attachment beyond simple infatuation, to the point of unhealthiness.

While codependency is not something to be clinically diagnosed with, many do consider it as a personality disorder. Because codependency can come in many different forms and ways, view the below on how to spot and stop it.

How to spot codependency

Many believe that codependency can stem off of the inability to have an opinion or say no. It can also develop and all sorts of relationship such as parent-child, partner-partner, and even co-worker-boss. Dr. Renee Exelbert, a licensed psychologist and author based in New York mentions that, “Codependency is a circular relationship in which one person needs the other person, who in turn, needs to be needed. The codependent person, known as the giver, feels worthless unless they are needed by and making sacrifices for the enabler, otherwise known as the taker.”

Codependency can look like the following:

  1. A sense of “walking on eggshells” to avoid conflict with the other person.

  2. Feeling the need to check in with the other person and/or ask permission to do daily tasks.

  3. Often being the one who apologizes — even if you have done nothing wrong.

  4. Feeling sorry for the other person even when they hurt you.

  5. Doing anything for the other person, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable.

  6. Putting the other person on a pedestal despite the fact that they don’t deserve this position.

How to stop codependency

Removing yourself from a codependent relationship is not easy. It takes time and constant trying in order to fully remove yourself from that. However, the following below can help towards forming a positive, balanced relationship:

  1. Case small steps toward some separation in the relationship.

  2. Spend time with other people, and encouraged to viewing such activities as something positive and necessary.

  3. Learn to say no and self-reliant

  4. Refrain from making extreme sacrifices, noting that you have wants, needs, rights, and obligations as well.

  5. Work with a professional to address any past abuse or issues that may influence the co-dependency now.

Overall, codependency is a component of an unhealthy relationship that takes effort and time to fully remove. Luckily, the first step in changing unhealthy behavior is to understand it, so you are doing well by checking out this blog post, and I encourage you to share it with friends and family if you would like to.


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