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How to End Codependency

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4 min

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Published on:

Thu Jul 27 2023

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Last updated:

Wed Dec 20 2023

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Written by:

The Personal Development School

Codependency is a complex and unhealthy pattern of behavior that can trap individuals in dysfunctional relationships. It involves an excessive reliance on others for emotional validation, self-worth, and identity.

However, it is possible to break free from codependency and cultivate healthier, more balanced relationships.

You just have to know what codepedency is.

What is Codependency?

Codepedency is when a person is heavily reliant on their partner, becoming "dependent" on them to live their life. It can involve mental, physical, and emotional connections. The issue that by being codependent, you are less likely to make decisions for what's best for you, as you're always concerned about what happens to your partner.

It can be best summed up by Thais (founder of The Personal Development School) in her interview with The Learn to Love Podcast:

"The main feature of codependency is that we learn to give up our sense of selves in order to have a relationship with others. And that’s where it becomes unhealthy.

If we don’t know who we are, and we are not connected to ourselves, we don’t know what our needs are nor what our boundaries are. As a result we expect our partners to be mind-readers."

This doesn't just apply to romantic partners and spouses, but also friends, parents, and other adult relationships.

What are Signs of Codependency?

There are many signs that someone could be codependent. Here are the most common traits to notice:

-- Constant approval from their partner 

-- A self-worth that only depends on what the partner thinks of them 

-- Tendency to take blame in order to keep the peace

-- Wants to avoid conflict to ensure the partner's well-being

-- Excessive concerns about the partner's habits or behaviors 

-- A mood based on their partner's, not their own 

-- Overwhelming fears of rejection and abandonment 

-- Guilt or shame for doing something for themselves 

-- Put their personal and emotional needs second

-- A situation of compliance

Which Attachment Styles are Linked to Codependency?

Codependency is not a "clinical diagnosis", but it does include many aspects of attachment style patterns, due to early childhood experiences involving parenting styles.

The most common attachment style to have codependency signs are anxious preoccupied (or anxious attached). This is due to them needing reassurance and validation from their partner (due to their childhood experiences), resulting in them becoming codependent on their partner.

Avoidant attachment styles (such as fearful or dismissive) distance themselves from others, which in turn, might cause the other person to become codependent.

However, regardless of someone's attachment style, you can overcome it.

In this blog post, we will explore practical steps to help you end codependency and reclaim your independence and well-being.

Practical Steps to End Codependency

Recognize and Acknowledge Codependent Patterns

The first step in ending codependency is to recognize and acknowledge the presence of codependent patterns in your relationships. Take an honest look at your behavior and identify signs of enabling, people-pleasing, and neglecting your own needs for the sake of others. Reflect on your motivations and the underlying emotions driving your codependent behavior. Awareness is crucial in initiating change.

Prioritize Self-Care and Self-Worth

To break free from codependency, prioritize self-care and develop a strong sense of self-worth. Identify your needs, desires, and boundaries, and ensure they are being met. Engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment, practice self-compassion, and prioritize your physical and mental well-being. Focus on positive self-talk and avoid negative self-talk to make yourself happy.

Build your self-esteem and understand that your worth does not depend on others' validation or approval.

Cultivate Healthy Boundaries

Establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries is essential in ending codependency. Learn to assertively communicate your needs and limits, and be willing to say "no" when necessary. Respect the boundaries of others and encourage them to do the same. Embrace separate hobbies from your partner so you can focus on what you like.

Setting boundaries helps create a healthier dynamic in relationships, fostering mutual respect and independence.

Seek Support and Professional Help

Ending codependency can be challenging, and seeking support is crucial. Surround yourself with a strong support network of friends and family who understand and support your journey. Consider joining a codependency support group or seeking therapy with a mental health professional who specializes in codependency. They can provide guidance, tools, and resources to help you navigate the process of healing and developing healthier relationship patterns.

For some, codependency can be more difficult depending on your attachment style. Finding out yours can make the difference in overcoming it.

You Can End Codependency

Ending codependency requires self-reflection, courage, and a commitment to personal growth. By recognizing and acknowledging codependent patterns, prioritizing self-care and self-worth, cultivating healthy boundaries, and seeking support, you can break free from the cycle of codependency and build healthier, more fulfilling relationships based on mutual respect, independence, and interdependence. Embrace the journey of self-discovery and reclaim your sense of self.

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