If you feel used and taken for granted in your relationships, you may struggle with codependency. Codependency is a term we hear a lot but is often misunderstood. It was created for partners of substance abusers, but has since been applied to a much wider range of relationships. Some of the symptoms of codependency include:
- Constantly putting other's needs before your own.
- Feelings of resentment and being used because you are the one doing all the giving.
- Caring more about other people's opinions and feelings than your own.
- Your mood is dependent on your partner's (e.g., you can't feel happy if they are upset).
- Focusing your energy on someone else so much that you neglect your dreams and goals (or forget them all together).
- Being hypervigilant to other people's moods and trying to control circumstances to keep them from feeling upset.
- Being in relationships with addicts or abusers.
- Low self-esteem and lack of confidence in your own abilities.
If this sounds like you, please don't be hard on yourself. People who struggle with codependency often feel responsible for everyone else, to the point of burn out. You mean well, but you are going to crash if you continue to carry other people. Codependent patterns often form early in life but can be healed through therapy. Through therapy, you will learn to know and love yourself, be able to voice your needs in relationships, and stop being drawn to people who will use or abuse you. The opposite of codependency isn't selfishness, it is healthy intimacy with yourself and others.
I specialize in treating codependency. If you would like to connect and learn more about how I can help you, please schedule a free consultation...