- When it is my turn to receive help from others I usually decline, as I am uneasy when others focus their attention on me.
- I have many times taken pride in the fact that I am a “helper” with others, and I can easily postpone or deny my own needs.
- I feel the best about myself when I am giving advice and/or handling a crisis situation.
- Many times I have waited for others to take care of me in return, only to discover that it is never my turn.
- Sometimes I am so focused on one person that I can only think about that person and how to help them.
- I take good care of my friends. Most people like me because of what I can do for them.
If you answered true to most of the above questions, you are very likely codependent. To be codependent is to be skilled in the art of taking care of other people rather than of yourself.
If You are Codependent, Typically You:
Have a long history of focusing your thoughts and behavior on other people.
Are a “people pleaser” and will do almost anything to get the approval of others.
Seem very competent on the outside but on the inside feel quite needy, helpless, or perhaps nothing at all.
Have experienced abuse or emotional neglect as a child.
Are outwardly focused towards others, and know very little about how to direct your own life from your own sense of self
The codependent’s self-concept has developed around the needs of others instead of developing in it’s own right. As children, most codependents felt responsible for other family members’ feelings or behavior. If a family member was unhappy or in trouble, the codependent child came to believe that it was his or her job to “fix it.” Later as an adult, others came to depend upon this person for help, especially in crisis. This person, who was and is always so good at helping others, is you, the codependent.
How Psychotherapy/Counseling Can Help You
In psychotherapy, you talk about yourself, express your own feelings and thoughts, and discuss life experiences. You identify the changes you need to make to increase your happiness and with the support of the psychotherapist, you go about making these life changes. You develop healthy, positive self-esteem, self acceptance, and a stronger sense of self.
In psychotherapy, it has been my experience that most people make profound life changes for the better as they learn to lead life from the inside out. That is many people learn how to direct their life according to what is best for them. Many of these life changes are in the form of more rewarding relationships, meaningful work, and the simple everyday enjoyment of life.