What Does It Mean To Be Co-dependent?
Co-dependent! Isn’t it an interesting term. It has many definitions. In the widest sense of the word, a co-dependent person is someone who wraps their sense of purpose and self-worth around other people. This means that they do not have a strong sense of self and their behaviour is organized around another person who maybe sick, addicted, immature and irresponsible or a process or substance, like drugs, alcohol, sex, over eating or gambling.
Are you co-dependent? Take the quiz 🙂 Read the questions and answer honestly.
1. Do you take better care of other people than yourself?
2. Do you obsess about other people by thinking about them, feeling anxious about them and checking up on them?
3. Do you feel responsible for other people’s choices?
4. Do you change yourself hoping that other people will also change?
5. Do you feel stuck and victimized?
6. Do you try to fix and control people, places and things?
7. Do you deny reality to cope?
8. Do you have difficulty knowing what your boundaries should be?
9. Do you have difficulty saying no without feeling guilty?
10. Do you allow yourself to be manipulated and controlled by others?
11. Do you know what other people feel, think, like and dislike, but are unsure what your own feelings, thoughts, likes and dislikes are?
12. Do you lie and cover up for others’ mistakes?
13. Do you distrust your decisions and feelings?
14. Do you people please because you fear rejection and desperately need approval?
15. Do you know what is right for everyone else but have difficulty making decisions about your own life?
If you answered YES to two or more questions you are co-dependent.
Mildly co-dependent 2-5
Moderately co-dependent 5-10
Extremely co-dependent 10-15
Co-dependency is a learned behaviour and runs in families. Children learn co-dependent behaviours and ways of thought from their parents and people they live with. Children are taught that their needs and feelings are not important, they are taught that the needs of others are more important and hence they never develop a strong sense of self and carry these behaviours into adulthood. Since co-dependency is learned it can also be unlearned. Seeing a counsellor/ psychotherapist can help you understand and identify co-dependent behaviours and gradually start to feel more in control of your emotions, thoughts and life.
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