Codependency is unhealthy love and a tendency to behave in overly passive or excessively caretaking ways that negatively impact one’s relationships and quality of life (definition from wikipedia). At Imagine Hope, we see people fighting to recover from their codependency issues multiple times a day. They often have distorted characteristics, which can end in dysfunctional relationships. This week we are going to help you see where these traits are rooted and the ripple effect they can have throughout life.
Codependents feel comfort when they are able to have control over the reality of others. As children, everyone has a natural need to be valuable. It is normal to seek approval and to feel you can contribute. If this need is not met well, a child can develop dysfunctional survival traits of feeling less than or better than. Their esteem goes to extremes rather than being in healthy balance. As an adult these children will then have difficulty experiencing appropriate levels of self-esteem. When they become parents, they will often struggle with appropriately esteeming their own children due to their inability to do it within themselves.
As a codependent balances their own esteem and realizes they are not being valuable to others by controlling them, the negative control will decrease. It will be shifted into a healthy control of self and ability to separate who they are from others issues. Their value will come from internal affirmations rather than their actions in life.
Do you suffer from codependency or do you know someone who does? Becoming more aware of the depth of your issues will give you power to change them. Keep reading this week to learn more traits and where they come from!
Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC
Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.