In order to have healthy relationships, both parties must be willing to give and take. Each person seeks to support the other while maintaining their own interests and personal sense of self.
During a codependent relationship, you are unaware of where you end and the other person begins. People with substance use disorder frequently engage in codependent relationship patterns, but they may also manifest when no substance or alcohol is present.
The first step to breaking free from a codependent relationship is recognising that you are in one. Here are five warning signs of codependency and people-pleasing:
You want other people to like you
It is a good thing to want people to like you and make others happy. These desires cross the line into unhealthy territory when you feel you must do things for others without regard for yourself. This need for approval should be considered a warning sign. When keeping someone happy causes you to forgo your own needs, it may be an indication of codependency.
You have no boundaries
Every healthy relationship must have clear boundaries, including recognising, respecting, and reinforcing each person’s right to their own feelings and independence. You may not be responsible for someone else’s happiness, but in a codependent relationship, one person may be manipulative and controlling while the other is subservient and compliant. If you feel guilty or anxious about doing something for yourself, it may be an indication of relationship imbalance. Boundaries are not recognised or insisted on by both parties.
You have low self-esteem
Having good self-esteem doesn’t mean you have a big ego—it simply means you have a healthy sense of who you are and where you fit in. In a codependent relationship, you may feel you must meet the needs of someone else and gain their approval in order to feel significant. You may associate yourself with the other person, not knowing who you are without them. On the other hand, if you are in a codependent relationship and are overly dependent on the other person to meet your needs and validate you, you may be on the other side of the power equation. If your self-esteem depends on what the other person thinks of you, you may be in a codependent relationship.
You are not open with your emotions
Openly, directly, and calmly expressing feelings is an indication of a healthy relationship, but in a codependent connection, you may be so preoccupied with the other individual that you don’t have time to process your own feelings and emotions. Because you don’t know what you want, you can’t express it, or if you do know, you might be reluctant to express it because you don’t want to bother the other person. If your state of mind always mirrors the other person’s sentiments rather than your own, the connection is codependent.
You are trying to control everything
When you’re with another adult in a healthy relationship, you acknowledge that they can manage their own life. You accept their decisions, even if you don’t like them. You may believe that a codependent person requires your assistance in managing their own life, or you may believe that they cannot do it on their own. If you offer unsolicited advice, attempt to control their thoughts, feelings, and actions, or make decisions for them, your relationship may be codependent.
Recognizing codependency symptoms in yourself and your relationships is the first step to getting help. With mental health professional assistance, you can overcome codependency and enjoy mutually beneficial relationships.
Get Help for Codependency in Los Angeles, CA
If you believe codependency and substance abuse are harming your quality of life, help is available. NuView Treatment Center is an outpatient rehab located in West Los Angeles. Our clinicians are trained in the latest evidence-based methods for dealing with addiction, mental health disorders, and even interpersonal problems with people-pleasing. We believe that it is possible to replace unhealthy and unproductive behaviors and thought patterns with better ones – it just takes practice and a great deal of support. At NuView Treatment Center, you can change your life. Reach out today for a free and confidential consultation.