Patterns and Characteristics of Codependence
These patterns and characteristics are offered as a tool to aid in self-evaluation. They may be particularly helpful to newcomers.
- I have difficulty identifying what I am feeling.
- I minimize, alter or deny how I truly feel.
- I perceive myself as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well being of others.
Low Self Esteem Patterns:
- I have difficulty making decisions.
- I judge everything I think, say or do harshly, as never “good enough.”
- I am embarrassed to receive recognition and praise or gifts.
- I do not ask others to meet my needs or desires.
- I value others’ approval of my thinking, feelings and behavior over my own.
- I do not perceive myself as a lovable or worthwhile person.
- I compromise my own values and integrity to avoid rejection or others’ anger.
- I am very sensitive to how others are feeling and feel the same.
- I am extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.
- I value others’ opinions and feelings more than my own and am afraid to express differing opinions and feelings of my own.
- I put aside my own interests and hobbies in order to do what others want.
- I accept sex when I want love.
- I believe most other people are incapable of taking care of themselves.
- I attempt to convince others of what they “should” think and how they “truly” feel.
- I become resentful when others will not let me help them.
- I freely offer others advice and directions without being asked.
- I lavish gifts and favors on those I care about.
- I use sex to gain approval and acceptance.
- I have to be “needed” in order to have a relationship with others.
Characteristics of Codependency
Following is a commonly used list of characteristics of codependency.
- My good feelings about who I am stem from being liked by you
- My good feelings about who I am stem from receiving approval from you
- Your struggle affects my serenity. My mental attention focuses on solving your problems/relieving your pain
- My mental attention is focused on you
- My mental attention is focused on protecting you
- My mental attention is focused on manipulating you to do it my way
- My self-esteem is bolstered by solving your problems
- My self-esteem is bolstered by relieving your pain
- My own hobbies/interests are put to one side. My time is spent sharing your hobbies/interests
- Your clothing and personal appearance are dictated by my desires and I feel you are a reflection of me
- Your behaviour is dictated by my desires and I feel you are a reflection of me
- I am not aware of how I feel. I am aware of how you feel.
- I am not aware of what I want – I ask what you want. I am not aware – I assume
- The dreams I have for my future are linked to you
- My fear of rejection determines what I say or do
- My fear of your anger determines what I say or do
- I use giving as a way of feeling safe in our relationship
- My social circle diminishes as I involve myself with you
- I put my values aside in order to connect with you
- I value your opinion and way of doing things more than my own
- The quality of my life is in relation to the quality of yours