Traits, Characteristics, Symptoms & Signs of Codependency - Codependent people
- develop behaviors that help them deny, ignore, or avoid difficult emotions.
- engage in sick, one-sided unconditional love
- detach themselves: don’t talk - don’t touch - don’t confront - don’t feel - don’t trust.
- adopt "roles"
- continually try and "earn" being liked, needed or accepted through their actions (looking for
- cannot tell the difference between "helping" someone, and "doing it for them".
- Focus attention and energy on the family member who is ill or addicted - everything is done
- Codependents have low self esteem and look for anything outside of themselves to make
them feel better.
- Codependents find it hard to “be themselves.”
- Codependents often take on a martyr’s role and become “benefactors” to any individual in
- When the care-taking becomes compulsive, the codependent feels choiceless and helpless
in the relationship, but is unable to break away from the cycle of behavior that causes it.
- Co-dependents view themselves as victims and are attracted to that same weakness in their
love and friendship relationships.
- Codependents have a tendency to confuse love and pity, with the tendency to “love” people
they can pity and rescue.
- Codependents have a fear of intimacy of any kind.
- Codependents have a higher likelihood of suffering from depression and anxiety.
Codependency takes many forms, and exists in different degrees.
The intensity of symptoms are on a scale of severity, as compared to an all-orpnothing scale.
- 1. Do you keep quiet to avoid arguments?
- 3. Have you ever lived with someone with an alcohol or drug problem?
- 4. Have you ever lived with someone who hits or belittles you?
- 5. Are the opinions of others more important than your own?
- 6. Do you have difficulty adjusting to changes at work or home?
- 7. Do you feel rejected when significant others spend time with friends?
- 8. Do you doubt your ability to be who you want to be?
- 9. Are you uncomfortable expressing your true feelings to others?
- 10. Have you ever felt inadequate?
- 11. Do you feel like a “bad person” when you make a mistake?
- 12. Do you have difficulty taking compliments or gifts?
- 13. Do you feel humiliation when your child or spouse makes a mistake?
- 14. Do you think people in your life would go downhill without your constant efforts?
- 15. Do you frequently wish someone could help you get things done?
- 16. Do you have difficulty talking to people in authority, such as the police or your boss?
- 17. Are you confused about who you are or where you are going with your life?
- 18. Do you have trouble saying “no” when asked for help?
- 19. Do you have trouble asking for help?
- 20. Do you have so many things going at once that you can’t do justice to any of them?
If you identify with several of these symptoms; are dissatisfied with yourself or your
relationships; please consider changing your behaviour pattern or circumstances - or seeking
professional help (counsellor, pastor etc).
Also of interest may be the following Questionnaire: Dysfunction2
For further reading I suggest the article on the Dependent Personality.
|As long as you keep thinking that it is not your fault (how you feel now); that
something else must change, you will continue to feel helpless and the victim,
you will be totally at the mercy of your environment. -Unknown
Fear is at the core of co-dependency.
It can motivate us to control situations or neglect ourselves.
Many of us have been afraid for so long that we don't label our feelings fear.
We're used to feeling upset and anxious. It feels normal.
Peace and serenity may be uncomfortable.
At one time, fear may have been appropriate and useful.
We may have relied on fear to protect ourselves,
much the way soldiers in a war rely on fear to help them survive.
But now, in recovery, we're living life differently.
It's time to thank our old fears for helping us survive, then wave good-bye to them.
Welcome peace, trust, acceptance, and safety.
We don't need that much fear anymore.
We can listen to our healthy fears, and let go of the rest.
We can create a feeling of safety for ourselves, now.
We are safe, now.
We've made a commitment to take care of ourselves.
We can trust and love ourselves.
God, help me let go of my need to be afraid.
Replace it with a need to be at peace.
Help me listen to my healthy fears and relinquish the rest.
-Unknown (Also see Let Go Of Fear)
No matter how much you despair of healing: recovery - healing and becoming a true survivor is
possible at any time.
"Each night I die to old habits and to negative thinking and actions that do not serve me any
more; each morning I am resurrected into new life, again and again – if I so choose." (adapted
from our Sanctuary's prayers).
IYou may find it of interest to read a brief blog excerpt on "how to please your
man/woman: it will provide you with more food for thought, plus an opportunity
to respond: click/tap HERE to visit.
Then take this following Quiz.
- Codependents have an unhealthy
dependence on relationships. The
codependent will do anything to hold on to a
relationship - to avoid the feeling of
- Codependents have an extreme need for
approval and recognition (and become hurt
when people don’t recognize their efforts).
- Codependents have a strong, but
misplaced, sense of guilt (self-blame) when
asserting themselves; they remain passive.
- Codependents tend to form "passive-
aggressive" personalities (suppressed
- Codependents have a lack of trust in self
- Codependents fear, are unable to engage
in, emotional intimacy
- Codependents fear being abandoned or
If you found this page helpful and know someone else who could benefit from it,
please tell them.
If you are ready to make the change / transition to begin your spiritual or healing
journey (or have already begun) and want to do so in the company of others going
in the same direction, why not write or email us? We may be able to exchange or
share experience for mutual benefit and growth.
I sincerely hope that you take the Less Travelled Road
and that it brings awakening and healing to you.
|Dawn Cove Abbey
Roadside Assistance For Your Journey Through Life
- Dedicated to helping people return (and maintain) sanity and decency to life -
From the eBook: "One! The Journey hOMe", by Klaas Tuinman © 2007-2017
Questions and comments welcomed.