In her book, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself, Melody Beattie first brought attention to codependency and defined it as, “one who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior.”
Athena Staik, Ph.D. blogs about twenty indicators that someone may be codependent. Follows is a summary of her list:
- Feel responsible to ensure no conflicts occur in your key relationships.
- Seek to “keep the peace” with little thought to your own personal needs.
- Overly attuned to what others need or “must have” to feel okay yet have little awareness of own needs.
- Worry about being viewed as “selfish” by asking for what you want.
- Check the moods of key others around the clock to see if you’re needed to put out “fires.”
- Set boundaries for how others treat you yet talk yourself out of sticking to the guidelines you set.
- Are “used to” living with another’s addictive patterns believing “they’re not capable” of making better choices.
- Tolerate behaviors toward you that produces a toxic relationship.
- Are worried about another person’s opinions of you, and go out of your way to avoid disapproval.
- Refuse to make requests of another because asking them to change may cause them “stress.”
- Easily believe what another says, ignoring warming signs that tell you blind trust is unwarranted.
- Makes excuses for another that “enable” them to continue to make poor choices.
- Keep another dependent on you by rescuing them.
- Treat another as incapable of handling situations without you.
- Nag, complain, scold and lecture rather than make requests.
- Do for others what you wouldn’t consider doing for yourself and expecting this “sacrifice” will cause them to appreciate you.
- Neglect other responsibilities in your life because you’re pre-occupied with another’s addiction.
- Need to think of addicted person as “incapable” in order to feel “needed.”
- Believe that you will find love and fulfillment by putting others first and yourself last.
- Wallow in regret about times when you’ve let others down.
Why aren’t we talking about alcoholism?