People are at risk for codependency if they grow up in ‘dysfunctional’ families.

Dysfunctional families include those with the following: addictions such as drugs or alcohol, food, gambling, sex, and others; rigid rules, such as extreme religious beliefs; child abuse or domestic violence; chronic health or mental health conditions.

People with codependency often learn to be caretakers in their families of origin. They often derive their self worth from rescuing people. Fear of abandonment is one of the central issues for people with codependency.

While they often appear independent and in control, this usually masks underlying feelings of insecurity, dependency and being ‘out of control’. The following is a list of Codependent traits that may be helpful to begin the process of un-tangling with a life coach and/or psychotherapist or joining a community such as Wake Up Recovery.

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People with codependency often share the following traits:

  1. Problems with intimacy and boundaries
  2. Feeling hurt when their efforts are not acknowledged
  3. Feeling guilty when speaking up for themselves, their needs or wants
  4. Feeling responsible for the actions of others
  5. Difficulty communicating
  6. Hard time identifying feelings
  7. Tending to confuse love and pity, ie. falling in love with people they can pity and rescue
  8. Rigid and having trouble adapting to change
  9. Problems making decisions
  10. Taking on more than their share most of the time (guilt, responsibility, helping)
  11. Needing to control other people (often in the name of helping them)
  12. Will do anything to keep a relationship going to avoid abandonment
  13. Problems trusting themselves and/or others
  14. Lying/dishonesty – often to keep the peace or avoid conflict
  15. An extreme need for approval and recognition
  16. Problems with anger
  17. Fear of being abandoned or alone

Did you grow up in a dysfunctional family? Do you see signs of codependency in yourself? Which ones do you notice most in yourself? What support might you need? Be sure to share your thoughts and questions using the comment section below so we can all learn from and help each other…

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