Co-dependent Personalities & Raising Co-Dependent Children

Co-dependent personalities usually refer to life as black, or white. There is no in between. It is harder for them to see others view points, and they tend to create their own reality. A co-dependent person may often value other’s opinions over their own, compromising their own values and integrity to avoid rejection. They sometimes dress sloppy, or in baggy clothes, and even in tighter skimpy clothes, displaying their issues with self-image.

The problem with co-dependent relationship within a family, is that we adapt our feelings and boundaries as theirs. We do not like to see them making bad choices, in pain etc., so we try to control it. It can become something that eventually controls where they work, live, who they marry, meaning all major decisions are dominated, by us.

People with co-dependent personalities:

•Need to be needed

• Are  people pleasers

• Are controlling

• Afraid To Be Alone

• Mistrust others

• Are Perfectionists

• Avoid their feelings

• Excessive caretakers

• Hypervigilance (a heightened awareness for potential threat or danger)

• Often they attract needy dependent people

• Downplay their own feelings, to the point that they may not even know how they feel

• Have trouble making decisions

• Do not feel they’re lovable

• Put their own interests and hobbies aside to please others

• Are excessively loyal (even staying in abusive relationships)

• Do not ask others to meet their needs

Do You Have A Co-Dependent Relationship With Your Child?

As parents, we need to say “no” to doing tasks that foster immaturity and dependence in adult children; such as, doing their laundry, cleaning up after them, helping them with their bills, providing them with shelter (as adults), etc. It is important to learn to be separate individuals and teach them to take care of their own needs.

We need to teach our children how to tackle problems in relationships or in life, not take care of the problems for them. They need to grow up and be able to have healthy, mature, adult love relationships.  If we do things for our grown children beyond what is age appropriate, we lower their self-esteem and actually stop them from growing up.

When you are co-dependent you are enmeshed with family members’ emotional boundaries and you treat them as extensions of yourself. Therefore, you do not want to see them in pain, uncomfortable, making unwise choices, or unhappy. You try to be the one in control. You aim to fix them or their situations to be what you think is right, and good for them. You fail to see the long-term damage you are causing, you think you are only helping them.

Extreme co-dependency involves subtle control over your adult children’s choices of colleges, career, place of residency, religion, and choice of marriage partners. Over all, you dominate their decision-making abilities. Secretly you feel safe, secure, and loved when others need you and depend on you. It makes you feel important and gives your life meaning because you do not have your own life fully understood and integrated.

Co-dependency use to only be talked about in families where there was alcoholism, or drug addictions. Now, they are linking it to dysfunctional families in general. And lets face it, all families are dysfunctional. Some are just better at admitting it than others.

Co-dependent Personality Disorder is a dysfunctional relationship with the self characterized by living through or for another, attempts to control others, blaming others, a sense of victimization, attempts to “fix” others, and intense anxiety around intimacy. It is very common in people raised in dysfunctional families, and in the partners and children of alcoholics and addicts.  Most chemical dependency treatment centers now also offer treatment for Co-dependency. (definition extracted from                                                                                                                                                                                  


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If you don’t like something about someone, is it something you have suppressed that you once did?

*We are one another’s God-given mirror *

Everyone has heard the old sayings “What you don’t like in others, is what you don’t like about yourself.” “They are just your God-given mirror” etc. Is there truth to those? Could it be, that you too, were at one point guilty of the same behaviors that you don’t find appealing in someone else?

I believe that there is truth to those sayings. If you stop and think about it, most people can’t stand a liar! It’s not to say that they have never lied, heck I can’t think of a person in the world that hasn’t. I do feel, however, the reason most do not like liars is because they have suppressed the behavior, after having learned from their own negative experience with it. It produces nothing positive, and most that have experienced the repercussions of a lie, have no desire to experience them again.

Odds are, the person that despises a liar may perhaps tell little white lies to their spouse or a friend. Wether it be the true price of that newly purchased item, or how much the vacation REALLY cost, it happens. Or perhaps when they were a child, they lied. Perhaps they got caught and taught that such behavior isn’t acceptable.

Now take that “one friend” for example. He/She drives you absolutely nuts! What is it about them that drives you nuts? When you find it, which is sometimes very easy, think about what you have done in your life that resembles what they are doing. If you can’t think of anything you have done similar right off-hand, dig deeper! Go all the way back into your childhood, for as far back as you can remember. If you still haven’t come up with a situation that compares, then compare the emotions. What have you done that would cause someone else to feel the way this person is making you feel emotionally? There has to be something!

We are all capable of the same things. The same choices, the same dream, the same mistakes etc. Although I may not make the same decision as you in the exact situation you are in, and our circumstances at times may be different, it’s not to say that I wouldn’t ever make the same decision. It’s not to say that I have never made that decision at all. It simply says, either I have done it and suppressed the negative behavior, or I haven’t been placed in a situation yet, where I may make the same choice.

What Empowers You?

I was asked a question a few weeks ago that gave me deep conviction. After pondering my response for a few weeks and feeling as though I finally have an answer I must now challenge my readers with the same exact question. What empowers you?

When I was asked this very question, the conviction didn’t come from the fact that I had no answers. I knew the answers, well, sort of. The conviction came from the fact that I felt as though I weren’t doing enough. As though I were just idling through life, and not really doing much of anything.

This question caused me to backtrack over the last few years of my life, and in doing that I realized that even though most of the things I do are of great purpose, there was nothing that really stood out as a simple answer. It prompted me to begin diving deep to figure out what actually empowers me the most, although I am still unable to narrow it down to one particular thing.

Here is what I came up with:

1.) Being a leader, teaching, helping others succeed. Wether it be parenting, helping friends with personal issues, passing along useful knowledge, coaching a team etc., I am passionate about leading.

2.) Setting goals and aggressively working to obtain them. (I had them set but was still just sitting on my butt watching other ships roll in and out, making excuses and extending deadlines)

3.) Being Independent both in thought and in actions. Knowing that my children see this and are taught to be this way, empowers me.

4.) Challenging others and being challenged by others. It makes you dig deep and do a self check with no other option than to learn more about yourself. That empowers me!

5.) Prayer!!!! God gives strength like no other. For those that do not believe and have never experienced the joy and peace he gives, I am sorry. I hope that someday you crave it and get a taste for it. He is real! I promise!

6.) Positive people!!! I love positive people! And typically I am a positive person. However, I know that if I am around negative energy it drags me to the ground. I can’t be around it. It is like cancer!

7.) Knowledge!!! When I gain knowledge about anything it empowers me! I feel a need to spread the news so to speak. Knowledge is power!

I still didn’t come up with an answer to blow anyone’s mind away, however, the point was to challenge you to think. What empowers you? What are you doing to make this world a better place? What do you dream of doing that you haven’t had the motivation to set out and achieve?