Breaking free-codependence

codependency refers to a dysfunctional relationship where one person relies on the other emotionally and psychologically. This could be either romantic, work or platonic relationships. You ever feel stuck in in a situation where there are no boundaries, you rely on each other for validity, self worth and identity? If so, then you are well familiar with the concept of enabling. Both parties are getting some sort of gratification from it, meaning, people with the savior complex yearn for that recognition and the feeling that they are needed, while the other party relies fully on them for functionality. This appears to be working perfectly in the beginning, just before resentment, self loathing and toxicity kicks in and as a result, one looses their self esteem, personal identity, ability to set healthy boundaries, struggle to maintain independence, thus straining the relationship and causing emotional stress and depression.


Codependency is complex and can be caused by a number of things including:

  • Dysfunctional family dynamics. History of mental illness or substance abuse, can cause a child to grow up putting their personal needs first.
  • Cultural and society influences. Normalizing saying nothing for the sake of peace, or the idea of self sacrifice in the expense of your needs and feelings, only serves as fuel to codependency.
  • Fear of abandonment. Rejection is always a bitter pill to swallow, it makes one stay in a situation that is far from ideal, rather than entertain the idea of being lonely.
  • Lack of good role model limits one from learning effective interpersonal skills.
  • Low self esteem makes one prone to codependency tendencies, while seeking for validation.
  • Lack of emotional support. Individuals that did not receive emotional support might develop codependency as they seek validation from others.
  • Childhood trauma. Codependency could develop as a coping mechanisms in response to abuse, neglect or loss in the early developmental stages.

How to overcome

  • Self awareness. It is important to reflect on your feelings and behavior patterns .
  • Communication skills. Its okay to set boundaries, be assertive and honest, let the other person know the limit and how you would like to be treated. This helps in building healthy relationships.
  • Practice mindfulness. This helps one to be in the here and now. To understand your feelings, behavior and the consequences in the moment.
  • Consider therapy. Issues like childhood trauma, abuse and mental illnesses can also contribute to codependency tendencies, seeking professional help is one step closer to achieving self-awareness.
  • Educate yourself. Read about issues to do with mental health, seek enlightenment and more understanding.
  • Set realistic goals. Understand that you can not fix other peoples problems, hence prioritize your emotional and well being.
Look at it this way, if eight people in a group of ten, have gone through the journey of self awareness, improving their emotional intelligence and strive to reach self actualization, then the other two are more likely to learn and evolve with the group, Hence taking some time off to work on yourself is not selfish but the opposite actually, You make the next person better too through open communication and the art of observing. In the long run you are surrounded by a healthy support system.

Keep in mind that, it is a process, it can not happen overnight be patient with your own journey.





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