Posted by: RealisticRecovery | May 20, 2009

27 Characteristics of Codependency

27 Codependency Characteristics (Person Addiction)

The following characteristics are typical of RELATIONALLY ADDICTIVE people. A person addict is known as a CODEPENDENT:

  1. Typically, we come from a dysfunctional home in which our emotional needs were not met.
  2. Having received little real nurturing ourselves, we try to fill this unmet need vicariously by becoming a care­giver, especially to people who appear, in some way, needy.
  3. Because we were never able to change our parent(s) into the warm, loving caretaker(s) we longed for, we respond deeply to the familiar type of emotionally unavailable person whom we can again try to change through our love.
  4. Terrified of abandonment, we will do anything to hold on to a relationship in order NOT to experience painful abandonment feelings which we received from living with people who were never there emoitonally for us.
  5. Almost nothing is too much trouble, takes too much time, or is too expensive if it will “help” the person we are involved with.
  6. Accustomed to lack of love in personal relationships, we are willing to wait, hope and try harder to please.
  7. We tend to be willing to take far more than 50 percent of the responsibility, guilt and blame in any relationship.
  8. Our self­esteem is critically low, and deep inside we believe we must earn the right to enjoy life.
  9. We have a desperate need to control people and our relationships, having experienced little security in childhood. We mask our efforts to control people and situations as “being helpful.”
  10. In a relationship, we are much more in touch with our dream of how it could be than with the reality of our situation.
  11. We are addicted to a person or people and to emotional pain.
  12. We may be predisposed emotionally and often biochemically to becoming addicted to drugs, alcohol, and/or certain foods, particularly sugary ones.
  13. By being drawn to people with problems that need fixing, or by being enmeshed in situations that are chaotic, uncertain, and emotionally painful, we avoid focusing on our responsibility to ourselves.
  14. We may have a tendency toward episodes of depression, which we try to forestall through the excitement provided by an unstable relationship.
  15. To experience a one on one relationship, we are not attracted to a person who is kind, stable, reliable and interested in us. We find such “nice” people boring.
  16. Since we have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, it is easier for us to be concerned with others needs rather than ours. We tend not to take care of ourselves emotionally, physically, spiritually, and/or psychologically. This focus on others, in turn, has enabled us to avoid looking closely at our own faults.
  17. We “stuff” our feelings from our traumatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or express our feelings because it hurts too much­­our feelings our frozen.
  18. We tend to sooner or later become isolated from and afraid of people and authority figures.
  19. We have become approval seekers and have lost our identity in the process.
  20. We are frightened by angry people and any personal criticism.
  21. We live from the viewpoint of victims and are attracted by that weakness in our love and friendship relationships.
  22. We judge ourselves harshly and without mercy.
  23. We experience guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead of giving in to others.
  24. We confuse love with pity and tend to “love” people we can pity and rescue.
  25. We tend to be perfectionistic and judgmental.
  26. We are reactors in life rather than actors.
  27. We are entangled in our relationships and we either lean excessively on another (or tolerate that behavior from another) rather than standing as separate individuals reaching out to relate to and help one another.

source : anonymous

For help and more info:

ACA – Adult Children of Alcoholics (also abbreviated as ACOA)
Al-Anon/Alateen, for friends and family members of alcoholics
CoDA – Co-Dependents Anonymous
Co-Anon, for friends and family of addicts
COSA – Codependents of Sex Addicts
COSLAA – CoSex and Love Addicts Anonymous
EA – Emotions Anonymous
Gam-Anon/Gam-A-Teen, for friends and family members of problem gamblers
Nar-Anon, for friends and family members of addicts
SLAA – Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous

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