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What is Codependency?

Codependency incorporates aspects of a person’s attachment style patterns developed in early childhood. Typically, a codependent individual puts their own needs aside and becomes preoccupied with meeting the needs of another person or assuming responsibility for meeting another person’s problems with the exclusion of acknowledging their own feelings, priorities, or needs. The codependent “giver” can often forego their own tasks and daily duties to assist their partner, friend, or family member, the “taker”, with their own agenda and concerns. This pattern can often get to the point where the relationship becomes very one-sided, taking two people to live that one person’s life or solve their daily problems or concerns. This imbalanced pattern of relating often evolves to the point that the codependent “giver’s” life revolves consistently around this person’s, the “taker” life. 


Codependent people may also feel a sense of emptiness or worthlessness if there is not a crisis to solve or a person to fix. They typically feel a strong urge to provide solutions, advice and agree to things they don’t really want to do or that might inconvenience them. They often wonder why these gestures are not reciprocated by others when “tables are turned”. 



  • A sense of “walking on eggshells” to avoid conflict with the other person.

  • You are loyal to a fault.

  • You set aside your own interests and needs to do what others want.

  • You feel the need to control and fix others.

  • They often believe their opinions don’t matter or they just say what they think others want to hear.

  • You want to be liked by everyone.

  • Feeling the need to check in with the other person and/or ask permission to do daily tasks.

  • Feeling sorry for the other person even when they hurt you.

  • Regularly trying to change or rescue troubled, addicted, or under-functioning people whose problems go beyond one person's ability to fix them.

  • Doing anything for the other person, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable.

  • Putting the other person on a pedestal despite the fact that they don’t merit this position.

  • A need for other people to like you in order to feel good about yourself.

  • You have trouble setting clear boundaries in your life.

  • Struggling to find any time for yourself, especially if your free time consistently goes to the other person.

  • Feeling as if you’ve lost a sense of yourself within the relationship.

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