Many people are codependent without realizing it
In the Academy Award nominated movie "Her," the character played by Amy Adams said, "Falling in love is a crazy thing to do. It's kind of like a form of socially acceptable insanity."
I definitely think this is true. Love makes you do things you wouldn't normally do, say things you wouldn't normally say and worry about another person more than you ever thought you could before. And, honestly, it can kind of drive you crazy.
Which is why, I believe, especially nowadays, many people suffer from "codependency" without even knowing it.
After all, we live in a time where, with technology, we are never really by ourselves. We are constantly connected to others, which means we are constantly connected in our romantic relationships.
And I think this can be dangerous because it makes people more likely to become obsessed and feeling like they "need" the other person to an extreme — and to stop thinking for themselves.
This can be hindering in our lives — to always have in the back of our minds, "Why didn't he or she not call or text me back?" or feeling like we need to be always on-call in case the other person needs us. It can also hinder our relationships with family and friends — and our relationship with ourselves. I have seen this happen firsthand, and I know that I am guilty of it myself — constantly looking at your phone, waiting for a boyfriend or girlfriend to write back while you're supposed to be hanging out and conversing with your friends in-person.
I know that many of us are also guilty of doing this when we're by ourselves — obsessively waiting for a phone call instead of getting needed work done or just letting yourself put your feet up and relax. Even worse, I know many people let this get in the way of much needed sleep.
Even though we may not like to admit it to ourselves, this can become an addiction.
PsychCentral.com reports that researchers have revealed that the characteristics of codependents are much more prevalent in the general population than had been imagined.
Here are some symptoms, according to PsychCentral, of being co-dependent:
- Having low self-esteem, feeling unlovable and inadequate. Feeling this way in a relationship can make people doubt the others' feelings and fear being rejected.
- Putting others first and neglecting your own needs.
- People pleasing or having a hard time saying, "No."
- Blaming yourself for other's problems.
- Feeling threatened by disagreements.
- Being afraid of being truthful to not offend others. Pretending everything is okay when it's not.
- Problems with being open with someone in an intimate relationship for fear of being judged.
If you feel these symptoms, know that you are not alone. Even though we live in a world where autonomy seems to be praised, these are common feelings to have.
But, while hese feelings are common, that doesn't mean these feelings are healthy. And they are definitely not "fun." Feeling this way can actually be pretty miserable and can lead to problems in a relationship.
When people are codependent, they define themselves by the relationship and base their opinion of themselves on the other person. And with that, they lose a big part of themselves.
You're the one person who you know will always be there. So it's important that the person you depend on the most is yourself.
Dr. Susan Biali, internationally acclaimed medial doctor and life coach, says the most fundamental cure for this is to take your attention off of other people and what they're doing and, instead, focus the attention on yourself. Replace your preoccupation with them by doing what you need to do for yourself, she said.
"The best part is, when you start to look after yourself and stop nagging, or controlling, or rescuing everyone else, they'll start to respect you more, and treat you differently, and maybe even start becoming the kind of person that you'd wished they'd be. You'll be amazed by the miracles that occur," Biali said.