10 Quiet Signs of Codependency You May Not Know
If you are asking yourself, 'am I codependent?' know you are not alone. Codependency is a word that gets thrown around a lot. But what is codependency?
Codependency is a broad term that comes in different forms and severity. It usually starts in childhood when attachment styles are formed, but there are many subtle signs of codependency, which can make it hard to recognize.
It is essential to know these signs of codependency to learn how to stop being codependent.
1. Inconsistent Boundaries
Codependency often begins when you grow up with no consistent boundaries in the home. Boundaries can be too close, so you lose a sense of self in a codependent relationship, and they can switch to being too rigid. The inconsistency leads to unpredictability, so you feel as if you are walking on eggshells.
2. Performing for Others
Do you find yourself acting in a certain way to appease others in relationships? Do you hide how you truly feel? Codependency leads you to repress parts of yourself to feel loved or keep others happy.
3. Low Self-esteem
You may determine your worth based on how others see you. Low self-esteem is one of the more subtle signs of codependency. You may feel inadequate or fear failure.
4. Neglecting Self-care
Helping others can lead to positive psychological benefits, but not if you neglect your self-care. You can only help others if you help yourself first. Codependency can make you feel guilty about self-care time or selfish.
5. Dysfunctional Communication
A codependent relationship can also involve poor communication, making it hard to express how you feel. The other person may repeatedly hurt you, but you cannot express this. Instead, you harbor resentment and feel unfulfilled.
6. Being a Martyr
People in codependent relationships often feel the need to take care of everyone. This can lead to controlling behaviors. You want to fix or rescue but also feel sad no one does the same for you.
Codependency can make you focus on the other person and forget about yourself. You might worry about what they are doing, thinking, and feeling. You tailor your actions to prevent anything bad from happening or prevent an adverse reaction from them.
8. Fear of Abandonment
One way to learn how to stop being codependent is to realize you have everything you need inside. Many people with codependency fear abandonment but also can feel trapped in relationships. They fear being alone and rely on others' opinions.
9. Enabling Behaviors
A codependent relationship can lead to one person enabling the other's behaviors. For example, an enabling behavior is making excuses for them. You can feel the need to protect the person and enable behaviors that harm them and you.
A big part of a codependent relationship is denial. Denial can show up by denying the pain in the relationship and denying your feelings and needs. You continue to deny parts of self not to feel pain again, but in doing so, deny your truth.
Recognize Signs of Codependency
Once you recognize signs of codependency, you can begin your healing journey. It is time to acknowledge some core beliefs are not true, as you do not need to seek someone outside of ourselves to show you how to think and feel.
The priority is to focus on your emotional regulation and healing; you are not responsible for other people's emotional states. However, you do not have to go through this change alone. Book a free 15-minute discovery call with me to start your healing journey.