Are you in an unhealthy relationship because of unfair expectations? Codependency is a common problem in relationships with our friends, family members and significant others. Most of us have codependency tendencies in at least one of our relationships. When it has an unhealthy effect on your mental health, it’s time to change the energy.
I can help you spot the harmful thinking in your relationships and shift that energy! This blog is all about understanding codependency in relationships, along with a clearing session to help you make a change for your wellbeing.
What is Codependency?
When you feel the need to please or change another person, you are experiencing codependency. In a relationship, codependency is the feeling that you cannot be happy or loved unless the other person is feeling or acting a certain way. Most of the time, this response is deeply rooted in childhood experiences and leads to low self-esteem.
Codependency often feels like common sense, but it’s loaded with unhealthy behaviors. When you don’t get the response you want, your self-esteem is crushed and you feel unloved. Or, you might think everything would be so much better if you could just fix them. A codependent individual will base their wellbeing on their relationships.
The reality is: we have no control over other people and cannot hinge our feelings on their behaviors, feelings or words.
Codependence is Often Learned Early
Most of the time, a codependent person will have started this line of thinking as a child. You may or may not have grown up in a dysfunctional family. A parent doesn’t have to be abusive to cause this codependency.
If you’ve taken my Energy Type quiz, then you understand how different the four Types are. If a parent wants you to be your very best YOU, they might accidentally try to make you more like their own Type.
You learn early on that certain behaviors get you more love and attention.
As a child, if you are willing to loudly say a polite “hello” to strangers, for example, your parents might’ve beamed with pride. But, what if you felt shy and turned away—would your parents perceive this as a behavior problem? Or, perhaps your parents expected you to stay very organized, but you were much more of a go-with-the-flow Type 2, and structure didn’t come naturally to you. Perhaps you were a buoyant, fun-loving Type 1 child and your parents were much more serious Type 4s that wanted you to calm down to meet their energy level. Those are just three examples of how your parents may have instilled the belief that you needed to be changed to be loved.
Or, it’s possible the codependency struggle was formed the other way around. In my own childhood, my father had an alcohol issue that made a very negative impact on my life. I kept thinking, if I could just change him, my life would be better. I had to let go of my parent’s needs and stop seeking his wellness over my own.
What Should a Healthy Relationship Look Like?
If codependency is ingrained in your way of thinking, you may wonder what a healthy relationship would even look like. Most relationships are between two very different people and there is no automatic alignment. Healthy relationships look like a compromise, meeting in the middle, and working things out (though, not every single thing should have to be worked out). In a healthy relationship, you should both have space to be yourself and different from the other person.
As a parent, understanding your child’s Energy Type would go a long way in changing your expectations for them. It can be difficult to know what behaviors should be curbed and which ones are coming from their natural energy that is at odds with yours. I go over this in my book The Child Whisperer.
Warning Signs That You Are in a Codependent Relationship
You might not even realize you are in a codependent relationship because it’s been that way for so long. I talk about codependency in my book Remembering Wholeness. These struggles can happen with any relationship, though you are most often going to see it the strongest with a significant other or a parent. Here are the common signs of codependency.
1. You Think Of Them First
It’s good to consider the other person, but if you are codependent on someone else, you ALWAYS think of the other person before yourself. You may feel frustrated that they don’t consider your own feelings in the same way, but this doesn’t stop you from catering to their every demand or need. You become the enabler.
You choose their way of thinking over your own wants. You make extreme sacrifices, including self-care. If they have an opinion that is different from yours, you will shift your thinking to default to their perspective.
2. You Want to Fix Them
You feel a deep need to have the relationship work out, so you are set on fixing them to improve your own life. You have the belief, “I have to fix people to be loved.” The problem is, you can’t change someone else’s journey of growth or healing. You are hinging your happiness on the choices of someone else.
With this approach, you will attract people who need caretaking and constant help, but they will not change to get better.
3. You Want to Please Them
It’s great to want to make a friend or loved one happy, but this takes the “pleaser” personality to a whole other level. You have the belief, “I have to please others to be loved.” If the person expresses displeasure, you feel terrible and may question their love for you. If they don’t express their appreciation enough, you will feel unloved. You seek validation, which often becomes neediness and forces them to cater to you or set boundaries.
You are forcing the other person to feel a certain way so you can feel love—but that is not love! You have attached your self-worth to someone else’s perspective of you and their ability to show it.
4. You Want to Change for Them
Your core belief is, “I am not loveable if I am just being me.” You may feel like you have deep flaws and you are looking for ways to change. You tend to mold yourself to the people around you—liking what they like, talking how they talk and acting how they act. You naturally fit in, but you aren’t sure who you are as your own person. You probably have different groups that you act differently around.
It is hard to spot these unhealthy behaviors on your own and it is even harder to change them by yourself! This is the work we do at the Carol Tuttle Healing Center. If you join me there, I can help you spot these struggles in your relationships and change the energy.
Clearing Session for Codependency
In the Childhood Wounding Healing Plan in my Healing Center, we go through the clearing session for changing this energy. You can watch my video to learn how to do this clearing session for free:
- Tap on K-27 points: Located between your heart and shoulders, these are points that affect all meridians.
- Deeply inhale and exhale as you tap.
- Repeat these positive affirmations:
- “It is safe to be my true self in a relationship.”
- “It is safe to have my own needs met.”
- “I am experiencing reciprocity: giving and receiving in my relationships.”
- “I am creating healthy relationships that honor me.”
- Breathe that in and exhale, tapping all over your whole body and letting the fresh energy settle down over you.
Healing a codependent relationship is never easy, but you have the power to make a positive change!
The Process of Changing Your Codependent Relationship
Codependency is so engrained in our repertoire of coping mechanisms, it can be very hard to spot as a problem. Even if we do see the issue, it is hard to pinpoint and change the deep-seated beliefs that are fueling it without seeking help. As a healing professional, I can help you change these natural, but harmful, modes of thinking.
One person CAN shift a relationship.
And, you won’t change it by changing the other person. You can make the difference by clearing your own blocks and shifting the energy in the relationship.
When you’ve found your own sense of balance, the other person will likely be freed to find similar healing. If not, you will also have the power to set healthy boundaries to protect yourself from toxic relationships.
You aren’t a powerless child now. You are an adult that does not need to be codependent to survive. I want you to experience the fullness of healthy relationships as your authentic self!
In my Healing Center, you will meet thousands of other people on similar journeys who will support you. I will help guide your path to change.
Start your 14-day free trial so you can access the Childhood Wounding Healing Plan now to start healing.