A phenomenon that can be confused with kindness and affection, but that is harmful to the relationship.
Emotional codependency is a very damaging symptom for couple relationships because when one’s happiness depends on other people, one stops being who he really is and is not able to express his true self. Emotional codependency, as with emotional dependence, is synonymous with a toxic relationship.
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That is why it is good to know how to manage this phenomenon where it occurs; After all, our well-being is at stake.
Difference between emotional codependence and emotional dependence
Many individuals think that emotional dependence and emotional codependence are synonymous. But … is it really like that? Nothing is further from reality. Emotional dependence and emotional codependence, although they are related, are different concepts.
The dependent person is one who, due to the dysfunctional characteristics of his personality, depends on another person to be happy, and uses this person to fill the void he feels in his life. He is unable to back down even though his situation is conflictive and has no future. Emotional dependence occurs in one of the partners, but the other does not have to be dependent. Dependent individuals manipulate their partner to benefit from their low autonomy, their lack of empowerment and their low self-esteem.
However, emotional codependence takes place when a member of the couple is “addicted” to the dependence of their partner and, therefore, to the need to help and care about their well-being.
Codependency is not benevolent behavior
The codependent person is a kind of quieter controller and manipulator, who spends all his time waiting to get what he thinks his partner needs. In this attempt to protect the other he stops being himself.
Your intention may seem altruistic, but in reality, it is not. Codependent relationships are not healthy relationships and have a negative effect on the happiness of the person who is codependent and the couple, but also affects their work, their health, and even other interpersonal relationships.
Symptoms of this type of dependence on the couple
Emotional codependency is a relational style that needs to be corrected, and it is a way of thinking in which the person has the belief that he must sacrifice his welfare for others, regardless of the consequences.
Codependents have a series of characteristics or signals that must be detected for the proper functioning of the relationship. They are the following:
1. They feel responsible for the feelings of the couple
Codependents spend all their energy to satisfy their partner’s needs and are constantly making sacrifices in their relationship. Although it is not bad to do some acts of love for the couple and help them when they are having a bad time, there must always be a balance.
Although a couple of the codependent person can be dependent and have low self-esteem, the codependent does everything possible for the couple, leaving aside their own needs.
2. They get carried away by the emotional part rather than rational
Actually, codependent people do not have the ability to solve the problems of their lover, but they let themselves be carried more by the emotional part than rational. They have a deficit in their interpersonal relationships, for example, in terms of assertiveness; and despite sacrificing their welfare for the other, they do not achieve their purpose because they are not mentally strong people.
3. They feel used and victimized when things do not go well
Since their behavior is not altruistic, co-dependent people often feel used and unappreciated by everything they do for their partner. The codependent will use a lot of energy to take charge of someone else’s life, all under the guise of altruism and wanting to help sincerely. When the help or advice is ignored or not appreciated, the codependent feels angry and mistreated.
Thus, it is common to resort to emotional blackmail, as a desperate attempt to make the bonds that keep the relationship strong. Unfortunately, this strategy not only causes discomfort in the other person; in addition, it achieves the opposite effect to that intended, since it is clear that it is a form of manipulation, often even when one agrees to do what the other wants and it seems that in the short term that strategy has taken effect.
4. They have unclear boundaries
This type of individuals take it, It is something personal since the limits of the emotional codependent are unclear. The limits are a kind of imaginary line between the members of the couple, in which each one knows how far it has to go so as not to hurt the other.
This makes sense, for example, for intimate relationships or belonging, but also in feelings, thoughts, and needs. In this sense, they have unclear boundaries. On the one hand, they give everything for the couple, but on the other, they blame them and throw everything at them in the face of the minimum of change.
5. They are controllers
Codependents use manipulation or guilt to control the behavior of others. These tactics may be unconscious, but after all the emptiness and the need to feel useful makes it a controlling person, constantly seeking offer help even if the other person does not need it. Therefore, it does not really offer real help but rather seeks to satisfy its own needs through this altruistic behavior.
6. They are obsessive
Co-dependent individuals spend too much time thinking about other people and how they will be. All this is caused by their dependence, their anxiety, and fears. They can also become obsessed when they think they have made or could have made a mistake because they value themselves negatively and do not tolerate frustration.
Thus, one of the central elements of the mental state of these people is anticipatory anxiety.
7. They have low self-esteem
To value negatively is frequent in this type of individuals. One of the main causes of this phenomenon is that they have low self-esteem. They are people who in addition to codependents are dependent on the situation and fear rejection because they do not feel comfortable with themselves.
8. Poor social skills
They are also people who do not usually have very developed social skills and, therefore, channel much of their energy into a single individual. Helping others is positive, but in this context of the social skills deficit, lend support becomes a dependency that aims to feel valued and appreciated.
9. They deny reality
They are people who often deny reality, especially in front of the problems of the couple and the relationship. Although they are very careful to help their lover or lover and pay close attention, they have the poor problem-solving ability.
10. Are trapped in a toxic relationship
Because of the low self-esteem, these individuals often become trapped in a toxic relationship unsatisfactory and even being aware that does not benefit them. Codependents spend too much time trying to change their partner because, in reality, they are the ones who have a problem to change.
11. They are not emotionally intelligent
These individuals lie to themselves and excuse themselves for the bad behavior of others. Since they avoid their own feelings and have a poor capacity for self-knowledge and reflection, they develop techniques to lie to themselves about the behavior of others.
They do not know themselves, regulate their emotions or have good communication skills. In short, they are not emotionally intelligent.