Codependency And Habits: What Causes codependency?
What is Codependency and how to break codependency habits? Have you ever noticed that some people’s presence feel heavy? You don’t want to connect with them because you or they feel tied to you. Codependency makes you or tries to make you someone else’s slave—Cages you in someone else’s prison and hands them the keys. It gives someone else absolute control over your personal life and how you feel about yourself. It is the most toxic form of attachment—Especially when it has disguised itself as love.
Because it is detrimental to our mental health—We can term it as a dependent personality disorder. To break codependency habits among people we love, we must first understand what it is and why it is stopping us from being truly happy.
From early studies of psychoanalysis, we have found that human infants leverage dependency between themselves and the mother because it is the only way to survive. Have you noticed that a human infant is comparatively more fragile and dependent than any newborn of a different species?
It is human nature to be codependent. We have thrived only because we work well in groups.
From an evolutionary point of view, isolating humans from their tribe increased the odds of death. This includes death from accidents, predators, or starvation. Our organized effort has brought us above every creature in the hierarchy. Check out -> Attachment theory to learn more about this behavior.
We have successfully built complete ecosystems where anyone can thrive—even in solitude. We can have different opinions and agendas yet still live together. In the early phases of human evolution, having different opinions and agendas increased the chances of expulsion or isolation.
Through natural selection, we have become codependent on each other in some way or the other. This codependency reflects on our attitude and behavior in all facets of life. This means emotional codependency is natural—But in this age, quite pointless.
To spot codependency, Timmen Cermak listed out the following criteria:
- Investing in self-esteem to attain the ability to control others.
- Fulfilling other’s needs, excluding your own.
- Anxiety and boundary disorder relative to intimacy and separation
- Overly concerned about others
- More of these include excessive reliance, constriction of emotion, depression, hypervigilance, compulsions, and many more.
The list shown above distorts our understanding and makes codependency vague and too general. So I listed fundamental human needs. This will give us a clear picture of its causes—And insights on how to treat it. You can also develop a codependency quiz or self-inventory for yourself using the list shown below. According to Dale Carnegie, there are 8 basic human needs:
(From his book: How to win friends and influence people)
- Health and preservation of life.
- Money and the things it will buy.
- Life in the hereafter.
- Sexual gratification.
- The well-being of our children.
- A feeling of importance.
Usually, all of these needs are gratified except one. Can you guess which one is it?
It is “the feeling of importance” that is mostly never gratified. People go beyond measures to fulfill this need. We can also term this as “A desire to achieve greatness”. This desire is usually fulfilled when you fall in love, or maybe in the late obsession phase. In love, you receive this “feeling of importance” gratification from your partner, but eventually, this phase ends too. A time comes when you stop receiving this gratification — And this is when you begin to demand it from others, which makes you toxic.
What Does NOT break Codependency Habits?
The moment you put up a fight against something that doesn’t exist, you’ve already lost to it. If you feel codependent on others, accept it. There is no need to fight it, there is no need to feel bad about it. Know that codependency is natural and a part of human nature. If you begin to fight psychological structure set up inside your mind through evolution — you become strangled and scattered by them.
People who fight their sexual nature find themselves in an ugly situation. Their sexual thoughts spread in all directions, making even normal thoughts remind them of their sexuality. Sexuality is natural, fight is unnatural.
Have you noticed that people who are fighting all kinds of diseases seldom get back to their healthy nature? Health is natural, disease is unnatural.
How To Overcome Codependency?
Unlike human thirst, human desires increase every time we satiate them. The more sense of importance you get from others, the more codependent you become. The more awareness you give to it, the more real it becomes.
You will connect with your family members and friends more deeply when you give them their feeling of importance. Following are 5 steps you can take to break your codependency habits and gain personal freedom.
Step 1: First and foremost, stop thinking about it.
Beware that demanding any of the 8 needs given above from others would put you in the codependent category. If you feel you are codependent on people, you must fulfill your needs by yourself (or transform them into their positive counterparts). You can change your mental attitude by using positive thoughts and actions.
Use non-negating affirmations of self-love.
Stick posters of self-reliance and put objects of achievement in your surrounding. This will help you create a “personal freedom mindset”.
Step 2: Commit acts of kindness towards yourself and others, and expect nothing in return.
Become a volunteer in activities you love and be a part of social groups. When you help others, you develop the feeling of importance in yourself — By yourself. Don’t think about developing a feeling of importance when helping others. Just focus on how you can help others.
Become like a superhero who never shows up to the public but serves them only from the shadows. Doing something like this just once and totally disengaging from the credit will develop great self-respect and self-esteem in you.
For example, when you give money to your friend or a beggar. Give it with a thought of giving something that has no value. This means you’d be okay even if they burn the money you gave to them right in front of you. Giving can only happen when you totally give and not take anything in return. When handing over the cash, give it as if you are giving them a piece of paper.
Step 3: Define and develop your life purpose and begin working towards it right now.
Those who have a life purpose naturally develop a calling that they feel is greater than them. They judge themselves only from the point of view of serving their life purpose.
This helps them dissociate their self-worth from other codependent individuals and their opinions. This naturally flips their outward (prove them wrong) acceptance to inward (self) acceptance.
Step 4: Do this non-intuitive exercise to practice giving more freely.
Watch your breath and focus more on breathing out and less on breathing in. Don’t alter the pace or depth of your breath. Just give away breath more freely.
Did you know that people who are interested in taking things from others give more attention to their inhaling and less to exhaling?
People who are interested in giving to society focus their awareness more towards exhaling. This is a natural phenomenon, but it’s hard to notice unless you have switched from a taking mindset to a giving mindset yourself.
Step 5: Try to become a better person every day.
Stop focusing on other people’s opinions and focus more on your own self-image. Read self-help books, meditate, talk to people with a positive mental attitude, and don’t engage with toxic people. Raise your awareness and grow every day!
Talk to someone close and form a bond with them. Tell them what you learned today. Raise the mood and keep it high at all times. Don’t spare a penny on negative thoughts and negative people.
Visualize abundance because it is the truth. You can live whichever way you want. Have an abundance of positive minds around you. Keep a positive company will break your codependency habits naturally.
Conclusion [Recovery – Breaking Codependency habits]
Wake up right here and now. You are still asleep! You lost yourself in your own psychological games. Take full control of your imaginative powers and speak for yourself. Ask yourself, who am I? and if you genuinely ask this with enthusiasm, you will know someday. Then you wouldn’t need someone else to tell you who you are. No one will define you but you. You already have the power to define yourself—Use it!
Developing any mental attitude takes time and, most importantly, persistence! To build tangible habits of self-love and a positive mental attitude, you must repeatedly recite positive thoughts and keep positivity around you. Keep your environment organized and your mind silent if possible. A silent mind becomes available to true happiness. Silence naturally pulls you away from all negativity and makes you a cheerful person.
Follow through on the habits mentioned as steps above and repeat them whenever you find an opportunity. Never stop—Turn them into your lifestyle and embed them in your personality. If you do, you’ll have an abundance of all 8 human needs mentioned by Dale Carnegie.
If you follow each step religiously, you will find yourself in a different world altogether. You’ll become happier, worry less, and feel true freedom. Thank you for reading through my blog on “How to break codependency habits”. Hope you found this helpful! Check out my other blog posts!
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Welcome to Shuflash. I’m Shubhanshu Rawat, a yoga practitioner with 2500+ hrs of time spent in meditation & 250,000+ words of published content on Shuflash. I have no plans to stop. What’s stopping you?