Always Worried About What Others Think Of You?
- Are you afraid of saying what you really want to say because of their reaction or how angry, upset, dismissive and rejecting they are toward you?
- Do you find yourself constantly trying to please your parents or partner because you are trying to make them happy and need their approval?
- Do you live trying to be perfect or live up to an expectation of others?
It is extremely stressful when your emotional life and reactions are at the mercy of others. You may feel like a timeline, a person’s reactions (or yours), finances and the world have power over you. This kind of control and fear this person has over you is subtly controlling all the decisions you make in your life. This is an imbalance of power in the relationship. You have been giving your power away this whole time.
You may catch yourself second-guessing or wondering if it’s right or good enough. It’s like living in a state of trying to control the situation or you’re wondering how you’re going to do it, always doubting yourself every time you make a move.
You may feel there’s a war going on inside, you may feel like you know the right thing to say or do but then there’s this energy of fear controlling you constantly. You may often feel trapped and want to escape or avoid conflict.
“It’s too much. I’m too much. I’m going crazy.” You may feel so stressed and think you have all this stuff to do and that you have no control over it but this is all symptoms of codependency.
Codependency is Everywhere and the Biggest Source of Stress
The detrimental levels of codependency can be seen in high levels of chronic stress and overwhelm. It can also be seen in behaviours where you have trouble making decisions, are stuck in cycles of perfectionism and the inability to move forward in life because you are frozen.
When we are codependent, life controls us. Money controls us, relationships control us and we feel powerless, helpless, addicted, depressed, anxious and chronically stressed.
Codependency is a cultural and societal normal way of being that we don’t even notice how many layers and hidden behaviours we live in day-to-day that break personal boundaries.
When we can’t let go and need so much from people or from things or from something outside of us we become at their mercy. So we constantly live in a mental, emotional and behavioural state of pleasing others or living in such a way to get approval from others because we can’t live without their love, attention, validation or money.
Codependency is extremely difficult to break out of when there is strong abuse, punishment, or emotional manipulation through unpredictable and angry reactions for just being yourself, having a voice, crying and having feelings. A controlling and unpredictable parent is detrimental to a child’s development and identity, autonomy and personal self-esteem. Oftentimes codependency can also be synonymous with love addiction or an addiction to abusive styles of love because we learn to love abuse or be addicted to it as a survival coping adaptation to our home environment.
Your thoughts, feelings, voice, basic human emotional needs, social needs and boundaries for safety and respect are often broken in dysfunctional families where abuse, violation and strong expectations are prominent.
As you tried to navigate and grow in the world when you were developing your mind, identity, autonomy and personal voice, it was met with danger and so it is dangerous to basically be ourselves and develop healthy maturation. That’s why the inner child is emotionally stunted while the adult image doesn’t match in the behaviours and emotional relationships are underdeveloped.
Codependency Therapy Can Help You Reclaim Your Power and Emotional Maturity
Codependency therapy involves reclaiming and healing our power. It is about reclaiming and voicing ourselves assertively with trust that we were able to express respectfully how we feel and be able to also empathize and connect with others. Therapy also involves identifying wherein our lives and with whom in our lives we lack boundaries.
Codependency therapy can help you unlearn and release addictions to abusive or hurtful styles of love. Codependency therapy with a therapist that specializes in codependency will help you identify in which areas of your life you are codependent, such as: where you give your power away, what controls you and where your voice is suppressed. We work on what you need to say, why you’re not saying it, the areas of what you people please, the fear if you were to not people please, and the consequences that happened when you tried to be yourself.
Codependency therapy is about feeling more authentically powerful, feeling less stressed, being able to voice yourself with calm assertiveness, being able to request for your emotional needs and meeting your own needs and understanding others emotional capacity.
Codependency therapy is also about understanding the patterns of both sides of the relationship dynamic so you can be aware of why the other person may be enabling you to be codependent and how you might be enabling the dynamic yourself. Codependency therapy also involves taking responsibility for yourself.
“You are not responsible for their emotional reactions”
Codependency therapy understands that you are not responsible for others’ anger because you have boundaries and communicated them respectfully. Codependency therapy is understanding that you are not there to save or bend over backwards for others. You are not a saviour and it is not your job to make other people happy, it is your human job to be kind to others, to be respectful, to acknowledge other people’s feelings as well as yourself and know that you have the right to feel emotionally safe and to instill boundaries that protect and support your growth and well-being.
“Be brave enough to express what you feel, so you don’t end up resenting others later”
Is Codependency Therapy Practical for Me?
Clients who go through codependency therapy with True Health Counselling have been able to confront very practical and normal fears in relational and social settings.
For example, there is a conflict between roommates where one roommate is emotionally reactive and unpredictable and the client with this roommate is afraid of having confrontation and setting boundaries and speaking up for themselves in an authentic manner because of the trauma with an unpredictably reactive parent growing up.
Another student has social anxiety and has trouble speaking her thoughts in front of the classroom because of fear of what people think of her. Although this is a very normal fear, public speaking or just speaking your thoughts and opinions about a topic, those with narcissistic abuse and codependency tend to struggle more and remain quiet and suppressed when they really want to speak up.
You may be in a romantic relationship and you are afraid to say something because it always turns into an argument and you were made to feel wrong and it’s difficult saying no and setting boundaries so you don’t say anything at all and just let it slide in increasingly grown depressed, doubtful, unhappy and suppressed. But you kind of squash everything down and pretend that everything‘s okay just to get their approval and attention so that the relationship remains on the surface calm but truthfully it is dishonest.
There is codependency in the workplace when you are afraid to set boundaries with being overworked or getting in trouble when you’re not able to finish all the work so you get caught in the slavery of working overtime when you are not paid overtime. Those who are codependent on money or slaves to money in our controlled and victimized by their financial situation.
Codependency literally exists every time something or someone or some aspect of your life has control over you.
Codependency with True Health Counselling is about reclaiming that freedom and power that belongs to you. It is about going back home to your true self and not abandoning yourself any longer. It is about honouring who you are, trusting yourself and authentically expressing and living your truth.
How is Codependency Therapy Different from True Health Counselling?
I have lived the experience of being at the mercy of others, being extremely dependent emotionally and financially on parents, partners and jobs. I have climbed out of chronic abuse and chronic illness as a result of having adopted the toxic patterns from dysfunctional patterning in early childhood and into adulthood.
I directly guide you on how to get there and I inspire you to own yourself and be yourself within a relational psychotherapeutic approach where you get to exercise your voice and acknowledge your feelings in the presence of someone who completely gets it and sees you for who you really are and helps you pave a path that is your own.
This is about becoming aware of your codependent patterns that you don’t notice that are completely in your blind spot. I’m here to shine the light and help you illuminate what is in your shadow so that you can reveal your strength and resilience.
It is about being less stressed and feeling more free to be your true self.
So I invite you to take the next step choose your voice and trust yourself in life.