Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What is a Healthy Conversation?

A codependent person who has adapted to meet the needs of their primary care takers learns that their needs, wants, desires, thoughts and feelings are unimportant. The message this person received is that she is worthless. He learns that the primary care takers, who are generally narcissistic and abusive are the only ones who matter in the relationship, and this trickles down to daily conversations in adulthood.

So growing up with the adaptation of codependency in order to develop, albeit thwarted, a person who was disregarded, ignored, abandoned, humiliated and exploited as a child will grow up accustomed to patterns of relationship that are screwy.

Once you begin to heal and you start to see the truth, and you start to realize that you have worth and value, you start to see the truth in the people who are in your life. You can also see right through people who approach you day-to-day. There is a huge difference in the way people converse with you and approach you who are healthy, verses those who are manipulating and exploiting you. Once your eyes are open, they cannot be closed. Once you realize your worth, you will be turned off by narcissistic people and/or people who talk at you rather than with you and/or people who ignore you and send subtle messages of disregard in conversation.

Tip-offs to Unhealthy Interactions

  • They don't answer you directly.
  • They change the subject after you have said something that is of importance to you.
  • They ignore what you just said and keep talking.
  • During conversation, you make a point and they ignore your point and say other things that totally disregards your point.
  • They ask you personal and private questions that are none of their business.
  • They make a negative comment about your own personal life choice(s).
  • They mock a decision you've made--this can be something small, like the workout method you've chosen--and proceed to tell you that their way is better.
  • They try to convince you to change your mind.
  • When you answer their question, they spout off a sarcastic projection about why you feel that way, one that is not based in truth--and they don't bother to respectfully clarify what you were trying to say. (ie: they won't let you be yourself).
  • Tricky people act like they agree with everything you say until one day, they explode with anger and rage apparently from truths you have shared about yourself in the past. 
  • They talk negatively about other people, places, things. This can be a subtle manipulative technique to anchor your mindset and control you in several different ways. Beware of people who gossip and talk incessantly in a negative way by complaining.
  • Putting you down in any way.  
  • You experience uncomfortable feelings as they are pressuring you to answer questions that you don't know the answer to or you don't feel like answering.  
  • You experience uncomfortable feelings which are possibly their emotional projections that you, as an empathic person may be picking up on--that is, the emotions they don't deal with you may be feeling as you're relating with them. 
  • A person may bait you into their victimization and try to get you to tell them they are okay. In reality, no one can do this job for them, so it's uncomfortable for you to try, but you may feel compelled or obligated to do so.
  • A person who is shaming towards you in actions, body language or words. 
  • A person who asks questions and doesn't respect your boundaries when you say you'd prefer not to answer. 
  • A person who has expectations of you that you can tell are there, but that you don't know what it is they need or want from you, or even if you can fulfill what they want or need.
  • A person who has an agenda, wants to use you, wants to sell you a product, or use you for sex or use you to increase their social standing, or whatever.
A Real Conversation

A real conversation with a healthy person is a 2 way conversation, one in which both parties share their feelings openly and are able to emote moderately without offending each other.

  • Both parties can discuss their true feelings without being afraid of hurting the other person's feelings, or causing resentment in the other.
  • Each person takes care of their own self by expressing how they feel in the moment, rather than bottling things inside.
  • Each person respects the others boundaries and each person is able to put up boundaries when they feel they're being invaded.
  • Neither party expects the other to take care of the other emotionally because both parties are actively taking care of themselves.
  • Each party is assertive enough in their communication to express his or her needs and mature enough to take care of themselves when the other party says no.
  • No one takes responsibility for the feelings of either person.  
  • Both parties feel confident and secure enough in their own reality that they are able to express themselves clearly without feeling guilty, ashamed or responsible for the other party's reaction.
  • Both parties are living in the present day reality and not repressing, denying or projecting their true feelings.
  • Each person cares about the feelings of the other person, but does not try to shield the other person from one's own reality to the extent that it protects the other person, but decreases the existence of oneself.  
  • Both parties are emotionally regulated, so they're not triggered back to childhood during a normal conversation where one person is expressing needs, feelings, wants and preferences.
What a Real Conversation is Not

A conversation that is not real is not really a conversation among 2 people at all. A false conversation is a conversation amongst one or more false selves of the individuals in the transaction. It is based on a misunderstanding of personal worth, value and mutual respect. Unreal conversations are among people who are A. narcissistic and unwilling to take responsibility, and B. codependent and willing to take all the responsibility. Neither party of an unreal conversation is grounded in truth. Some really messed-up, toxic engagements can occur in an unreal conversation.
  • One or both parties is shut down emotionally and has difficulty expressing how they feel. 
  • Anyone in the relationship trying to persuade, control or manipulate the other person against his or her will.
  • Disrespecting the boundaries of the other person. 
  • Anyone in the relationship having to be right all the time.
  • One party speaking, and the other party speaking, but neither speaking with each other.
  • One party discussing issues that he or she has with the other, and the receiving party taking offense because he or she feels imperfect and exposed due to unhealed childhood traumas.
  • Invalidation of the truth of either party.  
  • Yelling, raging, berating for no reason (obviously abusive).
  • Gaslighting, love bombing, needling or any narcissistic or psychopathic abuse tactic.

A real conversation is give and take. Both parties can be  open. Both parties can expect to be responded to and their positions affirmed. Whether or not the other party agrees, he or she can always affirm the other. Invalidation is the seed of disrespect.

You must ensure that all of your interactions are respectful with everyone in your life. This is YOUR JOB, not the job of the other person. You must be sure to express your truth openly, and ensure that the other person hears you and responds to YOU, not to their projection of who you are. There is so much I could say on this topic, but you get my point. There is a difference between a healthy conversation and an unhealthy one.

Tweak your interactions so that you are heard, validated and respected as a human being and you will see your own personal power and energy soar to new heights! You deserve it.

Monday, July 25, 2016

103 Things Codependents Don't Know

This article is a follow-up to all my articles on codependency and codependents, co-dependents and codependence. Use the search bar in the right column to see more terrific articles that will help you along your healing journey. 
  1. Codependents don't know that all of their feelings are okay.
  2. Codependents don't know how to feel their feelings moderately.
  3. Codependents don't know they are detached from their feelings.
  4. Codependents don't know that their feelings come out even though they're detached from their own feelings.
  5. Codependents don't know that they project their unwanted, Shadow feelings onto others.
  6. Codependents don't know that they blame others for the feelings that they have but will not recognize.
  7. Codependents don't know how to let other people be where they are in their own process.
  8. Codependents don't know that all the feelings are ok to have including mad, said, happy, angry, shame, guilt.
  9. Codependents don't know that they are hiding your feelings from their self.
  10. Codependents don't know that they can approve of and affirm themselves internally.
  11. Codependents don't know where to draw the line between giving too much.
  12. Codependents don't know where they stop and others begin. 
  13. Codependents don't know how to appropriate blame in relationships. They either take too much or take too little.
  14. Codependents don't know that other people cant read their minds.
  15. Codependents don't know that they can't control other people by being extremely nice to them.
  16. Codependents don't know when they're being manipulated or controlled.
  17. Codependents often don't know when they're being used and abused.
  18. Codependents don't know how to set boundaries.
  19. Codependents don't know what their own values are.
  20. Codependents don't realize when they are saving themselves.
  21. Codependents don't really know what they need.
  22. Codependents don't know how to face reality; they often don't know what reality is.
  23. Codependents don't know what they deserve in life.
  24. Codependents don't know how to have fun; they cope with life instead of living it.
  25. Codependents don't know how to set limits on others.
  26. Codependents don't know how to set limits on themselves and their contributions
  27. Codependents don't know whenever they are care taking others excessively.
  28. Codependents don't know it's okay to receive and not give all the time. 
  29. Codependents do not realize they are being depleted of their energy because of their own over giving.
  30. Co-dependents do not realize the value of their own energy.
  31. Codependents do not know how to be interdependent.
  32. Codependents do not know the difference between empowerment and victimization.
  33. Codependents did not realize whenever they are blaming other people for their lack of responsibility on their own lives.
  34. Codependents don't know that they take care of other people at times when they should be taking care of themselves.
  35. Co-dependents don't know whenever they are crossing other people's boundaries.
  36. Codependents don't know they are giving advice to people when things are none of their business.
  37. Codependents don't know how to be there for a friend without trying to control them and help them and run their lives.
  38. Co-dependents don't know how to let other people be who they are and learn in their own way.
  39. Codependents don't know how to process their own emotions so they abandon themselves and focus on other people.
  40. Codependents don't feel worthy of love on their own accord, just for being who they are; they feel they must pay other people for their love with making them happy, pleasing them and kind deeds.
  41. Codependents don't know that they are lacking an internal boundary that would keep them from feeling over responsible for those around them.
  42. Codependents don't know that their children have the right to make their own decisions without their approval.
  43. Codependents don't know that they are being offensive when they give advice that's not requested.
  44. Codependents do not know they are being manipulated in controlling to try to meet needs from others that they should be meeting on their own.
  45. Codependents do not know how to have a normal conversation  because they feel responsible for making other people believe just like they do.
  46. Codependents do not know that they are crazy without consensus of outside people about their own decisions.
  47. Co-dependents don't know that you can be happy without the approval of others in all aspects of your life.
  48. Co-dependents do not know where their responsibilities stops in relationships to others.
  49. Co-dependents don't know where the healthy line is between self supporting and receiving support from others.
  50. Co-dependents do not know how to support themselves emotionally.
  51. Codependents do not know themselves.
  52. Codependents do not know how to ask for help when it is appropriate.
  53. Codependents do not know how to take care of themselves when they ask for help and it is not available from that single source. 
  54. Co-dependents do not know how to feel free of Shame for the needs that they have.
  55. Co-dependents do not know how to detach and let go of people so that they can own their own process.
  56. Codependents do not know how to seek out healthy relationships that are nourishing to them.
  57. Codependents do not know how to get out of relationships that are harmful to them.
  58. Codependents do not know when they are being rigid and thinking in terms of black and white. 
  59. Codependents do not know how to go inside themselves to find out how they feel what they think and what is best for them.
  60. Codependents do not know how to listen to their own instincts and intuition.
  61. Co-dependents do not realize when they are in a cycle of violence that continues to get worse.Co-dependents do not know how to protect themselves from harmful others.Codependence do not know how to love themselves.
  62. Codependence do not know how to trust their own feelings of being taken advantage of.
  63. Co-dependents don't know how to answer their own questions about their own lives.
  64. Co-dependents don't know how to make your own decisions.
  65. Codependents do not know how to dance to the music of Their Own Heart.
  66. Codependents don't know how to love themselves unconditionally.
  67. Codependents don't know how to love with no strings attached.
  68. Codependents do not know how to be happy on their own.
  69. Codependents do not know how to be happy without waiting on the next fix.
  70. Co-dependents do not know that they are compulsive people Pleasers.
  71. Co-dependents do not know that they do not need the approval from Outsiders to be ok.
  72. Codependents do not know how to be themselves.
  73. Co-dependents do not know that there is better relationships out there that do not require them to abandon themselves and sacrifice their own truth.
  74. Co-dependents do not know that it's irritating to others to be taken care of too much.
  75. Co-dependents do not know that it is okay for them to put their needs first in relationship with others.
  76. Codependence do not know that they are controlling other people when they try to be too nice.
  77. Codependence don't know that they are serving themselves whenever they try to be too nice to others.
  78. Codependence don't know that their behaviour towards others invites disrespect.
  79. Codependent don't know that they have the power at any moment to stand up for themselves and take care of themselves.
  80. Codependence don't know that the pain they feel inside is not their fault but due to a toxic childhood.
  81. Codependence don't know that they have the power to walk away at any time from any situation that does not serve them.
  82. Codependence don't know that if they don't walk away from any situation that does not serve them that they are being depleted of their life energy, even though it may feel good to stay.
  83. Codependence often do not know what it feels like to be treated with respect and dignity.
  84. Codepents don't know they have a choice as to who they will allow in their lives.
  85. Co-dependents don't know that they have the right to terminate relationships with anyone who is not treating them well.
  86. Codependents don't know that they are in control of what they allow into their lives and how they allow others to treat them.
  87. Co-dependents don't realize that they have options S2 what they prefer and how they prefer other people to treat them.
  88. Codependents don't know that letting someone else have their own problems without trying to intervene is loving them.
  89. Co-dependents don't know that it is not their job to fix other people.
  90. Co-dependents don't know that other people are not responsible for making them happy or keeping them stable.
  91. Co-dependents don't know that they have a right to speak up when they are not getting their needs met from their partner.
  92. Codependence don't know that they are resentful when other people do not give back as much as they give.
  93. Codependents do not know they are in denial about how badly they are being treated oftentimes.
  94. Co-dependents do not know their part in the narcissistic dance. 
  95. Co-dependents do not know that they are on the opposite color continuum of the narcissist and at the same energy level.
  96. Codependent do not know that they are food for the narcissist, narcissistic supply.
  97. Codependents do not know the difference between love and abuse.
  98. Codependents do not know that they have the right to say no and not answer questions that are an invasion of their privacy.
  99. Co-dependents do not know that they have a right to their own lives and their own privacy.
  100. Codependents don't know how to fill the space between caretaking and self-care.
  101. Codependents don't know that their lives are filled with toxic shame.
  102. Codependents don't know how to listen to the negativity of the inner critic and override it with positive self-talk and reparenting.
  103. Co-dependents don't know how to love others because they're too busy trying to get love from others by being good and helpful.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Shame Attacks by the Inner Critic

The Inner Critic is an internalized version of your IMAGO, in other words, an introject of all the negative messages you received as a child. The Inner Critic is your Super Ego, which is in place to keep you in line. As a child this Inner Critic was formed out of the voice of your primary caretakers towards you. If your caretakers were mean, abusive, abandoning and rejecting, then you have a very strong Inner Critic inside your that is filling you with toxic shame and impeding on your life in a major way. It's like that abusive person or people live inside you today, no matter how long it has been. This is how our minds develop. It is true that the way you speak to your children becomes their inner voice.

This Inner Critic is subconscious the creator of the False Self. The False Self is created in effort to appease the primary caretakers in childhood, and to try to help you get the love, attention and direction you so desperately need as a child in order to survive. Your inner critic is shaped in the opposite shape as your primary caretaker. I have found that the Inner Critic serves the following toxic functions:
  • Keep you striving for external sources of validation.
  • Keep you striving to be perfect.
  • Keep you trying to obtain  love from abusive sources like you had to do in childhood. 
  • Keep your true self from emerging because your true self and true feelings were shamed into hiding when you were a child.
  • Keep you in line so you won't be abused anymore and so you keep getting conditional love. 
  • Keep the Fantasy Bond alive between you and your primary caretaker and any other relationships formed after this model.
Ways the Inner Critic Shows Up

The Inner Critic is the author of toxic shame. When the Inner Critic is activated, it causes you to feel toxic shame, which is the carried shame of the shamelessness of your abusive primary caretaker. The Inner Critic objectifies you and cuts-you-down if you don't meet it's relentless conditions and demands. If you were abused badly enough, the IC can make you feel guilty for your very existence.

  • When you feel worthless, the Inner Critic is behind the scenes subconsciously telling you why you're worthless. (ie: you are a failure, you're overweight, you're a pig, you're stupid, you're an idiot, you're unlovable, etc...)
  •  When you look at yourself in the mirror, the Inner Critic is the voice inside you that says, your posture is not perfect, you have chicken legs, you are ugly, no one will ever want to be seen with you...
  • When you get into your car, the Inner Critic is the voice that says things such as: You're a loser because your breaks are squeaking, your car is dirty, why are you always such a mess? 
  • When you cook dinner, it's the Inner Critic that says, why don't you give up, you know you can't cook, what an idiot you are! You forgot the salsa, your cooking stinks, and you suck.
  • When you're getting into a new relationship, it's the Inner Critic that says, No one will ever want you, you're not hot enough for that girl, she is going to see the real you and run, you have nothing to offer.
  • When you're going on a job interview, the Inner Critic is the one that tells you you're going to fail, makes you feel anxious and spill the coffee on your tie. 

The Inner Critic is EVERYWHERE!!! It is the shaming voice that tells you to do something, then chides you for doing what it told you to do 2 minutes later. The Inner Critic is a voice that's trying to keep you in line, keep you in the bounds of the conditional love that you received in childhood. Just because you grow up doesn't mean it goes away. If you were raised in an abusive, neglectful, disrespectful and abandoning environment, this Inner Critic is alive and well inside you as an adult until you confront it and take it down with the power of unconditional love and acceptance. 

Ways to Dismantle the Inner Critic
  1. Reparent yourself with positive self talk that incorporates unconditional love and self acceptance. 
  2. Argue / answer the Inner Critic using logic.
  3. Use logic to convince your Inner Child that the Inner Critic is wrong. 
  4. Remind your Inner Child that you are safe, that it is 2016 and that you have resources you didn't have as a child that you can use today.
  5. Tell the Inner Critic to "Shut the F up."
  6. Take up for yourself against the Inner Critic.
  7. Use insight and inner awareness to recognize the places the Inner Critic hides so you can meet it using your adult intellect. 
Here are ways to talk yourself through shame attacks by the inner critic:
  • Remind yourself that you have worth and value regardless of your mistakes.
  • Gently talk to yourself in a kind, compassionate and self accepting way.
  • Make positive affirmations on a daily basis about who you truly are.
  • Catch the Inner Critic in the act and begin to separate the Real You from the False Self.
  • Use art therapy to draw out the different facets of the Inner Critic in your life.
  • Use anchoring techniques to anchor good, positive thoughts and feelings in place of the old, painful and negative thoughts and feelings of the IC.
  • Re-arrange your memories of past abuse by imagining scenarios that workout in your favor.
  • Get the help of an expert therapist to help you dismantle the IC.
  • Write down all your self critical thoughts so you know what they are; answer these thoughts with the truth that you are worthy and valuable even though your car is dirty.
  • Keep a journal of your negative thoughts so you know what you're dealing with.
  • Do mirror work where you overcome the negative, self-defeating thought patterns about yourself with positive thoughts and feelings. 
  • Practice meditative techniques to let thoughts pass you by without dwelling on them.
  • Use thought stopping techniques to stop thinking those awful thoughts or to deal with it later. 
The Inner Critic is not your friend. It does not make you better. You are a better person when you love yourself unconditionally, when you're not shaming yourself but instead you are encouraging yourself that you are good enough. The truth is, the IC is outmoded. You don't need it anymore. You needed this introject in place as a child growing up in an abusive, harsh environment, but you don't need it today--in fact, today it causes you undue pain and hardship. The only way to get free of the pain of the IC is to dismantle it and love yourself unconditionally

Thursday, July 21, 2016

100 Ways to Break Codependent Thought Patterns

My last article, 100 Traits of Codependence, I gave you a list of codependent traits. This article will explore 100 ways to break the habit of codependent thought patterns. Codependency is an adaptation to a neglectful childhood environment where your dependency needs were not met. As an adult, it's crucial for you to reparent yourself and condition yourself to seek value internally where it really is, instead of externally where it definitely is not.
  1. Reparent yourself to think in more healthy ways.
  2. Get involved in CODA meetings (Codependents Anonymous) online or offline.
  3. Read books that encourage you to let go of codependent thought patterns.
  4. Meditate to learn to detach from your obsessive, compulsive thoughts.
  5. Learn to seek God of your own understanding and align with the source that is within you.
  6. Reach out to people who are healthy, kind and nurturing towards you.
  7. Seek real friendships over social status. 
  8. Take care of your inner child by allowing your inner voice space and room to exist.
  9. Listen to inner child meditation videos on YouTube.
  10. Read books about healing your inner child.
  11. Meet your own unmet childhood dependency needs by nurturing yourself.
  12. Let go of harmful people.
  13. Allow yourself to feel your feelings.
  14. Allow yourself to feel the pain and sit with the pain when you let someone you are addicted to go.
  15. Take responsibility for your life and stop blaming those mean narcissists, family members, etc...
  16. Set boundaries externally and internally.
  17. Withdraw from abusive relationships to protect your inner child from unnecessary pain.
  18. Stand up for yourself against bullies.
  19. Distance yourself from hurtful people.
  20. Open your heart to kind people.
  21. Close the door to on again, off again relationships.
  22. Refuse to tolerate disrespect in any way from any one. 
  23. Seek to meet your own needs.
  24. Seek to give yourself what makes you happy, what you want.
  25. Get educated on Codependency.
  26. Reduce the toxic shame you feel in all areas of your life. 
  27. Do exercises to reduce the power of your own inner critic.\
  28. Reframe your existing thought processes telling you that you're worthless with positive self talk.
  29. Reduce perfectionism with self talk that gives you kind space to be human, to be imperfect. 
  30. Become aware of what you're saying to yourself over and over again that causes negative feelings.
  31. Get a counselor online or offline. 
  32. Get involved in a support group.
  33. Learn to listen actively to others without taking on their problems.
  34. Learn to feel.
  35. Learn to express your feelings with safe people.
  36. Reach out and take risks by daring to share your truth with others.
  37. Give yourself more credit, encourage yourself, give YOU a pat on the back.
  38. Be nice to yourself.
  39. Do the things that bring you joy.
  40. Focus on what you want, not on what you don't want.
  41. Break down childlike thought patterns of wishful thinking, tunnel vision, catastrophizing.
  42. Break down your own defenses such as projection, repression and denial.
  43. Be honest with yourself about your own contribution to your situation.
  44. Focus on yourself. 
  45. Put your needs first.
  46. Put space between you and other people that are way to close to you now.
  47. Set boundaries with people who annoy you.
  48. Terminate relationships with abusive people.
  49. Engage in I AM Statments and positive affirmations about your worth, value and competency.
  50. Refuse to partake in the drama triangle with other people.
  51. Figure out your values and learn to make decisions for your life based on your value system, not the values of other people.
  52. Dare to think for yourself and to live the life that you choose.
  53. Terminate toxic relationships with family members who are controlling or abusive.
  54. Detach from the emotional process of others.
  55. Keep a journal describing your feelings and recording your progress.
  56. Try art journaling in order to help your inner child express pent-up feelings of pain, sadness, despair, helplessness, hopelessness.
  57. Grieve your losses from childhood and the losses you've endured from being abused as a child.
  58. Face the fact that you were abused as a child if you're experiencing codependent patterns as an adult.
  59. Face that fact that even though you thought you had a happy childhood, that something was missing if you are codependent today. 
  60. Admit that you are codependent and that you need help to recover.
  61. Engage in affirming self talk whenever you find yourself comparing yourself to others for external attributes.
  62. Learn to be happy for other people who have good qualities, rather than feeling worthless for the good qualities of others.
  63. Meditate to get in touch with your true self. 
  64. Try body recovery with yoga, dance, boxing, working out, running, etc...
  65. Stop yourself from incessant complaining or whining.
  66. Let all your feelings out in a safe environment (counseling, with a close friend, self discovery).
  67. Rebuild yourself from the inside out by being your own best friend and reparenting yourself. 
  68. Turn your life over to your higher power.
  69. Recognize the negative voices in your head and figure out where those voices came from and put those voices in their place.
  70. Realize that you are an adult now, that it's 2016 and you have resources you did not have as a child, so you're capable of so much more today than ever before.
  71. Respect the boundaries of others.
  72. Make amends to those people who you have hurt.
  73. Make a personal inventory of yourself, including your character defects and your qualities. 
  74. Figure out where you are abandoning yourself by taking care of others, then meet your own needs no matter how painful it is to face the truth and let go.
  75. Take time away from relationships to get the healing you need inside.
  76. Stop judging people for who they are, and for being different from you.
  77. Start to notice the ways in which you regularly put yourself one-down or one-up in your relationships.
  78. Pay attention to the way you feel inside when someone is talking to you.
  79. Stop shaming yourself for every little thing that you do. 
  80. Pay attention to shaming self talk and overcome it with these words, "I am worthy even though my car breaks are squeaking." or "I am worthy even though that woman has abs of steel."
  81. Keep away from negative people who make you feel like crap.
  82. Walk away from a conversation in which you feel put down and without personal power. 
  83. Own your own value and worth by allowing yourself to be happy and enjoy life.
  84. Break the patterns of the past by focusing on positive, happy thoughts. 
  85. Think on your own without deferring to the dogma of other people or institutions. 
  86. Figure out the difference between when you're engaging in a codependent way verses a healthy, interdepedent way.
  87.  Say no when you mean no and yes when you mean yes.
  88. Live your life with integrity.
  89. Do not gossip about other people. If you have a problem with someone, go to them directly or if that won't help, then terminate the relationship.
  90. Detach from controlling and manipulative people.
  91. Relax and destress.
  92. Stand up and walk on your own two feet.
  93. Stand up and walk away from anything that takes more than it gives.
  94. Catch yourself in your compulsion for people pleasing behaviors. 
  95. Protect yourself with boundaries.
  96. Set limits for yourself internally.
  97. Practice good self care.
  98. Keep your personal business to yourself and do not share with unsafe people.
  99. Have compassion for hurtful people, but don't hang out with them.
  100. Have compassion and acceptance for yourself. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

100 Traits of Codependence

Codependency is an adaptive response to being abused as a child. It is caused by having your core childhood development needs go unmet. When your needs are unmet as a child, you develop codependency. This is a painful way of being where you try to seek worth--that is, the meeting of your unmet child development needs externally.

This is a painful state of being, that is, not knowing your true worth. It causes you to not value yourself, to not know your worth. Codependency is the abandonment of self, as it causes the child to become filled with toxic shame which causes it to feel worthless and unworthy of love and protection. In adulthood, this formerly abused child grows up to abuse his or her self through negative self talk (the Inner Critic) and negative relationship patterns.

According to renowned recovery expert, Pia Mellody, Codependency shows up on a continuum from  and feeling less than to greater than.

I've gathered a list of traits that I've noticed in my own life, in the life of family members and in other codependents I've met along the way. Let me know if these are familiar to you:

  1. Caring more about what other people think than what you think.
  2. Changing your mind when someone tells you that you should do something other than what you are doing. 
  3. Allowing another person to belittle and devalue your ideas, thoughts or feelings.
  4. Being more concerned about another person's feelings than your own feelings to the extent that you abandon yourself and put your needs last.
  5. Not taking care of your needs, but taking care of the needs of someone you love instead. 
  6. Sacrificing your inner truth in order to appease someone else you care about.
  7. Being afraid of abandonment to the extent that you adjust and reshape your needs to suit the needs of another person.
  8. Trying to become what someone wants you to become instead of being who you truly are.
  9. Answering questions that you don't want to answer just because you don't want to appear rude.
  10. Not wanting to rock-the-boat, so keeping quiet when your inner voice says to speak-up.
  11. Enabling another person to abuse, use and disrespect you.
  12. Failing to set boundaries with others in order to protect yourself.
  13. Over investing emotionally in a person who does not reciprocate interest in you.
  14. Falling in love easily.
  15. Staying in a relationship that you know is not right for you.
  16. Feeling obligated to help a friend even though it harms your life to do so.
  17. Saying yes all the time and being afraid to say no.
  18. Staying low to make other people comfortable.
  19. Choosing friends who belittle and one-up you.
  20. Allowing people in your life who treat you poorly and give you the silent treatment.
  21. Allowing other people to speak into your life without your permission.
  22. Speaking into other people's lives without permission.
  23. Busting other people's boundaries, or allowing others to bust your boundaries.
  24.  Being cut off from your own feelings
  25. Not trusting your own intuition.
  26. Believing the others know better than you about your own life.
  27. Being afraid to make decisions in your own life because someone is controlling you.
  28. Feeling emotionally out of control.
  29. Feeling severely depressed.
  30. Feeling like you have no say-so in a relationship.
  31. Hiding who you really are because you're ashamed of Who You Are.
  32. Feeling like you won't be locked if you set boundaries and take up for yourself.
  33. Allowing others to repeatedly disrespect or embarrass you in front of others without distancing yourself for withdrawing from the relationship.
  34. Allowing another person to insult your life decisions.
  35. Remaining in a relationship with someone who is abusive towards you.
  36. Feeling shame for existing.
  37. Saying you're sorry all the time.
  38. Having a feeling of low self-esteem
  39. Refusing to acknowledge your own needs.
  40. Feeling greater than or better than less than others.
  41. Fawning over people you think are better than you such as narcissist.
  42. Finding value in external sources such as your car, your body, your clothes, your social status.
  43. Feeling worthless because you don't measure up to others.
  44. Looking down on other people do you feel you are better than.
  45. Looking at people around you to determine how you are supposed to be.
  46. Idealizing others such as narcissists.
  47. Excessive care taking.
  48. Meeting the needs of others at your own expense.
  49. Allowing hurtful people close to you.
  50. Allowing your significant other to yell at you without seeing that as something wrong.
  51. Feeling like you deserve the abuse that someone else is giving you.
  52. Blaming yourself for everything that happens in a relationship or a fight.
  53. Returning to a relationship where you have been discarded in the past.  
  54. Allowing someone else to blame you for everything that goes wrong.
  55. Shaming yourself for not being perfect.
  56. Feeling guilty if you do anything nice for yourself. 
  57. Feeling shame for any of your feelings.
  58. Unsure of how you feel or think about a situation.
  59. Experiencing offensive Behavior and not recognizing it until later.
  60.  Exposing yourself to an addicted or otherwise toxic person even though it's uncomfortable for you. ie, treating a drug addict as though they are normal.
  61. Hanging around someone who ignores you and doesn't let you talk.
  62. Being drawn to takers who have nothing to give back.
  63. Allowing another person to sabotage your relationships.
  64. Isolate yourself.
  65. Avoid relationships altogether.
  66. Think you are better than or less than others.
  67. Measure your self worth by external things like cars, success, social status, money, looks, body.
  68. Feel that you will some day be worthy whenever you get married, find a man or woman, buy a new house, have a baby...
  69. Shame yourself for everything that goes wrong in your life, even things you cannot control.
  70. Feel like you have to be perfect in order to be loved. 
  71. Allowing yourself to be manipulated and controlled.
  72. Offend other people by meddling in their business.
  73. Allow other people to needle you and ask you questions about your life.   
  74. Expecting other people to make you feel better.
  75. Making others responsible for your feelings.  
  76. Feel responsible for other people's feelings.
  77. Give to others until it hurts you to do so.
  78. Say yes when you really want to say no.
  79.  Saying, "things will eventually be okay," but allowing yourself to be over responsible for now while you're denying that you're handling stuff that doesn't belong to you.
  80. Doing things for others they can do for themselves.  
  81. Only feeling happy when you're in a relationship.
  82. Feeling depressed when the person you're addicted to leaves.
  83. Making excuses for people in your life who are selfish and abusive.
  84. Paying for things for others that they should be paying for themselves.
  85. Offering to do too much for other people in order to buy their love.
  86. Feeling obligated to be around someone who is hurtful or repulsive to you.
  87. Allowing another person to guilt trip you into taking some action.
  88. Compulsive people pleasing. 
  89. Giving people access to private parts of your life of which they have no business in.
  90. Telling someone every detail of your life so they can control you.
  91. Allowing someone to repeatedly abuse and hurt you.
  92. Not protecting yourself against bullies. 
  93. Not feeling you have the right to be protected. 
  94. Not knowing your own needs.
  95. Not knowing the difference between needing and wanting.
  96. Being overwhelmed by the emotions of others.
  97. Trying to solve the problems of everyone but yourself.
  98. Trying to control situations that are beyond your control.
  99. Feeling resentful when others do not return the kindness you bestow on them.
  100. Feel like a helpless victim.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Codependence is a way of adapting to a childhood where your needs are unmet. It is the state of emotional immaturity. There is a lot of confusion about what it means to be codependent. You either are or you're not. You aren't codependent with one person and not with another. 

Admitting that you're codependent is the first step to healing. Owning up to your part in the drama triangle is required for healing. Blaming other people for your responses and reactions is the pathway to bondage. You have to stand up and own your own reactions and admit that you are part of the codependent dance... and also that your thinking patterns are codependent in that you try to get your worth externally. 

Just like a narc is always a narc, a codependent is always a codependent, until he or she gets healing. The narc is harder to heal because they don't admit they have a problem. The codependent who refuses to come out of denial is also on a rough road to healing. Recovery is about facing reality. You can only heal by letting down your defenses, facing the truth and seeing your own problem--and taking action to improve your own responses, behaviors, thought patterns and relationship choices. 

Codependence is about trying to get your worth externally. See this article 100 Traits of the Codependent.

    Monday, July 18, 2016

    Unconditional Self Love Melts Toxic Shame

    This post is a collection of musings from my posts in my private Facebook group: SelfLoveU

    Codependency is the absence of unconditional love and acceptance for self, an illness causing one to be dependent on external sources of approval in order to conditionally love oneself. This leads to people pleasing, approval seeking, lack of boundaries, addiction to sources of betrayal, etc... It is the seeking of external conditions to solve the riddle outside oneself, a riddle that can only be solved within by the power of unconditional self love. You are okay just as you are. It is okay to be human. It is okay to make mistakes. Unconditional love is the core of your beingness waiting patiently for you to own it.

    Toxic energy that is pent up inside is released when it is confronted with unconditional love. Toxic shame is bred in conditional love, causing one to see flaws in self as life threatening (childlike thinking patterns). This birthing brings forth the false self, which is toxic shame and the root of codependency. The false self is built on lies. The false self is based on thinking patterns that cause one to try to earn worth, love, value by being right in the eyes of others. When this liar (the Inner Critic) is confronted with the truth--that you are loved in spite of your humanity, the false self fades. Unconditional love towards the self in your thought processes sets your authentic self free. You can relax, trust and let go.

    It is self love to protect yourself with boundaries. Unconditional love does not imply open borders. Only by setting firm, but flexible boundaries can you protect the truth that is inside and love yourself unconditionally (align with source withing) and love others without judgment (as much as humanly possible). None are perfect, but all are loved is the ideal. That is the essence of unconditional love, that is, loving despite imperfections... it is not the allowing of boundary violations (which is unloving towards self).

    Comparison is bred in conditional self hatred. Thinking you are better or less than others is toxic shame. Seeing yourself as equal, without volatile worth when outsiders are impressed or pleased, will soothe the inner conditions you set in effort to earn externally what can only come from inside.

    Wednesday, July 13, 2016

    Narcissist Love Bombing Phase

    Feelings of Worthlessness Reflect How You Were Treated

    Chronic feelings of worthlessness do not reflect who you are, it reflects how you were treated as a child. You feel how you were treated in your source relationships, not who you are. When we were treated poorly as children, we internalize the abuse as a way to stay bonded to our caretakers and to survive. We feel it is our fault, we take the blame and become codependent as a way to protect ourselves from the pain of knowing our caretakers are incapable and do not love us. It's as simple as that. When you feel worthless, it is a reflection of how you were treated when your identity was being formed in childhood. The truth is, you are worthy. How others treat you does not make you bad; it makes their actions bad towards you. The real you underneath is as valuable as ever.

    It is only by externalizing the internalized negative attitudes and projections of the original source relationships that we can heal and see the truth that we were innocent then, and are innocent now. It was not our fault that we were treated as worthless. It was not our fault that we were devalued. It was not our fault that we were neglected, ignored or abandoned. It was not our fault that we were beaten, shamed and abused. None of these actions were our fault, but we took everything on as if it were... we had to think our caretakers were like gods in order to survive. If we wish to thrive as adults, then we must reverse the logic of our childlike thinking, and see that it wasn't a reflection on who we are. The actions of those who hurt us as children reflect the character of the abusers, not the character of us as innocent children.

    Unraveling this line of thoughts is liberating to the adult. When we can finally see who we really were, then we can begin to love ourselves. When we realize that we are not worthless, but rather, worthy of everything we deserve, we can begin to set better boundaries and make better choices to protect ourselves from abuse today.

    You are valuable. You are worthy. Every feeling of unworthiness you feel today is unwarranted. Your unworthy feelings are just a reflection of how someone you loved, trusted and depended on treated you as though you were a worthless piece of trash. No, it wasn't on purpose. Your caretaker had their own issues and passed those onto you. The truth is, you matter and you belong on this planet. You have the right to stand up and take ownership of your humanity. You have a right to exist and be happy.