When engaging in these people-pleasing, codependent type behaviors, we're telling ourselves that it's because we don't want to upset someone else. This is a hard pill for everyone struggling with codependency.
Yes, I include myself in this category.
We don't want them to feel rejected. We don't want them to feel abandoned. We don't want them to experience pain and suffering. So we're telling ourselves we're just looking out for this other person, but the truth is quite different.
It's because we feel guilty for not doing something for someone else. It's because we feel like someone else will abandon us, reject us, or get mad at us. So it's not about the other person at all. It's always about us. And this is a hard truth because we've been telling ourselves this whole time that we're kind, caring, empathetic, and caring about the other person. And there may be a little truth to that, but there's also a big truth that we are protecting ourselves. We're managing our uncomfortableness.
You should ask yourself why you are intolerant of these feelings. For example, why are you hypersensitive to feeling guilty or feeling rejected, or feeling like someone's mad at you?
Most likely, if these are things you struggle with, it's because somewhere in your childhood, you learned overtly or covertly that you are responsible for other people's emotions. It's like it gets hardwired subconsciously that you must manage other people's emotions, environment, and feelings.
Of course, this can happen for lots of different reasons. But, still, for example, if you grew up with addicted or depressed parents or struggling with something else, maybe somewhere along the lines, you decided that it was your job to try and help the situation or fix the situation, or at the very least it was your job not to add to the situation.
As you can see, this stuff goes deep.
The key to conquering codependency is identifying what false narrative you've been telling yourself your whole life, probably keeping you stuck. Once you can identify that lie and bring it from the unconscious to the conscious, you're going to be able to confront it, which means you're going to be able to confront it more effectively by asking yourself questions like:
Because in a lot of cases, that is precisely what's happening. Once you get your head straight about this, you can start stopping yourself, and eventually, codependency will not rule your life anymore.
What is the story you've been telling yourself? What is the lie, the narrative that's been holding you hostage?
Watch this next to help you unravel these codependent behaviors: