Avoiding a Codependent Friendship
Friendships are important building blocks in our lives, and are necessary for healthy and happy lives. They can, however, quickly turn harmful and hinder us if we allow them to. It is vital to understand the aspects of a healthy friendship, and be able to avoid the traits of an unhealthy one.
When a friend is going through hard times in her life, it is natural to want to be there for them and to help. Many times, this is perfectly ok, and can even help to build a healthy and lasting friendship. But there are times when it can quickly become a problem.
When being there for your friend, it is very important not to get
involved or "sucked" in to their problems. Listening to the problems
does not mean you should try to fix them or make judgments on what is
best for your friend and try to convince them of it. Both of these acts
are manipulative and dangerously codependent. It is vital to
understand, and accept that you can not save your friend from
situations or from themselves.
Many friends I have had were engaged in addictions of all sorts. Just a few of them have been relationship addictions, work addictions, alcohol, sex, and even drug addictions. As a recovering codependent, I can tell you each friendship was very exhausting. Based on my childhood development, I always wanted to protect or save those I loved most, in a very martyr type of way. In the end, always pushing your own needs aside for the needs of others will lead to resentment and bitterness. This extended for many years life until I finally decided to end my codependent tendencies.
is a very hard step to take, because it means setting boundaries in all
of your relationships that others may not understand or like. This can
cause friction and even hurt feelings even with well-thought
explanation. It may very well even end a few friendships.
Codependency is a very easy trap to fall into. It feels very good and noble to be someone's rock or savior. To think that somehow you've saved your friends and made their lives better. But it's dangerous to fall into this belief. We all need to remember that the only one that can save you is you, and that goes for all of your friends.
By all means, be there for a friend in need. Help the pack or listen to them without judgment, but don't feed into their addiction or needy personality by becoming their next dependency. Don't allow your mental or emotional well-being be affected by their life, and don't try to save them. Remember yourself and what you need to be happy and healthy, and always remember to put that first.
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I am not a professional or a counselor, so these words are not meant to diagnose you. As a co-dependent, I simply wish to share what I have learned over the years of my recovery. These are all based on my own experience, and are words directly from my heart simply to serve as my own view on escaping co-dependency.
Average Codependent Speaks Out
Books that may help
I really like this video, but it is not from a professional. Just an average Joe that I really agree with. ------>
Much of codenpendency hinges on the need for acceptance and approval. It is very understandable why we become codependent when we look at society, and social media has not helped one bit. As easy as it is to understand codependency, it is sometimes very hard to identify and overcome it.
Here are some books if you'd like to learn more or would like to begin a self-help treatmentas well.