Swinging from one side all the way to the opposite side of an emotional pendulum can be exhausting. One moment you are completely happy and the next you are angry and feel threatened. Having patterns like this, it is easy to see why someone struggling with Co-Dependency thinks they are broken.
Having Tender Emotions can seem like a no-solution problem, but as you begin to connect the dots of your thoughts to your emotions you can make sense of them. Viewing your emotions as a warning signal instead of being at the mercy to them might help you to decrease the pendulum swing.
In order to view emotions as signals, you will need to take on Courage. Gaining courage is a Leading lady behavior and one that will serve you well. Transforming the Co-dependent behavior of tender emotions, you can look at the signals your body is giving you and view it as informational data. Detaching from it will take courage as it will require you to look at your part in any equation as you step away from a victim, hero, or villain role, and step into courage. To learn more about the emotional triad of Hero, Villain, and Victim check out my blog on it here.
Just like everything else, learning new behaviors is a one-step-at-a-time process. A tool I use when coaching clients and to help them see their thinking is “The Model.” The Model is a formula used to view your current thinking and help you create new thinking that might be more useful.
Using The Model formula, I want to share the first three steps as they pertain to this blog:
“C” is for Circumstance: What are the facts? Write down only the facts about the situation you are in.
“T” is for Thought: What are the thoughts you have about the circumstance & what are your reactions to it?
“F” is for Feelings: What are the feelings you are experiencing from the thoughts you are having?
This very basic beginning to the model is what will help you most as you learn to gain courage. Separating out the Circumstance from your Feelings as you notice your Thinking can help you see you don’t have to be at the mercy of your emotions. It is easy to see how we attach feelings we experience to what someone said or did. Beginning to see that we have a choice and that there can be many different responses to any given scenario, can show you that you are not broken. In fact, you are far from broken.
What a beautiful gift courage is, as it can open you up to endless possibilities as it begins to show you that you are not stronger than you think, but you can think yourself stronger than you are. Gaining this insight also means being willing to see our part in any given circumstance.
As we open up to the possibilities, you might see that there was some truth in what they said about you. Seeing the truth in what someone said or did does not mean that you are not standing up for yourself. In fact, it can show quite the opposite. I would say that seeing your part is portraying humility with courage as you don’t see yourself as a victim, but as the victor for showing you are open to growth.
If this information resonated with you, schedule your free discovery coach call here. With me, coaching one-on-one will show you how to apply all I discuss to your life, taking the relationships you’re struggling with from a liability to an asset.
When it comes to putting other people first Co-Dependents are truly masters. I can recall doing things for others that I would have never done for myself. In my mind I saw these acts as being selfless, yet the fall out of my behavior after the fact was what showed me that I was not being as selfless as I thought.
Caring for others that are unable to care for themselves is a beautiful act of love. We care for our children and are rewarded for it in their smiles, hugs, and visible joy of just being with us. The problem can arrive as they get older and we begin to hold expectations of them because of the acts we perform for them. This is where placing guilt on them, and/or portraying a victim-like mentality can unfold as you are grasping to keep hold of your loved one.
There are other relationships where this can unfold such as older parents, siblings, co-workers, friends, and spouses, to name a few. Like I mentioned above, being a Caretaker is a beautiful thing, yet holding resentment and hurt feelings due to your expectations of being rewarded, or even acknowledged might not be useful behavior to grab hold of.
When our focus is on the doing and keeping up a certain facade, we can burn out our batteries long before recharge. The Co-Dependent behavior of being a Caretaker is exhausting, but we can exchange it for the Leading Lady behavior of Responsibility. This behavior exchange can be a challenging one depending on how long the caretaking has been going on. Those you have been caretaking for could feel abandoned and possibly try to manipulate you.
Even though there might be obstacles, I want to show it will be a blessing to you—and them—as you follow through in creating this new behavior. The old maxims of “You can’t give to others what you don’t have” or “How do you fill up someone’s cup when yours is empty?” are great reminders of why you might want to meet your needs first. Figuring out what you are responsible for could be painful as you think you are neglecting others. This is an opportunity for you to look within and ask yourself, “Is doing _____ going to make myself feel good now and later, regardless of their response and actions?”
Here are a few more questions you can ask yourself as you engage in the behavior of taking responsibility for your actions and not for others:
Can they do it themselves?
What support would they need to do it themselves?
How is this my problem, or is it theirs to figure out?
If I help them will I see it as me doing it for them, being the hero, or see it as me assisting them, being a supporter?
The clearer you can be with yourself, and form awareness around what is yours to handle, the more opportunity you are giving the other person to improve their self-esteem and awareness…and, over time, appreciation for their situation in life.
Helping other people is a blessing that you give yourself and others. There are times in life where things are out of your control. However, the way you respond as you contemplate and decide the best action to take can give you peace of mind. Most times the chaos from caretaking appears not at the beginning but as you live a life of quick decisions, instant gratification, and trying to control others.
Schedule your free discovery call here and let’s explore this together.
Being Reactive is a sudden, knee jerk reaction that can be driven by unprocessed emotions. We see it every day in social media and the news. It can trickle into our lives; we find ourselves reacting in ways that raise our heart rate and blood pressure, causing chaos in our everyday lives at home, work, and social events.
“You are wrong, and I am right,” and “that’s not the way to do it,” are two common reactions to someone that see’s things differently than you. Being reactive to a situation because of believing information we receive to be wrong or somehow hurtful is an easy habit, that can become behavior, to form.
The blame game is an all too convenient way to justify one’s actions. We might learn this game at a young age when those around us would justify our behavior to others. Then, by default, we continue this behavior not knowing any different.
Letting others have a different point of view is a very noble thing. Being Co-Dependent, we can form attachments to others’ ideas, internalize it, and see them as a threat to us. From the emotions of anger, sadness, and disappointment to feeling threatened and being judged, we are then reactive in a defensive, justified, proving way causing us to not grow in compassion and even flame into hate.
When you learn to step back and choose to understand the other person has their own point of view and respect their passion and right to have that point of view, you will be exchanging Co-Dependent reactiveness for Leading Lady Self-Discipline.
Creating Self-Discipline is not an overnight thing; it is as all behaviors are—a one step, one day, and one little thing at a time kind of change. I believe we stop trying in the discipline arena because of occasional slip-ups being seen as failures. The more we come to the truth within ourselves the more we start to see that in order to change we have to slip and each time we rise that is the behavior of discipline. We don’t arrive at a behavior; we simply rise to it.
Sometimes self-discipline is used as the alternative to using willpower. Willpower is unsustainable for long periods of time as self-discipline is formed from a sense of self-respect and gives dignity to others. Showing up in the world with self-discipline generates energy that allows others to be themselves.
There are many occasions to practice Self-Discipline. Every day will toss us moments in which we can either choose to be Reactive or have Self-Discipline. In the beginning, it will be challenging, you might feel like you are not being yourself, that you are being a pushover or a doormat. I want to offer that as you step back, take a breath, listen, and open yourself up to that moment, over time you might find your heart lighter and a feeling of peace and calm come over you.
If you want to transform the behavior of Reactive to Self-Discipline and are ready to get your one to one coaching? Click here to book your discovery coach call today.
I have told my shares of little lies and I did believe for the longest time that the made-up story, or not sharing the whole truth wouldn’t hurt anyone. I would venture to say that you can recall telling a friend you are busy when the truth was you just didn’t want to go. Maybe even telling your lover you have a headache when in reality you just don’t want to do it tonight. It’s not going to hurt anyone, it’s just a little lie. Right? The truth is that the little lies we tell others are actually hurting us the most.
Being honest is a behavior for the brave as it means seeing your shortcomings before you excuse yourself. The Co-Dependent behavior of living in Denial can drain your energy and others around you. Just like Obsession and Control, Denial is one that as a Co-Dependent we see in others and struggle seeing it in ourselves.
When Co-Dependents’ practice the behavior of Denial they feel it does not matter if they are honest with people who are not honest with them. It does matter. It matters to you. It matters to you and your credibility to yourself. The behavior of being honest is one that benefits you more than it will benefit others.
Another reason for the behavior of Denial is not wanting to cause hurt feelings. Remember, Coming From Integrity Might Mean Walking Your Own Path; how someone reacts is their responsibility, not yours. In reality, lying to avoid hurting someone’s feelings damages you more. The thing I have learned about telling a lie is that if you were honest with yourself from the beginning you would have probably not needed to lie at the end.
When we begin to open up to others it actually will give us permission to begin to trust ourselves. Trust is built upon all the little things we do daily. So, if we add a truth a day to our honesty bank account and begin to be very clear with our intentions, we can start dialogues and build meaningful relationships that really matter to us based all on honesty.
Through this process you are trusting yourself more, which in return will generate feelings of love and trust. Seeing value in this behavior can attract more relationships and opportunities where you show up as being honest with yourself and others.
Understanding yourself and your intentions is really key for creating your Leading Lady behavior of Honesty. Be honest with yourself and don’t take on something that is not manageable for you right now. Show up as an energy giver and be open to communicating how you see things when your opinion is requested. When others begin to be honest with you listen with the intent to understand and, again, be open to their input and thoughts even if different from yours.
I know I have said this many times when talking about creating a Leading Lady behavior but being gentle with yourself and having compassion can help you to stop excusing, proving, or justifying your actions. It could be that the words you are saying to others might mean more to you than it will to them.
If you find yourself justifying, proving, and excusing your actions to your loved ones may be gaining the skill of letting go with love could help you find peace among the storms of life. Letting go is a skill I show my clients how to obtain. Click here to schedule your Discovery Coach Call today. Take care of you.
Feeling uncomfortable with intimacy, whether it is a hug from a friend, child, or significant other can be disheartening. You might find yourself questioning your worth and possibly thinking there are ulterior motives behind the act of love they or you are portraying. But why do Co-Dependents think this instead of just accepting the gesture for what it is? Examining our thoughts on this experience instead of allowing emotion to rule may be just the deep dive we need to overcome these insecurities.
A child hugs you and you feel warmth and peace. They do it as they see you looking sad so they want to make you feel better. Your significant other did something that upset you and they come in to hug you and apologize. Someone you loved has accomplished something wonderful and everyone is proud and celebrating, so hugs all around. These are three examples of why we might show or give affection.
When all our hugs and love are happening because of a sad situation, making up, or proud accomplishments intimacy is being viewed as the fix to what is wrong, a reason to celebrate, or a reason to comfort. No wonder we feel uncomfortable with intimacy. Somehow, we have been taught to show love to others as we try to makeup, comfort, or celebrate. The day in and day out love is missed, and the focus is on all or nothing when it comes to intimacy for ladies that struggle with Co-Dependency.
Because of this, making the decision to create the behavior of being vulnerable can be a challenging first step. Showing vulnerability is a beautiful and brave Leading Lady behavior when displayed with no expectations. But, let’s say I want, or need a hug so I am going in for it and get rejected or questioned.
When you begin to change your behavior to become more vulnerable, people may question why you are doing it since you rarely did before; they may question what you want, and why. Some questions they may ask you are:
Why are you hugging me? (Worry)
Do you want more than a hug? (Expectation)
What do you want from me? (Expectation)
I am sure you can come up with a list of your own; I would challenge you to do so and make it a list of what people said when you did go in to give affection. Asking to give a hug could help you in this process as it shows respect for others’ boundaries and Self-Respect.
After reading my objections you might encounter, this thought… “I did go in for the hug, kiss, affection and that’s what they said so I stopped doing it.” Now, the tough question, “are they wrong?” If you rarely gave affection and it was during an occasion, then the follow-up question to ask yourself might be, “What meaning are you giving to what they said?”
Wanting someone to be happy that you are giving them a hug is an expectation on your part. Giving the hug is you meeting your need; their response is for them. The outcome or result of you giving affection is not dependent on the other’s response to that affection.
Understand that being vulnerable is allowing yourself to be uncovered, and as I talked about in my blog on Letting Go Could Help You Get The Most Out of Your Relationships, hiding might actually be increasing your fear. Allowing yourself to let people question your intentions could be the opening you need to take a closer look at your motives and truly awaken. A Discovery coach call is just a click away Click here to schedule yours!
Depending on someone is never a bad idea. When people such as family, clients, and community are depending on me it is a motivator for me to show up and perform the way I had promised. When we do that we come from a sense of self-respect, as we are respecting ourselves and those who are depending on us.
When we become dependent on others and set expectations on those we rely upon without their knowledge, it can leave both feeling disrespected. Finding the balance in life is being aware of the imbalance. The desire to be independent and have the balance of healthy dependency formed through mutual respect is “Interdependency”.
Exchanging the Co-dependent behavior of dependency for the Leading Lady behavior of Interdependent is a healthy and worthwhile balancing act. When we create demands and expectations on others we are forcing on them a facsimile of our own thoughts on how they should behave. Any intrinsic motivation that we would hope one to have has been taken away as we are now forming conditions on our dependency to them.
In a significant other relationship, dependency can show up in many ways, such as not doing activities together, unhealthy eating habits, inactivity, drinking, drug use, avoiding conversation, and/or individual isolation. When one of the partners decides to make a shift be aware that the other partner might have feelings of being abandoned and have thoughts of being left behind. Being aware of this ahead of time can become a powerful insight; it can be the reason to keep going instead of the reason to give up and convert back to old dependency behaviors.
It is the consistency of behavior when making the change that will pay dividends in your relationships—both with others and with yourself. When you press forward, even when things are difficult, you are cultivating a resilience quality that will show up as confidence in yourself. You may help others find their footing as they feel inspired over time to cultivate what matters to them.
Change is hard for this reason; others’ insecurities and your self-doubt can stop this process as you experience new emotions that can make you feel uncertain. On the other hand, it could be the inspiration your relationships were waiting for as you find yourselves encouraging each other.
Steven Covey expands on interdependence relationships in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Having individualism while also being a partnership is a safe place where each of you can grow. Becoming Intentional was the second blog I wrote back in 2019 where I reference Steven Covey. It has a few insights when it comes to moving forward with Intention as you transform from dependency to Interdependent.
Embracing “what is” truly is a gift you can give yourself. As you actively work to create balance and harness Leading Lady behaviors of interdependence, your relationships will begin to change. When you begin to show up in your relationships with confidence and integrity your relationship potential will begin to come into full view. If this is a struggle that you can relate to in your relationships, reach out to me and let’s have a discovery call. I’m ready to show you some insight as you invest in the most important relationship, the one you have with yourself.