Angela Dryden

Certified Life Coach

Co-Dependent Behaviors we wear Like a Badge of Honor

woman standing on wooden bridge

These next three Co-dependent behaviors carry the belief that making everyone happy will not only improve their own life but others’ lives, as well. A thought like I just want everyone to be okay is full of good intentions but can backfire if not addressed. Co-dependents wear the behaviors of people-pleasing, dependency, and caretaking like a badge of honor. Let’s dive into these three behaviors and see how one could trade them for more of a Leading Lady’s behavior.

People Pleasing is a slippery slope that can be developed as a child and become crippling as an adult. Do you find yourself saying things like, “Yes, I can do that, or I am so sorry, to I totally agree?” Have you found yourself saying these words even when you didn’t agree, didn’t need to apologize, and would have rather said no? The behavior I want to offer as a replacement is becoming a Peace Maker. As a Peace Maker, you are not in search of anyone’s approval and you have let go of controlling the decisions of others. A peacemaker is solid in their views and understands the difference between loving the person but not agreeing with their action. Even if others want to say you must not love me, you don’t need to clarify but you do show up with compassion. You are not responsible for a loved one’s response; being a peacemaker is letting them say what they want and showing up with no intention of changing their mind. 

Dependency might seem like an obvious behavior for a co-dependent to have. Having the belief that if I repeatedly show love to someone, they will be more confident, and I will be important to them creates dependency. Becoming Interdependent in our relationships will make a huge impact on how we show up for others. As you understand the role that is needed for your growth you can and will want to let go of ideas that “they need you” and replace it with “I learn from others.” Seeing others as an equal and learning from them will nourish both of your interdependent qualities.

When you do for others what they are capable of doing for themselves, you are missing out on growth for the both of you. Caretaking, as a woman, can be a behavior that seems hard wired in us; you want to nurture your loved ones and it comes to you so naturally. However, it can become unhelpful when used as a tool for control.

Caretaking, when replaced with Personal Responsibility, will be something worth viewing from different angles. Understand that Personal Responsibility isn’t doing for others but rather doing for yourself as you become the example of what is possible. Giving to our loved ones is a beautiful thing, and it is important that the giving always comes from love without any expectations. Personal Responsibility is key when exploring decisions made based on caretaking.    

As you exchange your behaviors of People Pleaser for Peace Maker, Dependency to Interdependent, and Caretaker to Personal Responsibility take a look at the emotion that is driving your actions. Can you find actions that bring you a sense of abundance? Can you show up with no thought of changing your loved ones, and have faith in yourself?   It would be my honor to walk beside you as I teach you skills that will cultivate new thoughts and stimulating helpful emotions that allow you to create positive action in your life. We will begin by processing one behavior at a time as you go from impossible to possible, then jump into inevitable


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