Angela Dryden

Certified Life Coach

Twelve Co-Dependent Behaviors

grayscale photo of woman holding magnifying glass

Here are twelve behaviors that I have compiled for ladies who find it hard to let go of their Co-Dependent habits. If you can relate you might be struggling with creating purpose, calm, and joy in your life:  

  • Obsession -You might use the word “safe” when focusing on other people. You find yourself worrying about things that have not happened and you struggle to let go.
  • Control- You have plenty of ideas of what people “should do.” You give advice sometimes when no one is asking and have a hard time listening as you are thinking of how to reply.
  • Denial- You say you “care too much” and when you see others not lifting a hand, you question their character and play the part of the overworked loved one.  
  • Comply- Instead of communicating you comply. When something is bothering you, you don’t speak up and use it as evidence that you are not being appreciated for all you do.
  • Unclear Boundaries- Because you don’t want “confrontation” you say nothing and build resentment. You don’t set boundaries because you want everyone to feel comfortable even when you don’t.
  • Reactive- When people address you with their perspective you take it personally and become defensive. You have a hard time hearing constructive input or thoughts that don’t align with how you see it.
  • People Pleasing- You apologize, agree, and say yes because you believe it’s what a good person is supposed to do, even when you don’t agree, want to say no, and it wasn’t your fault.
  • Dependency- Your worth has somehow become dependent on how valuable you are to your husband, children, parents, friends, and coworkers. When loved ones no longer need you, you feel lost.
  • Caretaking- You have your list and order in the way you do things. No one can care for the people in your life as you do.
  • Low Self-Esteem- Because you stay busy helping everyone else you do not take time to look inward at your needs. You don’t try new things and you tell yourself “I’m fine.”
  • Problem with Intimacy- You might be fine with touching and loving on others. When others want to reciprocate you do not want to receive it. You give but don’t openly allow yourself to receive.
  • Painful Emotions- Because you have focused much of your life on everyone else you do not know how to allow yourself to sit with your emotions. You often think “something is wrong with me” or “I don’t deserve it.”

What if you could eliminate a behavior you once thought was crucial because it fulfilled the need for you to just survive?  Combining an intrinsic awakening with an authentic desire to change will allow you to not just eliminate the habit but exchange for one that will help you thrive. Seeing the effects of your efforts will make the impossible become possible and even inevitable. It will become unimaginable for you to sink into old behaviors which seemed so crucial at the time, but now no longer serve you.

As I dive deeper into each one of the twelve behaviors in my next 4 blogs, I will share more detail about each habit as I explain a counter habit that, when developed, can transform you. What I have and will be sharing might arouse some inner dialogue within you, and if it does— hold onto those thoughts, reach out to me, and together let’s develop your Leading Lady qualities


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