This exercise will help you to identify dependent traits in yourself and in someone with whom you have a close relationship (this can be a spouse, romantic partner, or other significant relationship). Read the following list of characteristics and indicate which apply to you, to the other person, or to both of you.
- Problems trusting others (anticipating betrayal), making true intimacy very difficult.
- “People-pleasing,” an excessive need or desire to do what other people want, often at the expense of one’s own needs.
- Covering or making excuses for behavior so as to avoid having to deal with the consequences (e.g., telling family that someone is “sick” or “tired” when he or she has taken too much pain medication or is drunk).
- A need to be in control of self and others at all times.
- An excessive need for another person’s approval or guidance.
- Discounting or doubting one’s own judgment—always being worried about making the wrong decision.
- Always ending up in relationships with people who need to be taken care of.
- Always ending up in relationships with people who initially need help, but later take advantage or become abusive in some way.
- Fear of feeling angry (i.e., losing control), to the point of avoiding confrontation or conflict and/or denying that one is angry.
- Lying, omitting information, or exaggerating, even when it would be easier to tell the truth.
- Fearing abandonment—would rather be mistreated or abused than be alone.
Finding balance in life requires that we interact with the world, specifically other people. Healthy relationships, which involve giving and receiving, are an essential part of pain recovery. These relationships will allow you to accept help from others and, by reaching out, will enable you to get out of yourself and leave the burden of your suffering behind. This blog post is an excerpt from Pain Recovery – How to Find Balance and Reduce Suffering from Chronic Pain by Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM, Frank Szabo, LADC, Daniel Shiode, PhD, Robert Hunter, PhD; Published by Central Recovery Press (CRP).
Las Vegas Recovery Center offers help for those who may be experiencing issues with codependency. Our Family Renewal Program—which includes a free support group—is available to members of the Southern Nevada community who are looking for support and information related to addiction and substance abuse. For further local resources, please view our list of addiction recovery resources available on the LVRC blog.