Everyone needs support and encouragement from others and it’s normal to want those that you care about to think the best of you, but when the scale tips into needing that affirmation in order to feel normal, the cycle of codependency has begun. Like other disorders that plague families, codependency breeds itself within the walls of a home.
Identify if any other disorders feed codependency and see if they exist in the home. Often someone who is codependent fuels problems such as alcoholism or other addictions and is physically or emotionally abusive family members. Codependency is difficult to break unless the family addresses the underlying issues in the household to deal with codependency.
Complete a self-evaluation of characteristics of codependency. This can help to identify patterns and habits that are common among those with codependency. Ask others in the family to complete the survey as well or share your results with them in hopes of enlightening them on what troubles the family.
Seek support through local codependency anonymous meetings to deal with the problem head-on. Similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, these meetings follow steps and encourage each other to develop healthy boundaries. Fight the urge to isolate yourself, which is one of the characteristics of codependency, and seek help from others.
Learn to find strength inside yourself and practice the habits of a healthy person to deal with codependency. Although it may take several tries and even more failures, the only way to change codependency is to break the habits established in an unhealthy home.
Commit to breaking the cycle of codependency starting with you. Although you may live in a household that is codependent, the cycle doesn’t have to continue. Changing your behavior in the house will disrupt the unhealthy pattern and possibly enlighten others. Getting yourself healthy ensures that the family you have or plan to start won’t develop codependent habits.