If you knew specifically how to stop being codependent, would you?
It’s ok if you’re not sure. That’s part of the deal. You’re living in conflict with yourself.
Knowing how to stop being codependent means you must work out that conflict. It’s not as complicated as you might think.
How to Stop Being Codependent by Defining it Properly
Most professionals define codependency as a dynamic between two people in a relationship. These relationships are often one-sided. Some are emotionally abusive. As the codependent one, you enable the other to control you. You may give in to excessive demands because you’re afraid of losing the other.
You may put up with all manner of irresponsible, addictive and inappropriate behavior. You do it, according to the popular theory, because you can’t stand on your own two feet. You believe you cannot live without the other person or vise-versa.
These kinds of definitions may accurately describe the symptoms of codependency, but they do not show you how to stop being codependent.
So let’s put the issue in a new light that provides a safe and effective way out.
You Are NOT 100% Codependent
If you were codependent through and through, you would not be concerned about it. No part of you would be interested in learning how to stop being codependent.
But there is a part of you that wants to stop the codependency. You may not know how. The part of you interested in more independence may be overwhelmed by your more dependent parts and that’s a testimony to the fact that you’re not 100% codependent.
Part of you yearns for greater independence. And part of you clings to the status quo. This is the conflict within. These parts of you are fighting it out, leaving you torn. And because the dependent part of you is strong, it has been winning the battle on many occasions.
This is the essence of parts psychology.
What if that battle could end?
With it, you’d surely stop being codependent and learn to find security in healthy, interdependent relationships.
These mixed feelings that come from different parts of you may be a tangled mess right now, but you don’t need to be at their mercy forever. You can negotiate an inner truce and start down a new road. Are you up for it?
It won’t happen (most likely) just because you’re reading this article on how to stop being codependent. The codependent part of you is probably not interested at this point in what you’re reading here. You’ll need to do some inner work and that work should be facilitated by someone trained in these kinds of inner dynamics.
Get a Healthy Start Right Now by Doing These Three Things
You can begin the process of overcoming codependency right now. If you do the following, it will give you a solid clue as to your potential with this approach.
Warning: Some of what you’re about to do might seem odd, woo-woo or unfamiliar to you. This is probably a good thing. If you’re struggling with codependency and nothing has been helpful so far, it’s time for something new, right?
Here we go:
1. Take a few moments to digest the fact that not all of you is codependent.
Part of you is. You have other parts of your personality that probably hate being codependent. And there is a conflict within.
Say to yourself the words, “Part of me is codependent. Other parts of me want to know how to stop being codependent.”
Let it sink in. There is no use moving forward with this approach until the above makes sense to you.
2. Talk to the codependent part of you.
And now is where it might get a little weird. Did you know you can talk to any part of yourself and it will respond? This is 100% normal. In fact, parts talk to us all day long. We all hear voices in our mind and experience a mix of feelings all day long.
You know what I mean. You may have a voice in your head that says things like:
• Don’t do that.
• You can do it!
• You can’t do it!
• You’re so smart.
• You’re an idiot!
We all hear inner voices as part of our normal experience. Most people do not realize that you can interact with these sub-parts of your personality to effect change. You can! If you need more clarity, read this post about how an inner child sabotaged weight loss.
Ask yourself, “Will the part of me that is codependent talk to me right now?” Then, listen. Don’t make up words that you imagine it might say. Just. Listen.
If you get ANY response, you’re in business! Even a “no” is a response. Whatever you hear after asking the question is a reply from an inner part of you. Cool, huh?
Regardless of the kind of reply you get, thank this part of you for communicating with you. It is very common for inner parts to respond negatively, saying things like:
• Go away
• Leave me alone
It’s all good. This part of you has no reason to trust you. In fact, you may have been trying to annihilate this part of you for decades. You must earn it’s trust. Then it will cooperate with you.
3. Declare your intention.
After you’ve established the kind of inner communication, tell this part of you that you’d like to figure out how to work together with it. You don’t want to hurt it. You don’t want to take anything away. And you know it is playing a protective role in your psyche.
That’s a lot to say (or believe) based on reading a blog post about codependency, I know. You can use your own words but preserve the positive, helpful sentiment.
In response to declaring your intention, listen. What do you hear in reply? It doesn’t matter at this point how the part responds. If you’ve gotten this far, then you have accomplished the most important thing of all – inner communication with a part of you that you’ve never interacted with before.
Is that amazing?
What To Do Next
I wish I could give you all the tools available to know how to stop being codependent right here in this blog post. But that’s impossible. We need to be satisfied for now with this initial breakthrough.
Next, if you’re serious about letting go of codependency and finding security in healthy relationships, you should find an inner dynamics practitioner to guide you the rest of the way. Having had this experience, you can feel more hopeful that a solution is possible.
After all, the codependent part of you is communicating with you! Again, it doesn’t matter (at all) whether the part’s communication is positive or negative at this stage in the process.
So, take a deep breath and let it out slowly.