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90% of People Confuse Codependency with Intense Love. Are You One of Them?

90% of People Confuse Codependency with Intense Love. Are You One of Them?

How many times have you heard someone say that they couldn’t live without the person they loved? After all, life goes on even if relationships come to an end. For some people, however, there remains far more truth to this castaway statement.

As beautiful as that giddy, intense love may seem to be, there is a firm line between that and co-dependency.

The key differences: codependency VS intense love

The majority of people who fall in love will know when it happens. They experience that surge of butterflies mingled into euphoria in the beginning. As the days go by, these emotions should settle into something calmer yet mostly content.

With co-dependency, the love is often rooted in feelings of low self-esteem, insecurity, and inadequacy. It results in one person losing a sense of themselves and focusing completely on the needs of the other person.

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The destructiveness of co-dependency

There are some who would argue that a certain amount of co-dependency is not bad in a relationship. If anything, it is encouraged to an extent. Being with someone means that you should, at times, be unselfish and put the other person’s needs first. After all, that is what love is–is it not?

Furthermore, being with someone means that you do not have to be completely independent. Part of having a relationship is knowing that there is someone by your side.

The destructiveness of true co-dependency is not having elements of trust, self-esteem, and assurance that would accompany a healthy relationship. For the one who is co-dependent, he or she needs to feel needed in order to feel accepted or worthy. This can often be exacerbated by an on-going fear of rejection.

This is not to say that people in co-dependent relationships do not experience some of the benefits of a healthy relationship. Yet, those feelings of security are often short-lived and unstable.

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Attachment theory says that as infants, people create much-needed healthy attachments to at least one caregiver which helps them to grow up to be secure in love, affection and be able to handle rejection. Children who did not build any such attachment are more likely to become co-dependent as adults. As a result, they can often end up in abusive relationships which extend to emotional, mental, physical or sexual abuse.

If you think you are co-dependent, here are 5 tips to help

Stop being a people-pleaser

Know that it is not possible to please everyone all of the time. As a result, it is inevitable that someone will get disappointed or upset.

Perhaps your partner wanted to see you but you are sick and in bed. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for declining the offer and focusing on your health instead. Remember that with relationships there are always opportunities to reschedule things.

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When arguments happen, just walk away first

Don’t make your happiness depend on whether someone else is happy or not. A person may be thrilled with you one day and have an argument with you the next day. When arguments happen, try not to take them as personally and walk away. Let the dust settle before addressing the issue again in a more rational way.

Focus on yourself and love yourself first

A big issue with co-dependency is the focus is mostly on the other person. Learn to love and embrace yourself because ultimately, this is where true love starts. You can do this by spending more time with those who love you such as friends or family. Or perhaps by adopting a new hobby or do something that you always wanted to try.

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Beware of falling into relationships with abusers or addicts

An example would be a person who refuses to leave a partner who constantly cheats. Instead, they convince themselves that they could make their partner change or perhaps make changes within themselves to prevent the cheating.

Frequently, co-dependent people can find themselves in relationships that do not serve their best interests and can easily fall into relationships with abusers or addicts. Know that you can walk away and if you are scared to do so get support from someone who can help you take the first step.

Speak to a therapist: there’s no shame seeking external help

For any underlying issues, it is always good to speak to a specialist who may be able to give you further help. There is no stigma or shame in striving to become the best version of yourself by whatever means necessary.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

More by this author

J.S. von Dacre

Writer at Lifehack

Alert: If You Always Avoid Things You Fear, You May Have This Issue 10 Best Romance Movies That Reflect the Harsh Reality of Relationships Things Parents Do Unconsciously That Make Their Kids Become Codependent If You’re Overly Dependent, Probably It Is Due to the Scars of Childhood 90% of People Confuse Codependency with Intense Love. Are You One of Them?

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Last Updated on April 1, 2019

How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy

How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy

When we talk about happiness, we often think about staying happy all the time – every single day, every single minute with zero negativity. Many try to pursue this constant state of “happiness” as their ultimate goal, and avoid anything that may take it away from them.

But, what is the meaning of this type of “happiness”?

It’s a lot like your favorite food. The more often you have it isn’t always better. On the contrary, when you only have a chance to eat it sparingly, that’s when you really savor every bite. So is it the food itself that makes you happy, or is it how valuable it is to you when you are eating it?

Always remember that only by experiencing sadness do we understand what it is to be happy.

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Video Summary

Don’t Assume Others Are Always Happy

Most people see those who have seemingly perfect lives and assume they are happy all the time. Since childhood, we are conditioned to chase the idea of “happily-ever-after” that we see in fairytales. On social media, everyone tends to share only the best looking aspects of their lives. So, it’s very easy to have a distorted view of what “happiness” is around us.

In reality, there is always something missing, something lacking, or something unpleasant.

No one has a perfect life. Even the most glamorous celebrities or the richest billionaires have their own set of challenges and problems.

When we feel negative, we’re only focusing on a small fluctuating curve. As CEO of Lifehack, I’ve had to deal with countless problems, and some of them felt like real setbacks at the time. During those moments, it really seemed like these problems would be the life or death of my company and my life goals. But, I got through them; and, weeks, months and eventually years passed with many more ups and downs.

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You need to keep your sights on the extended curve.  Looking back now, a lot of those “really big” problems at the time now seem like only small blips in a long line of experiences. Recalling them in my mind now makes me smile!

Stop Trying to Be Happy–Just Be

It’s natural to want to be happy as often as possible.

So what can we do?

First, throw away the belief that a perfect life means happiness. Personally, I would be miserable if everything was perfect. It’s through experiencing the pains of lifelong challenges that drives us to care for others when they are experiencing similar trials. If life was perfect, you wouldn’t be able to empathize. If life was perfect, you wouldn’t grow.

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To be truly happy, stop chasing permanent happiness.

It sounds like a paradox. But, what I mean is to accept that there will be ups and downs throughout life. Gracefully understand that happiness is a fluctuation of positive and negative events.

Understand the importance of gratitude. Instead of focusing on the unpleasant moment, flash back your memory to when you didn’t have something. I like to think about my career, for example. When I didn’t have a career I was passionate about, I felt lost and demotivated. I felt like everyone was figuring out their lives but me. But, when I found my purpose and started Lifehack, I was deeply happy, even before I realized I would be successful! This memory keeps me going when I hit tough spots. It takes the darkness to make us grateful for the light.

Happiness and Sadness Exist Together

What it all comes down to is this: your life will be filled with beautiful, happy and incredible moments–happy tears and joyous shouts and funny stories. But, your life will also be filled with rain and storms that never seem like they will pass while you’re going through them.

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But, whether your face is warmed by the sunshine, or your heart is dampened by the rain, know that it’s all part of the ebb and flow of life.

Treasure the happy moments and power through the sad ones. Don’t try to avoid “sad” or “negative” experiences, and blindly chase being “happy”. In the end you will achieve a true level of contentment in your life, based on meaningful experiences and achievements. Being able to create growth and meaning out of both positive and negative events — that is the true meaning of “happiness”.

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