Relationships are like a dance, with visible energy racing back and forth between the partners.  Some relationships are the slow, dark dance of death. – Colette Dowling

It is natural to want to protect our loved ones, and it is natural to REACT to the problems happening around us.  Here in this blog, I want to focus on the word REACT.  The word REACT is important in the context of how we can begin to define and understand codependency in order to identify ways to overcome it.  The tendency of a codependent person is to REACT, overREACT, and underREACT, but seldom does the codependent person simply act.  When a loved one has a problem, a codependent person feels, thinks, and behaves in a way that is usually self-destructive.  Codependent people REACT to loved ones who are destructive to themselves and consequently learn behaviors that are destructive to themselves and repeat those behaviors (i.e. pursuing relationships that don’t work, dating people who need ‘saving’).

Now that we understand codependency a little bit… what can we do it about?

In brief, here are some ways we can begin taking care of ourselves and overcome patterns of codependency:

1.     Detach from the person we are attached to.  Detaching does not mean that we stop caring about the person.  It means that we can care without it causing an uproar in our own life.

2.     Focus on what you have control of.  Each person is responsible for their own feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.

3.     Do not compromise your peace.  Whether in an uproar or in a state of peace, the same resources and support are there.

4.     Reduce the reactions that are hurtful to you.  If something tugs at your peace, be aware of it, examine it, and decide what you need to do. 

Does any of this sound familiar to you?  If so, take some time to reflect on what bothers you the most, what you would like to change, and what you can do to make those changes happen.  If you are feeling really stuck, please give me a call and I would love to help you take back in control of your life and engage in the relationships you deserve.