1. Low self-esteem. Codependents often cannot say “no.” They accept negative feedback and criticism as truth and struggle to see the good traits others notice.
2. No boundaries. A codependent person may allow someone else to control their money, take or destroy belongings, abuse them, or isolate them from friends, family, and activities.
3. Extreme caretaking. It’s natural to want to care for others, but a codependent often feels he or she needs to care for everyone, to the point that the other person isn’t expected to care for themselves or take responsibility for actions. Codependents may also use caretaking to manipulate.
4. Addictions. Codependent people aren’t always addicted to alcohol or drugs, but may have other addictions. For example, they may be workaholics or be immersed in a hobby.
If you are codependent, here are ways to get help:
1. Seek cognitive-behavioral therapy. A professional can help you handle emotions such as blame, guilt, or sadness.
2. Codependent people often get so involved in their relationship that they forget what it is to be a whole person. Reacquaint yourself with the whole “you.” Learn something new, meditate or pray, or spend time with friends.
3. Care for yourself. See your doctor if you experience symptoms of severe stress. Drink plenty of water, exercise, and rest whenever you need to, for as long as you need to.