What is Codependency

I recently finished a book called Codependent no more, by Melody Beattie. And, although I know what codependent is, I didn’t realize how it can show up in a variety of ways. It can intertwine itself deeply in our lives, and our relationships. As business owners, we need to equip ourselves with as many tools and resources as we can. This is my debrief of the book, and a different perspective on codependency.

Codependency can have a range of negative effects on us, as individuals and on our relationships. And in business, it can really hold us back on what needs to be done, and how we show up for our staff, our vendors, our peers. I’m not sure everyone notices codependent behaviours or understands them, and because of this, they may never be addressed.

When someone is codependent, they tend to prioritize the needs, feelings, and opinions of others over their own. This can result in a need for external validation. Think social media, just waiting for that one viral tweet, or maybe it’s like or comments on certain posts.
Tick. Tick. Tick.
Where are they?
Why aren’t people commenting?
I did so much research, and such a good job on that post – why isn’t anyone celebrating with me?
Sound familiar?
For myself, I have taken a much needed sabbatical from IG and FB. It was not helping my mental health, and I found that I wasn’t prioritizing my needs over the stats of my latest post or story. 

When it comes to strict boundaries, codependent individuals often have difficulty setting and maintaining healthy boundaries, making them susceptible to overextending themselves, feeling resentful, or being taken advantage of. This is a form of people pleasing, and no one talks better about this than author and coach, Shirzad Chamine. If you think that have people pleasing tendencies, I would suggest following Shirzad

Another negative effect of codependency is the neglect of personal needs. People who are codependent often prioritize the needs of others to the detriment of their own well-being, which can result in burnout, stress, and a lack of self-care. Focusing on meeting the needs of others can hinder a codependent person’s personal growth and self-discovery. By constantly catering to others, they may miss opportunities for personal development and self-improvement. Think of yourself in business, when is the last time you took some time (or white space in your calendar) and just left it as that. Space, for you to use as time for yourself. If you feel the need to fill every inch of your calendar, I would challenge you to sit in that white space for a while. It’s not always easy to take care of ourselves, but the benefits will support so many other areas of our lives.

Awareness is an essential first step in addressing and improving codependent behaviors. Recognizing the patterns and dynamics of codependency in your relationships, both in business and in life, helps us all understand how these behaviors negatively impact your well-being and the quality of your relationships.
I’m not a therapist.
I’m not trying to diagnose anyone.
I’m just really curious about human behavior. 

As I build my coaching practice, I find the conversations I have are often about the things that are preventing progress. Lack of clarity, lack of confidence, and the stresses that actually stop us from taking action. If this peaks your interest, I have included with this blog a PDF of some things to consider, and observations around codependency.

Donita Fowler

Coach + Creator
Manage your emotions and you can navigate challenges with a balanced perspective.