How To Break The Cycle of Codependent Behavior
Now that you see you are trapped in this cycle, here are some ways to help you break free.
1. Improve Self-Esteem
Codependency can’t take root when you have a high, positive sense of self-esteem. Many codependent behaviors stem from a desire to seek validation due to an innate belief that something’s wrong with you. You may:
- Try to prove your worth to others, which is why your boundaries are nonexistent, and you keep overextending yourself.
- Act as a caretaker to others so that you can feel of use to the people around you, as you define yourself by your service to others.
- Ignore your own needs because you don’t think your desires and preferences are valid since you don’t believe in your worth.
To break the cycle of such codependent behavior, you need to start thinking about yourself. Take things slow and treat yourself with compassion as you validate your emotions. Take steps towards self-care and telling yourself that you deserve good things in life. You have to internalize the message that your worth doesn’t depend on your service to others.
2. Detach Healthily
Avoidance is unhealthy, true! But there’s a difference between avoidance and detachment. Healthy detachment is the art of letting go. It’s something that a lot of codependent individuals struggle with. You attach so much to your actions and how people perceive you that it’s tough to live an everyday life without that influence.
It’s essential to understand how detaching isn’t a selfish action. It’s something that ensures your boundaries are kept and met. It separates you from other people in a way that facilitates healthier relationships, giving you room for yourself. Detachment may involve:
- No longer reacting to those around you, instead of staying calm in the face of stressors.
- Disengaging from drama and arguments.
- Setting healthy boundaries and enforcing them.
- Refusing to enable the negative behaviors of others.
- Ceasing criticizing and nagging activities.
- Considering the emotions and needs of yourself.
- Leaving any situations that you’re not comfortable being a part of.
- Listening to others instead of trying to fix or solve their issues.
3. Learn About Yourself
Codependency causes you to struggle to have your own identity. You define yourself by your value and use to others. That’s why a big step in breaking the cycle of codependent behavior is all about learning your own true identity. You have to reconnect yourself after a long time of forcefully turning yourself into whoever you think others want you to be.
You may have lost touch with your goals, dreams, and beliefs, along with your identity. This likely makes it even harder to stop the codependency, as you have nothing to fall back on. Don’t worry – you can take it slow! Begin by asking yourself a few questions, such as:
- What are my hobbies? What do I like doing?
- How can I improve my mood? How can I make myself feel better?
- Who are the people I enjoy spending time with most?
- What are my goals and dreams in life? Is there something I want to do?
Final Thoughts On Some Behaviors Of Codependency And How To Break The Cycle
Codependent behavior is a highly harmful form of attachment. It’ll jeopardize your life and subject you to repeated harm while preventing others from taking their accountability. To escape its clutches, you have to break the cycle. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help for this frightening and challenging process!