What is Co-Dependency and What Can We Do About It?

"If you think you are dependent upon another individual -you are!" Dr. Robert Anthony
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Co-dependency is a learned behavior that can be passed down from one generation to another. It is an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual's ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. It is also known as "relationship addiction" because people with co-dependency often form or maintain relationships that are one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive. The disorder was first identified about ten years ago as the result of studying interpersonal relationships in families of alcoholics. Co-dependent behavior is learned by watching and imitating other family members who display this type of behavior.

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Helping and Enabling - Is There A Difference?

"Enabling is doing something for someone that they could, and should, be doing themselves."
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Is there really a difference between helping and enabling? Helping is doing something for someone else that they are unable to do for themselves. Enabling is doing things for someone else that they can and should be doing for themselves. So, why is there so much confusion between the two?

Doing anything, and everything, makes us feel good - at first. Our self-esteem becomes tied to this source of doing for people. But eventually we begin to feel unappreciated. Why? Because by being "too there" - by being "too available" - no one appreciates us because they become accustomed to our helping. And, to be perfectly honest, we're taken advantage of. They don't appreciate it, they just give us more to do and expect it from us.

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Detaching - With Love

"By letting it go, it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try the world is beyond the winning."
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Detachment is the ability to allow people the freedom to be themselves. It is the ability to hold back from the need to rescue, save or fix another person from being sick, dysfunctional or irrational. It is the ability to develop and maintain a safe, emotional distance from someone whom you have previously given a lot of power to affect your emotional outlook on life.

Detaching is a process by which you are free to feel your own feelings when you see another person falter and fail and not be led by guilt to feel responsible for their failure or faltering - and to place all things in life into a health, rational perspective.

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