Co-dependency by definition is a loss of self because you are too busy taking care of others as a means of seeking love and approval because you are afraid of being alone/lonely, abandoned and unloved, so you put up with unhealthy relationships to avoid it. If you find yourself constantly trying to please other people at the expense of your own preferences and needs, that is a symptom of co-dependency.
Some symptoms of co-dependency include:
• Approval seeking or people pleasing.
• Fear of being alone or abandoned.
• Feeling selfish, or guilty for not meeting the needs of others.
• Feeling not good enough, or “too much” or “too little.”
• Irritable when others don’t take your advice.
• Diminishing yourself in order to lift up others.
• Being everyone’s “go to” person.
• Getting caught in others’ trauma and drama.
• Rescuing or fixing others, to your demise.
• Giving ultimatums, or nagging to keep others out of trouble.
• Covering or taking a fall for others.
• Enduring unhealthy relationships to avoid loneliness.
• Giving of your finances and other resources to depletion.
• Having an addict, user, abuser, or narcissist in your life.
• Having self-limiting or self-sabotaging beliefs.
• Over-responsibility or doing more than your fair share.
Co-dependents find themselves in one-sided relationships as giving and receiving is not in balance due to their unhealthy means of seeking love and approval. A healthy relationship is based on a balance in giving and receiving which allows each to remain centred and respectful of their own needs as well as those of others. By creating one-sided relationships you are disabling yourself from your own authenticity and continue to enable others as you also deprive the person you are sheltering of the lessons they need to learn and grow. The truth is; you can only give so much for so long before you start suffering and need help yourself. Your approval seeking is actually an embedded fear of abandonment – of being alone/lonely and unloved somewhere in your subconscious but these fears can be transformed so that unhealthy relationships either become healthy and balanced, or they fall away.