Patterns and Characteristics of Codependence


These patterns and characteristics are offered as a tool to aid in self-evaluation.
They may be particularly helpful to newcomers.

Denial Patterns:
I have difficulty identifying what I am feeling.
I minimize, alter or deny how I truly feel.
I perceive myself as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well being of others.

Low Self Esteem Patterns:
I have difficulty making decisions.
I judge everything I think, say or do harshly, as never "good enough."
I am embarrassed to receive recognition and praise or gifts.
I do not ask others to meet my needs or desires.
I value others' approval of my thinking, feelings and behavior over my own.
I do not perceive myself as a lovable or worthwhile person.

Compliance Patterns:
I compromise my own values and integrity to avoid rejection or others' anger.
I am very sensitive to how others are feeling and feel the same.
I am extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.
I value others' opinions and feelings more than my own and am afraid to express differing opinions and feelings of my own.
I put aside my own interests and hobbies in order to do what others want.
I accept sex when I want love.

Control Patterns:
I believe most other people are incapable of taking care of themselves.
I attempt to convince others of what they "should" think and how they "truly" feel.
I become resentful when others will not let me help them.
I freely offer others advice and directions without being asked.
I lavish gifts and favors on those I care about.
I use sex to gain approval and acceptance.
I have to be "needed" in order to have a relationship with others.

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Codependents Anonymous (C.O.D.A) is a 12-step self-help support group for people who are healing from co-dependency.

 

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Click on the underlined heading to go see the 
discussion for each step.

 

The 12 Steps of Codependents Anonymous

  STEP ONE
We admitted we were powerless over others - that our lives had become unmanageable.

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STEP TWO
Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

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STEP THREE
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.

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STEP FOUR
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

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STEP FIVE
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

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STEP SIX
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

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STEP SEVEN
Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

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STEP EIGHT
Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

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STEP NINE
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

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STEP TEN
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

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STEP ELEVEN
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out.

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STEP TWELVE
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to other co-dependents, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

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To find a meeting near you go to Co-Dependents Anonymous

For more links to Codependent sites Click Here.

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