I’m excited for this week’s Sixty-Minute Seminar! Codependency.  It’s a word I hear more and more frequently, though folks have a difficult time defining what it actually is. Most people seem emphatic that—whatever it is—they are not it. But their mother-in-law probably is.

While everyone who does something a little codependent is certainly not a full-blown, actual Codependent, I’d be hard-pressed to believe there is anyone in the following categories who has absolutely no codependent tendencies every now and again: Women, Moms, Dads, Daughters, Sons.

If you don’t fall into one of those categories, you must be Siri, (and you are definitely codependent since you have no boundaries at all.)

When my mom was reading Codependent No More, she pointed out a great question I could ask myself:  “Am I robbing _________ of the opportunity to take responsibility for him/herself?”

That’s the sneaky trick about codependency: it looks frighteningly similar to nobility.  We’ve all wanted to help someone in need.  But is our help actually helpful, or is it crippling their ability to do for themselves what they must learn to do, lest they become dependent on others for things no one can or will give them in the future?

So, if you’re curious about whether this seminar might be interesting or helpful to you—or if you’ve ever wondered what the term Codependent actually means, here are a few questions that might help you make that determination.  Again, you might not do all of these things all of the time.  But (generally) all of these things are unhelpful.  So, if you’ve ever done any of them, you can at least empathize on some level with what the compulsions of a true Codependent might feel like.

Have you ever felt responsible for other people’s thoughts, feelings, choices, or ultimate well-being?

Have you ever felt an undue amount of anxiety over someone else’s problem or struggle, and felt forced or compelled to help?

Do you ever feel like you’re responsible for everyone?

Do you feel the need to anticipate (and meet) other people’s needs before they voice them to you?

Do you often say yes to things you don’t actually want to do because you feel guilty or compelled?

Do you find yourself attracted to or seemingly always surrounded by needy people?

Do you feel sad because you give and give to others, but nobody gives back to you?

Do you often abandon your own needs to respond to someone else’s crisis?

Do you often feel victimized by other people?

Do you love feeling needed?

Do you find yourself thinking or talking a lot about other people, their needs, or their lives?

Do you find it difficult to stop worrying about the problems of your children, parents, or partner?

Do you want to control the outcomes of your life and other’s lives?

Do you feel like you know what’s best for everyone?

These are just a few examples of helpful questions to ask. If you said yes to any (or all of them), come out this week to Sixty Minute Seminars and hear someone who actually knows what they’re talking about do a better job of illuminating this (frequently nebulous) term.

Sixty Minute Seminars meets at Herndon on Mondays at 7 p.m., Waterford on Tuesdays at 7 p.m., and Lake Mary at 7 p.m. at the Lake Mary Offices (100 Technology Parkway, Suite 110 Lake Mary).


Kailey Newkirk