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Relationships: Are You Dependent and/or Codependent?

By Dr. Margaret Paul
November 11, 2018

We discover our level of dependency and codependency as we open to learning and practice Inner Bonding.

RelationshipsWithout judging yourself, open to learning about your level of dependency – needing others to feel that you are okay, and codependency - taking responsibility for others’ feelings to get love and avoid pain.

  • Are you dependent on others for your sense of worth?
  • Are you dependent on others for your sense of safety?
  • Are you dependent on others for your happiness and sense of wellbeing?
  • Do you need to be needed to feel worthwhile?
  • Are you afraid to be alone?
  • Do you feel empty unless you are interacting with others who are approving of you? Are you addicted to approval?
  • Are you terrified of rejection? Do you give yourself up to avoid rejection? Are you willing to lose yourself rather than lose someone else?
  • Do you believe that others are responsible for your feelings?
  • Are you much more aware of others feelings than you are of your own?
  • Do you feel victimized by others?
  • Are you often angry, blaming, compliant, resistant or withdrawn in relationships?
  • Are you always trying to change yourself to get someone's love or approval?
  • Are you often focused on getting someone else to change so that you feel loved, seen, understood, heard, and valued?

Most of us grew up with parents who were dependent and codependent, and we learned from them to be the same way. The wounded self in all of us is both dependent and codependent to one degree or another.


Both dependency and codependency are symptoms of self-abandonment.

When you have not decided to take responsibility for your own feelings and wellbeing, then you become dependent upon others to do it for you. Once you hand over to others the responsibility for your self-worth, lovability, and safety, then you need to do all you can to have control over them giving you what you believe you need from them to feel worthy, happy, and safe.

Why would you persist in this even when, over and over, it doesn't work? What are the beliefs keeping you from taking responsibility for yourself?

Do you believe that:

  • Others know how to love you better than you know how to love yourself?
  • You are incapable of learning how to love yourself and fill yourself with love, so others have to do it for you?
  • Others loving you feels SO much better than loving yourself?
  • If you take responsibility for yourself, you will end up alone because you won’t need anyone?
  • You missed out on being loved as a child so it is now up to others to give you what you didn't get?
  • Loving yourself is selfish?


What is the Truth?

As you read through these beliefs, try to really take the time to tune into what you believe. Then, open to your guidance for the truth. Can you tune into knowing that all of these beliefs are false? Any of these false beliefs can keep you stuck in self-abandonment and the resulting dependency and codependency.

Are there one or more of these beliefs keeping you stuck? Are you willing to test them out by devoting yourself to practicing Inner Bonding and learning to love yourself? Are you willing to accept that there is not one person on the planet that wants the responsibility for your sense of worth and safety? Are you willing to discover that, not only can you learn to love yourself, but that loving yourself and sharing your love with others is truly what heals your aloneness and emptiness and creates the deepest joy and the deepest sense of worth and safety? Are you willing to discover that taking responsibility for yourself, far from leading to being alone, leads to loving relationships?

Until you are willing to take a chance and decide to take responsibility for yourself, how will you ever know the truth?

Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."


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Daily Inspiration

We are all given free will. What does this mean? It does not mean that we can control others and the outcome of things. It means that we are free to choose our intention each moment. It means that if we choose the intention to avoid/control, we freely choose to behave in unloving ways to ourselves and others. It means if we choose the intention to learn about love, even in the face of fear, we freely choose to be loving to ourselves and others. Free will gives us the ability to choose our intention.


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