Recovery Patterns of Codependence
- Have difficulty identifying what they are feeling
- Minimize, alter, or deny how they truly feel.
- Perceive themselves as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well- being of others
- Lack empathy for the feelings and needs of others.
- Label others with their negative traits.
- Think they can take care of themselves without any help from others.
- Mask pain in various ways such as anger, humor, or isolation.
- Express negativity or aggression in indirect and passive ways.
- Do not recognize the unavailability of those people to whom they are attracted.
- I am aware of my feelings and identify them, often in the moment. I know the difference between my thoughts and feelings.
- I embrace my feelings; they are valid and important.
- I know the difference between caring and care taking. I recognize that care taking others is often motivated by a need to benefit myself.
- I am able to feel compassion for another’s feelings and needs.
- I acknowledge that I may own the negative traits I often perceive in others.
- I acknowledge that I sometimes need the help of others.
- I am aware of my painful feelings and express them appropriately.
- I am able to express my feelings openly, directly, and calmly.
- I pursue intimate relationships only with others who want, and are able to engage in, healthy and loving relationships.
Low Self-esteem Patterns
- Have difficulty making decisions.
- Judge what they think, say, or do harshly, as never good enough.
- Are embarrassed to receive recognition, praise, or gifts.
- Value others’ approval of their thinking, feelings, and behavior over their own.
- Do not perceive themselves as lovable or worthwhile persons.
- Seek recognition and praise to overcome feeling less than.
- Have difficulty admitting a mistake.
- Need to appear to be right in the eyes of others and may even lie to look good.
- Are unable to identify or ask for what they need and want.
- Perceive themselves as superior to others.
- Look to others to provide their sense of safety.
- Have difficulty getting started, meeting deadlines, and completing projects.
- Have trouble setting healthy priorities and boundaries.
- I trust my ability to make effective decisions.
- I accept myself as I am. I emphasize progress over perfection.
- I feel appropriately worthy of the recognition, praise, or gifts I receive.
- I value the opinions of those I trust, without needing to gain their approval. I have confidence in myself.
- I recognize myself as being a lovable and valuable person.
- I seek my own approval first, and examine my motivations carefully when I seek approval from others.
- I continue to take my personal inventory, and when I am wrong, promptly admit it.
- I am honest with myself about my behaviors and motivations. I feel secure enough to admit mistakes to myself and others, and to hear their opinions without feeling threatened.
- I meet my own needs and wants when possible. I reach out for help when it’s necessary and appropriate.
- I perceive myself as equal to others.
- With the help of my Higher Power, I create safety in my life.
- I avoid procrastination by meeting my responsibilities in a timely manner.
- I am able to establish and uphold healthy priorities and boundaries in my life.
- Are extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.
- Compromise their own values and integrity to avoid rejection or anger.
- Put aside their own interests in order to do what others want.
- Are hypervigilant regarding the feelings of others and take on those feelings.
- Are afraid to express their beliefs, opinions, and feelings when they differ from those of others.
- Accept sexual attention when they want love.
- Make decisions without regard to the consequences.
- Give up their truth to gain the approval of others or to avoid change.
- I am committed to my safety and leave situations that feel unsafe or are inconsistent with my goals.
- I am rooted in my own values, even if others don’t agree or become angry.
- I consider my interests and feelings when asked to participate in another’s plans.
- I can separate my feelings from the feelings of others. I allow myself to experience my feelings and others to be responsible for their feelings.
- I respect my own opinions and feelings and express them appropriately.
- My sexuality is grounded in genuine intimacy and connection. When I need to feel loved, I express my heart’s desires. I do not settle for sex without love.
- I ask my Higher Power for guidance, and consider possible consequences before I make decisions.
- I stand in my truth and maintain my integrity, whether others approve or not, even if it means making difficult changes in my life.
- Believe people are incapable of taking care of themselves.
- Attempt to convince others what to think, do, or feel.
- Freely offer advice and direction without being asked.
- Become resentful when others decline their help or reject their advice.
- Lavish gifts and favors on those they want to influence.
- Use sexual attention to gain approval and acceptance.
- Have to feel needed in order to have a relationship with others.
- Demand that their needs be met by others.
- Use charm and charisma to convince others of their capacity to be caring and compassionate.
- Use blame and shame to exploit others emotionally.
- Refuse to cooperate, compromise, or negotiate.
- Adopt an attitude of indifference, helplessness, authority, or rage to manipulate outcomes.
- Use recovery jargon in an attempt to control the behavior of others.
- Pretend to agree with others to get what they want.
- I realize that, with rare exceptions, other adults are capable of managing their own lives.
- I accept the thoughts, choices, and feelings of others, even though I may not be comfortable with them.
- I give advice only when asked.
- I am content to see others take care of themselves.
- I carefully and honestly contemplate my motivations when preparing to give a gift.
- I embrace and celebrate my sexuality as evidence of my health and wholeness. I do not use it to gain the approval of others.
- I develop relationships with others based on equality, intimacy, and balance.
- I find and use resources that meet my needs without making demands on others. I ask for help when I need it, without expectation.
- I behave authentically with others, allowing my caring and compassionate qualities to emerge.
- I ask directly for what I want and need and trust the outcome to my Higher Power. I do not try to manipulate outcomes with blame or shame.
- I cooperate, compromise, and negotiate with others in a way that honors my integrity.
- I treat others with respect and consideration, and trust my Higher Power to meet my needs and desires.
- I use my recovery for my own growth and not to manipulate or control others.
- My communication with others is authentic and truthful.
- Act in ways that invite others to reject, shame, or express anger toward them.
- Judge harshly what others think, say, or do.
- Avoid emotional, physical, or sexual intimacy as a way to maintain distance.
- Allow addictions to people, places, and things to distract them from achieving intimacy in relationships.
- Use indirect or evasive communication to avoid conflict or confrontation.
- Diminish their capacity to have healthy relationships by declining to use the tools of recovery.
- Suppress their feelings or needs to avoid feeling vulnerable.
- Pull people toward them, but when others get close, push them away.
- Refuse to give up their self-will to avoid surrendering to a power greater than themselves.
- Believe displays of emotion are a sign of weakness.
- Withhold expressions of appreciation.
- I act in ways that encourage loving and healthy responses from others.
- I keep an open mind and accept others as they are.
- I engage in emotional, physical, or sexual intimacy when it is healthy and appropriate for me.
- I practice my recovery to develop healthy and fulfilling relationships.
- I use direct and straightforward communication to resolve conflicts and deal appropriately with confrontations.
- When I use the tools of recovery, I am able to develop and maintain healthy relationships of my choosing.
- I embrace my own vulnerability by trusting and honoring my feelings and needs.
- I welcome close relationships while maintaining healthy boundaries.
- I believe in and trust a power greater than myself. I willingly surrender my self-will to my Higher Power.
- I honor my authentic emotions and share them when appropriate.
- I freely engage in expressions of appreciation toward others.
The Patterns and Characteristics of Codependence may not be reprinted or republished without the express written consent of Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc.
This document may be reprinted from the website www.coda.org (CoDA) for use by members of the CoDA Fellowship.
Copyright © 2011 Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc. All rights reserved