It is good to know what the characteristics of a codependent person are.
Codependent people may seem capable and self-sufficient, yet they are insecure, self-doubting, and in need of approval. This will include a lot of us, but a codependent person’s need for approval results in an excessive sense of responsibility and a dependence on people-pleasing performance. However, the Bible says our primary focus should not be on pleasing people, but rather on pleasing God. 1 Thessalonians 4:1 “We instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.”
The Profile of a Codependent Person:
- Feel responsible for the feelings, needs, and actions of the other person.
- Try to fix the problems of the other person, even to the detriment of my wellbeing.
- Discern the thoughts of the other person but cannot identify my own.
- Know the feelings and needs of the other person but do not know my own.
- Do things for others that they are capable of doing for themselves.
- Feel angry when my help is not wanted.
- Tend to be rigid and judgmental in the eyes of others.
- Judge myself more harshly than I judge others.
- Deny my own feelings and needs – so I’ve been told.
- Feel guilty when I stand up for myself.
- Feel good about giving but have difficulty receiving.
- Try to be perfect to avoid anger or criticism.
- Look for my worth in the approval of others.
- Find that I am attracted to needy people and that needy people are attracted to me.
When you think about the person with whom you are closely involved, measure the profile of a codependent person against that relationship(s) and consider if any of these statements are reflections of you.