Strategies for success.
A couple of months ago now, I published a post about realizing I’m codependent and starting to turn that thought process around. For those intervening months, I’ve analyzed the way I think, feel, and act through the lens of codependence. And identified those parts associated with codependency. Then turned my mind to change.
This ought to take years of therapy, but meditation ought to do the same job¹.
Meditation is the development of concentration and un-attatchment. I’m a novice having mediated with systems I’ve developed taking into account the information I had at the time. Keeping that up for years helped me.
Un-attatchment is based on the philosophy that attachment to an idea of self is the cause of all suffering².
Concentration allows the ability to cut deep into the mind³ to identify the causes behind cruelty and in a deeper sense why we think, act, and feel the way we do. Making sense of it all requires an understanding of how people operate, or how you personally operate. Medium is a great resource for that.
That was a long tangent. These are my lessons learned in fighting codependence.
Manipulation is bad.
I don’t think anyone disagrees with that. Manipulation isn’t easy to see. What constitutes manipulation? I have a video for you I watched on Youtube.
Manipulation is acting in such a way to get a particular response. The goal must always be control over other people.
Some examples would be nice⁴.
Being friendly in order to make friends. Being friendly should just feel nice.
Offering to do something like paying for dinner and keeping score if the gesture is ever returned. You shouldn’t pay in hopes they’ll do in kind. Paying should just feel nice.
Some of you are reading that wondering why people do things expecting something in return.
Don’t please anybody unless you’re happy doing so.
Most people with codependency were denied the things they needed as children⁵, including my need for validation. I wrongly believe how people responded to me was my responsibility.
That person was nice, because I gave them something expensive.
He was horrible, because I didn’t share my food with him.
The possibility that how someone acts is beyond my control was terrifying. It brought back my fears of abandonment and rejection.
Remember that I’m not responsible for how other people think, act, or feel. How I act shouldn’t harm anyone else or make me feel like I’m owed something. Otherwise, it’s not my mistake.
When you feel bad, check your boundaries.
People feel bad when their needs aren’t met⁶. People are wired for fairness⁷.
If I’m not assertive of my own needs to get someone to like me, I get mad when it feels like they don’t treat me with the same deference. Don’t get into situations like that.
What are acceptable boundaries⁸?
Setting boundaries has always been difficult for me. It’s terrifying. That’s all.
What if is set unrealistic boundaries and nobody can met them? That’s a lie I’ve told myself for years.
I was afraid of rejection.
No one has agency over how you handle your stuff. They can make suggestions, and you should consider them. If a decision means they reject you, you don’t need someone like that in your life.
No one can tell you how to be. That’s your responsibility. If that causes someone to reject you, so be it. Any time you put on a mask, it’s a struggle to keep it intact. Sooner or later, the mask will slip, showing your true colors.
Get your needs met.
Boundaries are different for different people, but there are some universal things.
Don’t do something that makes you uncomfortable.
Don’t do something that jeopardizes your well being — physical, mental, and otherwise.
Don’t take blame for how other people feel.
Make I statements⁹. Doing such and such makes me uncomfortable. I can’t be here. It’s triggering for me.
Exculpate other people. It’s nothing you’ve done. (This helps most at the beginning.)
Don’t coerce, trust⁷.
Be nice because it feels good. Expect others are nice for the same reason.
- Britton, Willoughby.”Meditation and Depression.” Abstract. University Libraries, University of Arizona, hdl.handle.net/10150/195235. Accessed on 16 Aug 2018
- “Four Noble Truths.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 9 Aug 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Noble_Truths#Dukkha_and_its_ending. Accessed on 16 Aug 2018
- “What Does It Mean To Be Enlightened?” Bodhi Monastery. 2008, bodhimonastery.org/what-does-it-mean-to-be-enlightened.htm. Accessed on 16 Aug 2018.
- Gage, Kris. “Dating a good guy after a toxic relationship.” Medium. Medium Corp,20 Jan 2017, medium.com/@krisgage/dating-a-good-guy-after-a-toxic-relationship-3ce67ac9b9de. Accessed on 16 Aug 2018.
- Seltzer, Leon F., Ph.D. “From Parent-Pleasing to People-Pleasing (Part 1 of 3).” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, LLC, 22 Jul 2008, http://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evolution-the-self/200807/parent-pleasing-people-pleasing-part-1-3. Accessed on 16 Aug 2018.
- Gage, Kris. “How To Know What You Want.” Medium. Medium Corp,13 Jul 2018, medium.com/@krisgage/how-to-know-what-you-want-656b3a660e04. Accessed on 16 Aug 2018.
- Wright, Robert. “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along? The Uncertain Biological Basis of Morality.” The Atlantic. The Atlantic Monthly Group, Nov 2013 Issue, www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/11/why-we-fightand-can-we-stop/309525. Accessed on 16 Aug 2018
- Gage, Kris. “How Much To Give And Take In Relationships.” Medium. Medium Corp,16 Jul 2018, medium.com/@krisgage/how-much-to-give-and-take-in-relationships-ccbdf31e2f4e. Accessed on 16 Aug 2018.
- Wilding, Melody. “ Techniques to Disarm, Cope With and Become More Confident Confronting Passive Aggressive People.” Better Humans. Medium Corp,21 Feb 2018, betterhumans.coach.me/techniques-to-disarm-cope-with-and-become-more-confident-confronting-passive-aggressive-people-9f7bcd5ffcb6. Accessed on 16 Aug 2018.