How To Help a Codependent

Codependency is a condition wherein an individual develops a messiah complex. They have the constant need to help someone since they like the feeling of being needed. However, the ‘help’ that they provide may result to enabling. This is common in households where a family member is suffering from addiction. Codependents tend to give all they have, including time, money and resources, to the point of being a martyr. Being a codependent can be hard for a person although they may not openly admit it.

Read the tips below to help a person overcome codependency:

  • Learn to say no. Codependents often do not know how to say no. If you have a friend or a family member who is suffering from this, you may help him overcome his codependency by teaching him how to say no. Codependents think that they are less of a person if they do not accept favors or do some things even if it is against their will. This is a small step towards becoming less of a codependent.
  • Find activities for the person. Look for some activities that the person enjoys and let him do it on his own. Codependents have a tendency to do things that will make other people happy so they feel needed. By doing activities that make them happy, they will lessen being dependent on someone and start to feel that they are capable of being happy by doing the things they love.
  • Provide support. Overcoming codependency does not happen overnight. This is a process that can take years to overcome, depending on the case of the codependent. Be supportive to the codependent. Codependents may try to change their lives but this does not always end up well. They may go into a relapse especially if they live around the people whom they are dependent on.
  • Discuss problems. If you live with a codependent at home, it is best to have open communication among the family members to discuss problems and feelings towards each other. One of the symptoms of codependency is not speaking up about their true feelings towards a situation with the dependent. Open communication provides an opportunity for everyone to say what they really feel.
  • Codependency program. In some cases, it is best to enroll in a 12-step program where they work with a counselor in order to overcome their codependency. This program is similar to the program for addictions but geared towards people who are suffering from codependency.

These are some of the tips that you can use to help a person overcome codependency. You have to understand that this process takes time, especially if the person has been a codependent for many years. The best thing to do is to provide them with the support that they need and stand by them throughout the entire process. Do not push them to do something that they are not ready to do. It is good to let them control their lives on their own so they can start living for themselves and not for others.


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