February is relationship month here at CEDRIC and our newsletters this month will centre around the issue of relating to others. One of the key aspects that influences all our interactions with others, whether they are lovers, friends, family, co-workers or the check-out girl at the grocery story, is the degree of unconscious co-dependent behaviour that exists in us.
Ask yourself this question: Is there anything in my life right now that I feel anxious about that is not related to me feeling responsible in some way for someone else’s feelings and/or needs? No?
Or try it this way: If I could miraculously let go of feeling responsible for what other people feel and need or expect of me, how would I feel? Like I had just lost a hundred pounds? Free? Like I could finally live my life?
And what about this one: Is there any anxiety in me that isn’t about me wanting control of someone’s perception of me because I believe that if they approve of me I’ll finally be able to relax and won’t feel as anxious all the time?
This is co-dependency.
If I’m co-dependent it means I feel responsible for what other people think and feel and subsequently what they do. It’s the mechanism that allows abusive relationships to function (for if I didn’t buy into feeling responsible for the other person’s feelings and life experience they would not be able to control me with their words and actions). It’s also one of the primary contributors to the degree of anxiety and depression we see in our society and it leads us to use food to cope. (more…)