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May 14, 2024 39 mins

How can you tell if you're codependent or just really close to someone? If you are enmeshed or just reliant on their support? Feeling happy and stable in a loving relationship, or losing your independence? There are a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings when it come to codependent relationships, especially in our 20s and in today's episode we break down all you need to know and more, including: 

  • The roots of codependency in childhood and attachment theory
  • Signs of codependency 
  • Codependency v. dependency 
  • How to heal your need for intensity and trauma bonding 
  • Healing and restoring a codependent bond 

Listen now! Today's episode is a rerun of Episode 69 whilst Jemma is recovering from a sudden illness. New episodes will be back on Friday, happy listening. 

 

Follow Jemma on Instagram: @jemmasbeg

Follow the podcast on Instagram: @thatpsychologypodcast

 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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Transcript

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:04):
Hello everybody, and welcome back to the Psychology of Your Twenties,
the podcast where we talk through some of the big
life changes and transitions of our twenties and what they
mean for our psychology. Hello everybody, or welcome back to

(00:25):
the show, or welcome back to the podcast new listeners,
old listeners, wherever you are in the world. I'm so
excited for today's episode because today we are talking about
the idea or the psychological construct of cod dependency, and
not just in romantic relationships, but also in other fundamental

(00:49):
interpersonal relationships, particularly our friendships and with our family. I
think that codependency can show up in so many facets
of our social life lives. And although there is a
healthy amount of dependency and very real reasons why that
kind of turns into codependency, when it's taken to extremes,

(01:11):
when it's uncontrollable, what can emerge are pretty I would say,
parasitic symbiotic relationships that restrict our lives. It is a
very nuanced idea and a very nuanced concept. And I
get this topic requested of me all the time, all
the time, so it must be bothering some of us

(01:32):
out there. And I honestly don't know why I haven't
done it sooner, because it is such a crucial and
valuable discussion that needs to be had in this decade
of our lives. I also think another reason I was
really cool to almost do an episode on this, and
the reason I wanted to discuss the idea of codependency,
is because I think that its meaning has been incredibly

(01:57):
skewed by misinterpretations on the in in pop culture across
social media, and when we use the term codependency, it's
often really casual and flippant, and from the research that
I've done, I've just come to realize it's so much
more than that. So hopefully we can set the meaning
straight in this episode and kind of dive into all

(02:21):
of the psychology that is the basis of this concept
and this idea, especially how it can become visible and
can become a problem in our friendships and in our relationships.
So we're going to discuss, of course, the history behind
the term codependency, how it actually found its beginnings in

(02:42):
AA meetings of all places, how it shows up in
our lives, how it manifests in our relationships. I guess
also some of the warning science and some of the
causes of this experience of codependency, specifically to do with
our upbringing and childhood attachment. But I also want to

(03:02):
talk about healthy dependency, interdependency, and what it really means
to rely on to love and trust other people in
a way that is sustainable and healthy in what that
means for our lives. But if you're listening to this
with a bit of fear, maybe that a relationship of
yours is becoming codependent, not to worry, because I also

(03:26):
really want to rehash some of the discussions that we've
had before around boundaries and how to separate yourself and
someone you may be codependent with and restore a healthy
amount of reliance and support between you and another person.
This topic is so relevant for our twenties. I feel
like in this decade we are filled with so many

(03:47):
emotions and deep feelings and realizations, but also insecurities and
quite frankly, things that we need help with, things that
we haven't yet figured out. And the intensity of close
relationships that we have in this decade, be that platonic
with our family or intimate, those relationships can be such

(04:10):
a soothing band aid almost for so many of our
worries and concerns, but often when we cling to people
in times of uncertainty, it can create problems. You know.
I've had partners and friends who have been an absolute
lifeline for me in periods of crisis. I felt like
I couldn't live without them. But I think it's important

(04:31):
to know when that is stepping into an unhealthy terrain
and could actually potentially undermine what is best for us.
So a discussion around codependency and how it manifests in
the relationships we have, I think is so crucial And
if you can relate well, you're definitely in the right place,

(04:51):
I guess, And in for a treat because there's so
much fascinating stuff behind the scenes of what we typically
see or think of codependency, and so many to I guess,
discuss and explore. So get ready, strap in. I'm so
excited for this deep dive and the discussion and all
that is to come. Like we always do, let's start

(05:18):
this discussion, this exploration by getting our basics downpat what
is codependency and what is the psychological basis I guess
behind its existence and presentation in our lives. So essentially,
codependency is an unhealthy dysfunctional relationship that is unbalanced, whereby

(05:42):
one person has assumed the role of the giver or
the provider. There's someone who is willing to give and
sacrifice everything for another person, whereas the other individual and
this relationship is the taker. I think the first major
element of this kind of relationship is that it is unhealthy.

(06:03):
I think when we typically think about codependency as a society,
as a community of people who have access to the
internet and whatnot, we tend to imagine people who spend
a lot of time together who are really inseparable. You know,
you may have a best friend who you see every
day and you do everything with and you talk for
hours and you can't imagine your life without. That isn't

(06:25):
inherently unhealthy or codependent. If both people are equally reliant
on each other, or the relationship is what we would
call mutually beneficial. You know, there is a balanced level
of support and compassion from both parties. It becomes unhealthy
and it becomes codependent. When the balancing act is distributed

(06:50):
or disturbed and it shifts in one person's favor, you know,
it's no longer even. And this is really important. When
we consider the second element of code dependent, which is
that all the relationships that are codependent are seen as
one sided, you know, one person being the giver, one
person being the taker. That doesn't mean that both parties

(07:13):
don't actually get something from the arrangement, because the relationship
that they have struck may mean that each was equally
as dependent for different reasons. I don't think this is
to make a generalization about every codependent relationship, you know.
I think when we talk about abusive relationships or abuse,
we are moving away from simply, you know, codependency, and

(07:37):
sometimes they come hand in hand, especially when we consider
emotional abuse. But I think most people who we would
consider as codependent, the nature of their codependency rests on
that truth that both parties are receiving something, regardless of
whether they recognize that consciously. For example, in any codependent situation,

(08:04):
we have that giver, we have that taker, and each
person has taken up one of those roles. That's essentially
the equation of any codependent relationship. And although I think
we may take pity on the giver because they're being
really self sacrificing, maybe they're unable to set boundaries, or
they're exhausted by their counterparts, need to take from them

(08:25):
or be reliant on them. They may get some satisfaction
from providing this one sided support to the taker, or
they may feel responsible for their partner or their parents
or their friends, and all that comes without their thoughts,
their feelings and their actions. And in contrast, you know,
the taker receives essentially unconditional love and support, you know, patience, money, forgiveness,

(08:51):
whatever they need, and they are willing to accept that.
I think the term codependent, like I said, is often
lobbied at people to describe them as kind of needy
or really clingy, but it is so much more than that,
and it's often encouraged in some way in some ways
by the giver and also the taker as well, I guess,

(09:13):
because they share in the responsibility and need for each other.
I saw it described really well by this person called
doctor leg in Medical News today, and what they said
essentially was that a codependent relationship occurs when one person
needs the other, who in turn needs to be needed.

(09:35):
Like I said before, codependency it's not just reserved for
romantic relationships as we may assume. It can really take
place in any relationship which becomes unbalanced. Friendships, work relationships,
family relationships with our parents, with our siblings, with our
aunts and uncles, anyone that you have some kind of

(09:57):
social interaction with. I often think about the people who
message me or tell me about friends of theirs who
are absolutely reliant on them for all emotional support, and
they're constantly sacrificing their time and their energy to almost
tend to this person. Whereas when they have problems or issues,

(10:21):
that friend is never there for them. They're never willing
to make those sacrifices. Their friend is completely dependent on them,
whilst the other person just tess to bear that and
either can't do something or doesn't feel right about asking
for that reciprocation. Withdrawing from that type of person, someone

(10:44):
who is codependent on you can be really, really difficult,
and we're going to talk about that later. But interestingly,
before we jump into that, I think some of the
history is quite fascinating. You know, the term codependent codependency,
It actually came out of research on the relationships between

(11:06):
people who were suffering from addiction and the people that
were close to them in their lives. That's where the
term first appeared Amongst researchers who were studying people with addiction,
and they used it to describe the almost lopsided or
you know, one sided, enabling relationships between someone who was struggling,

(11:28):
perhaps with alcohol abuse or substance abuse and the people,
you know, normally family and partners, who feel that they
have to give in to that person's struggles and they
have to help them. Then it kind of moved its
way into AA alcoholics anonymous meetings, and then it kind
of became a common term through that as it became

(11:49):
more accessible to people. And I guess now it's been
embraced by pop culture and pop you know and psychobabble
to describe something that I think it really wasn't intended
to represent. You know. Essentially, it was used to describe
enabling relationships, you know, where one person is enabling another

(12:09):
person's dependence on them or their dependence on something like
drugs or alcohol. This actually really surprised me when I
learned this, because I think, like most people, I had
a very naive, i would say, understanding of what it was.
I used it very casually, but it is a lot

(12:29):
more severe and intricate than that. So now that we
kind of know some of the history and what I
would call the basic elements of a codependent relationship. You
know that they're maladaptive, they're one sided, they're unhealthy. I
really want to provide a bit of an overview, I guess,
of some of the warning signs in our own relationships

(12:51):
and those of people close to us as well, some
of the things to look out for. I'm going to
quickly state that although co dependency is not something that
you can be diagnosed with per se, if you see
some part of yourself or your own experience in what
I'm describing, what I'm going to talk about, there is

(13:13):
a lot of professional help out there for you, and
there are people that you can talk to. You know,
you're not going to get a diagnosis, or the person
that you're speaking about isn't going to get a diagnosis.
I think dependent personality disorder is probably the closest thing
that we can get to, and that's essentially describing pervasive,

(13:34):
you know, psychological dependence on other people, in which someone
is unable to be independent and unable to meet their
own emotional needs or make decisions, and needs to receive
constant approval from others. And I guess that is it's
unlike codependency in that it doesn't involve reliance on just
one person. But I think that like the general psychological community,

(13:57):
you know, the DSM, it hasn't really caught up to
the fact that dependent personality disorder and codependency are actually
quite hand in hand. And we speak a lot about
codependency in terms of addiction, but there still isn't that
recognition that this is something that is can really affect
someone's psychological and physical and emotional wellbeing. So let's talk

(14:19):
about some of the I guess warning signs, some of
the things to look out for. Firstly, in codependent relationships,
there is going to be an imbalance of power. If
you are finding that you are giving much more energy, time, love,

(14:39):
patience to another person who is really only using you
for their own needs, that's probably the biggest indicator. So
according to this clinical psychologist, I think their name was
coded Derek or something like that, we may feel when
we're in this situation, if we are the in this situation,

(15:02):
like we have to save the person from themselves, and
we feel responsible for their emotional state and their wellbeing.
You know, you take over their responsibility for themselves and
you help them pick up the pieces. In that instance
in which you feel responsible for someone else, they're not
able to do it without you. They need you, and

(15:25):
you're kind of stuck. You're in this situation where you're like,
I'm so stressed, I've lost my independence. It's a probably,
you know, a fairly big indicator. The relationship is moving
towards codependence. Another huge indicator, and I feel like this
is quite obvious, but I just feel like I need
to state it for the record, is complete emotional exhaustion,

(15:48):
even physical exhaustion. And what that comes from is essentially
having to be responsible for another person, a grown adult,
to the point that caring for yourself is almost the
second priority, which it never should be. You know, the
analogy I always use is that when a plane is crashing,
when a plane is going down, you will never hear

(16:11):
a flight attendant tell you to put the oxygen mask
on someone else before yourself. And that goes for everyday
relationships as well. You should always be helping yourself, making
sure that you are well before taking on that responsibility
for others. And if you're feeling like your relationship with
that person is taking time away from yourself, you know

(16:34):
that you don't want to answer their calls or the
text messages because it's going to be disastrous. If you
feel intense anxiety when they message you, or you stop
doing what you're doing, you interrupt your plans to see
them or to help them, that's a huge sign that
your relationship is codependent, especially if they don't do the
same for you. I think it's worth acknowledging that when

(16:54):
we are in these situations, it can be incredibly difficult
to establish boundaries or even feel that we can put
ourselves first because we are so wrapped up in our
responsibility and our sense of loyalty to this other person,
especially if you know they're your romantic partner, or if

(17:16):
your mother or your father, or your sibling or your
best friend. And I did a whole episode on kind
of how to move forward from this called I think
it's like about setting boundaries and sticking to them, and
I think that's really relevant here. So if you are
really struggling, go and listen to that around setting boundaries
with someone if it is a really emotionally tumultuous situation.

(17:40):
But there is a few more signs that I guess
I just want to go through really quickly, and which
I think is so worth bringing up here. A lot
of the signs that we've talked about so far have
been how the giver feels. You know that you might
feel like your life revolves around this person, You don't
have your own space, you feel you know, stuck, you
feel guilty, you feel shame. But in terms of the taker,

(18:03):
there are some people who are in codependent relationships who
are taking from someone else, who might have that realization
of like, this actually isn't healthy for me, and it
isn't healthy for them. So these people they may really
struggle with being alone and also feeling alone. They blame
the other person for all that is wrong in their life.

(18:25):
They say things like I couldn't live without you. Their
behavior might actually escalate in severity when you do try
to set boundaries or you do try and pull away.
They may use guilt against you or maintain a pretty
strong sense of victimhood, even sometimes placing you as the villain.

(18:48):
And all of this is really manipulative, but it doesn't
always come from a place that wants to be cruel
or come from a place that wants to be manipulative.
It can also just be that they actually don't have
a strong support system, they don't trust other people, and
you know, the sad truth is that people will only

(19:10):
treat you the way that you allow them. So this
pattern of behavior may have developed over a long period
of time in which boundaries have not been well established
or they haven't been respected. And it's not to victim
blame or blame anyone or assign any stigma to either

(19:30):
member of this kind of relationship. You know, vulnerability and relationships,
even addiction, as we were saying before, they're really complex
and they're really sensitive things. So if you're relating twenty
of this, either in a relationship with your partner or
your friend, whoever, please don't blame yourself for this kind

(19:50):
of relationship. I think we are all just trying our
best with what we have. But I think that it
is really important to understand and be aware of what
this means for us. And I think many of the
signs are also what we would call the consequences of codependency. Often,

(20:12):
if you're a clinical psychologist and someone came to you
and said, my partner is so relyant on me anytime
anything goes wrong, they need me to be there for them,
I support them financially. They don't have any other friends.
But when I need support, they push me away. They're
going to look at you and say, oh, that's codependent.
You know, there's a lack of separation, there's a lack

(20:34):
of individuality, of healthy, healthy coping mechanisms or independence, and
like I just mentioned, it may even result in the
giver often giving up money or resources for the other person.
And there is of course that element of control which
we may associate with the taker, but actually I, the

(20:55):
party in this relationship, can promote this to the point
where it becomes unnatural and unhealthy. So why do these
relationships happen? They sound quite unnatural, I would say, I
think it's rare to see a full blown codependent relationship
in you know, everyday life. They definitely still exist, So
why is it that some people find themselves in such

(21:18):
a toxic cycle. Well as the origins of you know,
the term codependency suggest a huge risk factor or contributor
is the presence of addiction in one or even both members.
There was a study conducted in twenty fourteen and it
found that people who were surveyed who had a family

(21:42):
member or a personal history of addiction, particularly with alcohol.
They were more likely to report that they had been
in a codependent relationship or that they had been codependent
on someone else. And this study also examined whether men
or women were more suptable to codependency, and interestingly, these

(22:03):
relationships were just as common within men and women within
both genders. That kind of surprised me, I will say,
because I think that women are often very much stereotyped
as being more nurturing and natural caregivers and really bad
at setting boundaries, whatever you want to say. But I

(22:25):
think that in these scenarios, really, in these situations, everyone
is just as susceptible as the next, regardless of gender.
The factors that determine these kinds of relationships have a
lot more to do with things like your childhood, you know,
having a history of abuse or abandonment. That's a huge

(22:45):
predisposing risk factor because often that means that that person,
whoever it may be, has not been taught what a healthy,
mutually beneficial relationship looks like. Remember, how we learn to
treat people be treated is very much modeled on how
our parents or our early caregivers conducted their relationships or

(23:08):
treated us and people who have unfortunately experienced abuse or abandonment,
they themselves become more at risk of finding themselves in
a codependent relationship, either as the giver or the taker,
depending on what they lacked or had experienced in childhood. Honestly,

(23:30):
I think, like many problems like codependency, the root of
this problem. The cause of this problem is our upbringing
and our family or childhood environment, especially if they were
dysfunctional or they didn't provide our core emotional needs. And
generally speaking, our attachment style patterns that were developed in

(23:52):
early childhood are really going to influence whether or not
we end up in this, you know, this kind of scenario.
With all that in mind, what I really want to
discuss next is the distinction between codependence and a healthy
level of dependency that we would expect to see in
our relationships. I think I've spent the large majority of

(24:15):
this first bit of this episode really kind of drilling
into our minds how terrible this can be, and how
maybe we shouldn't rely on someone or we don't want
to be deemed as codependent or too close. Obviously that
is not true, So I really want to discuss that
distinction between codependence and healthy dependence or interdependency before we

(24:37):
kind of outline some strategies for disentangling or distancing ourselves
from codependent relationships. Healthy amount of reliance on someone else
for support, for encouragement and love is absolutely normal. In fact,
I think it would be more worrying to to me

(25:00):
if we were completely detached from others and could never
rely on someone else to fulfill some aspect of our
emotional needs. Where social beings, we are pack animals are
tribal species at our core, and what that means is
that we crave and we need connections with others. We
need trust between ourselves and other people to thrive. So

(25:24):
where can we draw the line between dependence and its
evil twin, you know, codependency. I think the key distinction
can be summed up in one word mutual mutual love,
mutual support, mutual respect, mutual energy, mutual time. Healthy dependence.

(25:46):
It involves a mutual give and take. It's not one sided.
Both people are able to receive the support and the
encouragement and the practical help that they need. And of
course there are going to be times in which you're
going to have to support, you know, the other person
more or they're going to have to support you more
than you're supporting them. You know, if your parent or

(26:08):
your sibling is really sick, it makes sense that you
may be doing more of the emotional and physical labor
for them at that time. That is nothing to shy
away from. That is not the point of this episode.
You know, life is very much defined by its uncertainty
and its ups and downs, and it's okay if you
need someone a little bit more at times. You know,

(26:28):
if you're going through a bit of a crisis or
something else is going on, that's healthy. It's okay for
our relationships to kind of peque in troth and to
sometimes need people more than they need you. But if
that's happening all the time, that's a problem. I think
having a healthy level of dependence on others, like I explained,

(26:49):
you know, being able to have that give or take
depending on what the other person is going through, Being
able to call on the people in your life for
support actually really positive. I don't feel like I need
to say that, but it does have a lot of
proven clinical benefits for our wellbeing and our overall outlook

(27:10):
on life. They contribute to our sense of reliance, our resourcefulness,
we have a stronger sense of trust in our own abilities,
we are better at expressing our needs and our emotions,
and we have greater self esteem when we're able to
promote healthy independence and healthy dependence in our relationships. And

(27:30):
that all sounds really positive because it is, it's healthy,
and it's something that we can pursue. But when it
emerges as a problem is when you are unable to
detach you need something else for your support. You know
this person is everything to you, or you're giving someone
else everything of you beyond what could possibly be expected

(27:53):
in any situation. And we have to remember here that
codependence is maladaptive and it's harmful to both members of
the relationship. I read an incredible article that explained this
distinction really well, and it explained the distinction between codependence
and independence or interdependence more like it as helping versus enabling.

(28:17):
If you think that your relationship with someone has fallen
into a giver and a taker situation, ask yourself whether
your actions and your responses to them are helping them
or enabling them. You know, if your friend keeps coming
to you for money but never paying you back, or
showing any progress towards being financially independent. This may seem

(28:41):
like you're helping them at the surface level, you know,
you're helping them through a tough time, but it actually
may be that you're enabling their dependency on you for assistance.
I always try and frame my decisions around whether my
actions are helping someone to become self sufficient, or whether
I'm doing it for myself because I want to feel better,

(29:04):
you know, or I'm helping them to the point that
they you know, they they don't need to help themselves,
and they don't need to help me, right Like they're
just reliant on me for something, and they're not able
to take responsibility for their problems. That's a really tricky
situation to be in, and I don't think we need
to apply that perspective to all of our relationships, but

(29:26):
it is something to be cognizant of. Doesn't mean you
need to say no or that you can't help someone
out in a tricky situation. But when it starts to
look like enaghbling behavior, it probably isn't helping either of you.
Maybe you're listening to this and you're like, this is me,
this is me, I'm in this situation. I'm really struggling,

(29:49):
and you've been able to identify yourself as being in
a codependent situation, whether that is with a parent, with
a romantic partner, with a friend, it really doesn't matter.
So how do you move back to a healthy level
of interdependency and dependence, and how do we restructure our
relationship with that person so that it doesn't compromise our identity,

(30:12):
it doesn't compromise our self esteem or you know, our
entire lives, our welfare. Healing a relationship from codependency, it's
going to take time, because it's like separating out someone's
addiction to you, you know, fighting against your addiction to them.

(30:33):
All of that is exhausting. It's also neurologically very difficult
because when we do become reliant on anything, be that
a drug or a person in this situation, what happens
to our brain is that our neurons and our synaptic
pathways they become wired towards wanting that person or whatever

(30:56):
it is that we're addicted to. It's a process called
long term tentiation, whereby the more that we activate a
certain pathway, the stronger it becomes, and the harder it
is to break that pattern. Or consumption, and when those
pathways are no longer activated. You know, when someone is
having a problem and they go, oh my gosh, I
cannot call that person, or when someone calls you with

(31:19):
a problem and you go, oh my gosh, I can't
help you because this is unhealthy, it's distressing. The first
step I think I would always recommend is to get
some outside help or an outside an objective perspective on
the relationship in question and the problem that you're facing.

(31:39):
It can be very difficult to be honest with ourselves
when a situation is so emotionally charged and at times
probably even tense or dangerous. So going to you know,
a trusted friend, a mentor a mental health professional based
on whatever resources you have, just someone who's separate from
the situation. It's sometimes really important because it gives you

(32:02):
a logical bird's eye view, so you can see clearly
why this scenario is hurting you, why it's hurting the
other person, why. It's probably really good if you get
some space, and you know, they may also just have
some really good advice and they may be able to
provide some options to you that you haven't considered. The

(32:24):
next step that I think is important is to ground
yourself and why you have acknowledged that this is maladaptive
and unhealthy, and find a way to make your thoughts
and your feelings on the matter tangible. I think this
applies to even situations beyond codependency, any problem that you have,
anything you're trying to solve, making a notes list or

(32:47):
journaling to yourself about how you feel, why this is difficult,
why you want to change. It's so much easier to
motivate yourself or to move through a difficult transition when
you have some written reminder about why you need to
do something, why you are making that change. This list,
you know, it might include things in this situation like

(33:10):
I don't like how I'm feeling stuck, or in this relationship,
I'm not able to promote my independence or I'm not
able to be independent, or situations or statements about how
the situation is making you feel and why it needs
to change, and that way you can come back to
it whenever you feel yourself slipping back into old pabits

(33:33):
or old patterns. I think the next really valuable step
to take, And if you've listened to my Boundaries episode,
this may sound really familiar it's to confront the person
and to confront the problem and have an honest conversation.
I know it's really scary, I've done it before. It
is terrifying, But I think one of the worst feelings

(33:58):
in the world is when someone makes a decision without
consulting you or completely ghosts to you or shuts you out. Obviously,
that's necessary sometimes, and there are people who are just
really bad for our health, and you can make that
call based on your own personal appraisal of the situation
or the extent of the codependency. But if the situation

(34:21):
allows it, I personally believe it's actually quite almost cruel.
I think to leave someone with no explanation or discussion,
and you don't need to treat it as a two
way street or like the decision is up for debate.
Just simply lay out the facts and your feelings and
why you feel like you would both benefit from this,

(34:43):
why you would like your situation to change, and leave
it at that. Leave it at that, you don't need
to answer questions, you don't need to justify anything, and
that person may actually surprise you and say, you know,
like I've actually been feeling this way as well, and
I want our relationship to be healthier, or you know,
I want this for us. But I think honesty is

(35:04):
always the best policy in emotionally sensitive situations, whatever they
may be. I think now comes the difficult part, which
is sticking to your guns, respecting your own boundaries, learning
to say no when that person pushes up against what
you have decided to do. It's okay to fail a
few times to find you know that separation hard or

(35:27):
even painful. Like I said, you're neurologically and physically inclined
to feel this way. But if as the giver you're
still answering their calls at any time at the night,
or as the taker, you're finding that your emotional state
is based on how that person is treating you or
the attention they're giving you, and you cannot fight that urge,

(35:48):
then the boundary I don't think has been fully set,
or it hasn't been fully respected. So make some non
negotiables or some rules for yourself in these situations, and
I mean rules, not things that you would like to do,
but tangible decisions you're going to be accountable to yourself for.
It might also help to have someone else who can

(36:11):
kind of help you stay on track, or who you
can kind of answer to or update them on your progress,
and who can help you kind of question your decisions
not necessarily make you feel guilty, but make you appreciate
the reasoning behind maybe why you're struggling to keep that
boundary after a slip up, whatever it may be, it's
also really crucial to reflect on how it's left you feeling.

(36:33):
Did you let someone back into your life in the
way that you didn't necessarily want, or if you felt
that you came back to someone you didn't want to
be reliant on. Don't suppress that feeling. Don't suppress that shame,
almost sit with it. Process it. Think about how you
might change your future actions to avoid this situation. Be

(36:56):
future looking, imagine where you would like to be. Be like, Okay,
last night, I went over to this person's house and
I helped them out, even though I know this is codependent,
even though I really want some separation, and now I
feel really bad. I feel really really crap about myself.
Instead of being like, oh my god, I don't want
to feel that. That's really uncomfortable, allow yourself to feel

(37:17):
that way and then look to the future and I
guess that applies for everything, not just baking fear of codependency.
When we look towards the future, our progress is going
to be more steady. Obviously, you can follow these steps,
you can take my advice, do everything right. But the
thing is about any relationship is that it's always complicated,

(37:39):
it's always nuanced, and you know what you're going through
more than I ever could. So take it slow, be
kind to yourself, and I really hope that this information
has helped you. I feel like I've learnt so much
from this discussion and this research, especially about so many
of the misconcepts around codependency and how we can distinguish

(38:03):
it from healthy dependency and interdependency. It's just such a
fascinating topic, especially for our twenties, where I feel like
a lot of us have really intense relationships with people,
whether that is really good friends or the people that
we're dating, and it can really feel like it's just
us two in this bubble and one of us is

(38:24):
really reliant on the other person and is taking so
much and the other person can't leave, and it's just
really emotionally volatile. So if you can relate, you deserve
a lot of credit. I'm sure it's really difficult, but
hopefully this episode gave you some sense of the future
and some sense of what you can do. Thank you
for listening today. I think that's all that we have

(38:45):
time for. I'm really hopeful and yeah, hoping that you
enjoyed it. I really did as well. So if you
did enjoy this episode, if you learned something that's the
most important, please feel free to leave a five star
review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, wherever you are listening right now.

(39:06):
If you want to follow us on Instagram, that's where
I let my listeners decide what I record for the
next week, so you can contribute to what you want
to hear. And thank you so much for listening. Thank
you so much for tuning in. I feel very grateful
that people want to hear what we're discussing, and people
are interested in these topics as much as I am,
and are willing to learn as much as I really

(39:28):
like learning. So thank you so much for joining us
for this journey, and have an absolutely lovely week.
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