Codependence has received a lot of attention in the self-help literature. Perhaps it is really associated primarily with substance abuse. Perhaps it is a separate problem on its own that stems from other causes. It is not, however, a "personality disorder."

Statements endorsed by codependent people

  • My good feelings about who I am stem from being liked by you and receiving approval from you.
  • Your struggles affect my serenity. I focus my mental attention on solving your problems or relieving your pain.
  • I focus my mental attention on pleasing you, protecting you, or manipulating you to "do it my way."
  • I bolster my self-esteem by solving your problems and relieving your pain.
  • I put aside my own hobbies and interests. I spend my time sharing your interests and hobbies.
  • Because I feel you are a reflection of me, my desires dictate your clothing and personal appearance.
  • My desires dictate your behavior.
  • I am not aware of how I feel. I am aware of how you feel.
  • I am not aware of what I want. I ask you what you want.
  • If I am not aware of something, I assume (I don't ask or verify in some other way).
  • My fear of your anger and rejection determines what I say or do.
  • In our relationship I use giving as a way of feeling safe.
  • As I involve myself with you, my social circle diminishes.
  • To connect with you, I put my values aside.
  • I value your opinion and way of doing things more than my own.
  • The quality of my life depends on the quality of yours.
  • I am always trying to fix or take care of others while neglecting myself.
  • I find it easier to give in and comply with others than to express my own wants and needs.
  • I sometimes feel sorry for myself, feeling no one understands. I think about getting help, but rarely commit or follow through.