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About Codependency


What is codependency?

Welcome to Co-Dependents Anonymous, a fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop a positive and healthy relationships. The only requirement for to participate in CoDA is a desire for healthy and loving relationships. CoDA does not offer a specific definition of Codependency. We recommend periodically reviewing the Patterns and Characteristics.


Am I codependent?

The following is a partial checklist is a tool to aid in self-evaluation. It may be particularly helpful to newcomers as they begin to understand codependency. It may aid those who have been in recovery a while to determine what traits still warrant their attention as they continue to work the CoDA program. The Patterns and Characteristics is not an indictment of character or personality. Codependent traits are learned perceptions and behaviors we adopted to survive life, sometimes through our family systems of origin, and often keep us feeling "stuck."


Patterns & Characteristics (Partial List)

Denial Patterns

  • I have difficulty identifying what I am feeling.

  • I minimize, alter, or deny how I truly feel.

  • I perceive myself as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well-being of others.

  • I can take care of myself without any help from others.

  • I mask pain in various ways such as anger, humor, or isolation.

  • I do not recognize the unavailability of those people to whom I am attracted.

Low Self-esteem Patterns

  • I have difficulty making decisions.

  • I judge what others think, say, or do harshly, as never good enough.

  • I value others’ approval of their thinking, feelings, and behavior over my own.

  • I do not perceive myself as lovable or worthwhile person.

  • I need to appear to be right in the eyes of others and may even lie to look good.

  • I have trouble setting healthy priorities and boundaries.

Compliance Patterns

  • I am extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.

  • I compromise my values and integrity to avoid rejection or anger.

  • I put aside my own interests in order to do what others want.

  • I accept sexual attention when I want love.

  • I make decisions without regard to the consequences.

Control Patterns
  • I believe people are incapable of taking care of themselves.

  • I freely offer advice and direction without being asked.

  • I become resentful when others decline their help or reject their advice.

  • I use sexual attention to gain approval and acceptance.

  • I have to feel needed in order to have a relationship with others.

  • I pretend to agree with others to get what I want.

  Avoidance Patterns

  • I act in ways that invite others to reject, shame, or express anger toward me

  • I avoid emotional, physical, or sexual intimacy as a way to maintain distance.

  • I use indirect or evasive communication to avoid conflict or confrontation.

  • I suppress my feelings or needs to avoid feeling vulnerable.

  • I believe displays of emotion are a sign of weakness.

  • I withhold expressions of appreciation.

What Does Working the CoDA Program Have to Offer Me?

Perhaps reviewing the  Patterns and Characteristics reveals that you may identify with feelings and behaviors which have been disruptive in your relationships with yourself and others. Take heart! Many others before you have also identified similar traits and patterns and came to make a choice to learn about CoDA and what working the program can offer them.

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