Are you a person who takes care of everyone else before yourself? Do you believe you should put yourself last? If you take care of other's needs before your needs routinely, then you may have co-dependent tendencies. Taking care of yourself enables you to then be available to take care of others. If you neglect your personal needs and wishes and care for others instead, then you may begin to feel resentful and "empty." In a relationship, co-dependent behaviors can potentially sabotage your relationship success.
Let's explore some co-dependent behaviors. Ask yourself the following questions:
When you are criticized, do you become defensive and angry because your behavior was questioned?
Do you feel better about yourself when you are helping (and only when you are helping) others?
Do you settle for being needed when you really want to be truly loved?
If you are a "caretaker," do you anticipate others' needs?
Do you feel responsible for others' feelings, thoughts, actions, choices, wants, needs, well-being or their lack of the afore-mentioned topics?
Do you find it easy to change your plans for another person's needs?
Do you often feel angry and used even though you choose to ignore yourself?
Do you always say "yes" even when you want to say "no?"
Do you say "yes" even when it is not in your best interest?
Do you feel you do more than your fair share?
You are in a state of denial if you tell yourself that your circumstance will improve later, if you get depressed or sick without understanding the reason why, if you over-eat, if you feel sometimes you are going crazy, or if you stay busy to keep from addressing the issues you need to address.
Do you find it difficult to feel joy, to have fun, or to do something at the spur of the moment? Do you find it hard to enjoy sex? DO you have sex when you really don't want to have sex? Do you make up reasons to avoid having sex? Do you have sex when you really just want to be held and loved? Do you look for happiness in others and not within yourself? Do you choose partners who are not available (physically or emotionally) to love you? Do you stay in a relationship long after it is clear it is not working? Do you think you are not loveable? Is your communication poor? Do you blame, threaten, or beg for your needs to be met? Do you ask for your needs and wants indirectly, thinking people will just know what your needs are because they love you enough? Do you think what you have to say is really unimportant? Do you avoid talking about yourself, thoughts, or dreams? Do you ignore your thoughts without voicing them? Do you fail to voice your opinions for fear of being rejected or put down?