Being Self-Aware

18 Jun

I started talking about the checklist from the book Codependent No More a few days ago (Being Self-Reflective).  I have gotten some positive responses from my followers, but the best thing is that I am feeling accomplished.  This book, this check-list – they’re making sense.  I didn’t think they would.  I fought against it.  But now that I’ve given in I feel so much relief.  So here’s a continuation of the checklist and my self-evaluation.

REPRESSION

Many codependents:

  • push their thoughts and feelings out of their awareness because of fear and guilt.  (0 – although I guess I wouldn’t really know if this was true?)
  • become afraid to let themselves be who they are. (1 – used to be true more than it is now)
  • appear rigid and controlled.  (2)

OBSESSION

Codependents tend to:

  • feel terribly anxious about problems and people.  (1 – I don’t have a lot of anxiety)
  • worry about the silliest things. (0)
  • think and talk a lot about other people.  (1 – maybe?)
  • lose sleep over problems or other people’s behavior.  (0 – I rarely lose sleep because it is very precious to me)
  • worry. (0 – nope, not a worrier.  I find it rather useless)
  • never find answers.  (0)
  • check on people.  (1 – Not so much “people” (plural), but sometimes on my husband)
  • try to catch people in acts of misbehavior.  (same as above – this has gotten much better in the past few months)
  • feel unable to quit talking, thinking, and worrying about other people or problems. (1)
  • abandon their routine because they are so upset about somebody or something.  (0)
  • focus all their energy on other people and problems. (1)
  • wonder why they never have any energy.  (2)
  • wonder why they can’t get things done.  (1-2)

CONTROLLING

Many codependents:

  • have lived through events and with people that were out of control, causing the codependents sorrow and disappointment.  (2 – absolutely!)
  • become afraid to let other people be who they are and allow events to happen naturally.  (2)
  • don’t see or deal with their fear of loss of control.  (1-2)
  • think they know best how things should turnb out and how people should behave.  (2)
  • try to control events and people through helplessness, guilt, coercion, threats, advice-giving, manipulation, or domination.  (2)
  • eventually fail in their efforts or provoke people’s anger.  (1)
  • feel controlled by events and people.  (2)

DENIAL

Codependents tend to:

  • ignore problems or pretend they aren’t happening.  (0)
  • pretend circumstances aren’t as bad as they are.  (0-1)
  • tell themselves things will be better tomorrow.  (1)
  • stay busy so they don’t have to think about things.  (1)
  • get confused.  (0)
  • get depressed or sick.  (2)
  • go to doctors and get tranquilizers.  (0)
  • become workaholics.  (0)
  • spend money compulsively (-2 – I am so far in the other direction it’s not even close)
  • overeat (2 – check)
  • pretend those things aren’t happening, either.  (0 – I can see my flaws, I just don’t know where to go from here)
  • watch problems get worse.  (0)
  • believe lies.  (2 – in the past, but not anymore)
  • lie to themselves.  (1)
  • wonder why they feel like they’re going crazy.  (2)

DEPENDENCY

Many codependents:

  • don’t feel happy, content, or peaceful with themselves.  (1)
  • look for happiness outside themselves.  (1)
  • latch onto whoever or whatever they think can provide happiness.  (0)
  • feel terribly threatened by the loss of any thing or person they think provides their happiness.  (2)
  • didn’t feel love and approval from their parents.  (2)
  • don’t love themselves.  (0-1)
  • believe other people can’t or don’t love them.  (1)
  • desperately seek love and approval.  (0)
  • often seek love from people incapable of loving.  (0 – I don’t think “often” applies or that my husband is “incapable of loving.”  Maybe he is stunted, but he does love me.)
  • believe other people are never there for them.  (0 – I have a great family and support network)
  • equate love with pain.  (1)
  • feel they need people more than they want them.  (0)
  • try to prove they’re good enough to be loved.  (2)
  • don’t take time to see if other people are good for them.  (2 – definitely)
  • worry whether other people love or like them.  (1)
  • don’t take time to figure out if they love or like other people.  (0)
  • center their lives around other people.  (2)
  • look to relationships to provide all their good feelings.  (1)
  • lose interest in their own lives when they love.  (1)
  • worry other people will leave them.  (1)
  • don’t believe they can take care of themselves. (0)
  • stay in relationships that don’t work.  (1)
  • tolerate abuse to keep people loving them.  (1)
  • feel trapped in relationships.  (1)
  • leave bad relationships and form new ones that don’t work either.  (not sure how to answer this because I haven’t had a ton of relationships – just 2 serious ones)
  • wonder if they will ever find love.  (0)

POOR COMMUNICATION

Codependents frequently:

  • blame.  (1)
  • threaten.  (0)
  • coerce.  (1)
  • beg.  (0)
  • bribe.  (1)
  • advise.  (2)
  • don’t say what they mean.  (0)
  • don’t mean what they say.  (1)
  • don’t know what they mean.  (0)
  • don’t take themselves seriously.  (1)
  • think other people don’t take the codependents seriously.  (1)
  • ask for what they want and need indirectly – sighing, for example.  (1 – I have been known to do that sometimes, but I am usually pretty blunt.)
  • find it difficult to get to the point.  (0)
  • aren’t sure what the point is.  (0)
  • gauge their words carefully to achieve a desired effect.  (1)
  • try to say what they think will please people.  (0 – rarely)
  • try to say what they think will provoke people.  (1 – when in a heated argument… but who doesn’t?)
  • try to say what they hope will make people do what they want them to do.  (1)
  • eliminate the work no from their vocabulary. (1)
  • talk too much.  (2)
  • talk about other people.  (1)
  • avoid talking about themselves, their problems, feelings, and thoughts.  (1 – I am trying to get better about this… see?)
  • say everything is their fault.  (1)
  • say nothing is their fault (1)
  • believe their opinions don’t matter.  (0)
  • wait to express their opinions until they know other people’s opinions.  (0 – rarely)
  • lie to protect and cover up for people they love.  (0)
  • lie to protect themselves.  (0)
  • have a difficult time asserting their rights.  (0)
  • have a difficult time expressing their emotions honestly, openly, and appropriately. (0 – I am really pretty good at this)
  • think most of what they have to say is unimportant.  (0)
  • begin to talk in cynical, self-degrading, or hostile ways. (1 – I can sometimes be sarcastic… does that count?)
  • apologize for bothering people.  (1)

Wow…  this list is longer than I remember.  There is still a lot of it left.  I will get back to this as soon as I can.  In the meantime, I hope that you all enjoyed your Father’s Day weekend and are feeling as free and positive as I do right now.

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2 Responses to “Being Self-Aware”

  1. Samantha Baker June 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    I really need to get this book now. Wow. I see where I’ve made improvements over the past few months, most definitely. But still I need more work. But just wow. I can see where over our marriage, I really fit a lot of that criteria. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m DEFINITELY getting this book. And I think it will make my therapist proud, LOL

    • beautifulmess7 June 18, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

      Yeah… I had that reaction, too. And I’m not even done posting the list yet. By this point I knew this book was worth reading for me.

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