Category: Codependence

Beware of Narcissism

In NARCISSISTIC LOVERS, the authors state that” narcissists tend to be drawwn to co-dependents because they have a subconscious desire to be mothered and taken care of. They also are often aware that many codependent types have a fear of abandonment and they use that fear to maintain control over them.

Look at the following list of codependent traits and see if you see yourself:

  • You base your feelings of selfworth on your partners approval.
  • You try to solve your partners problems because you feel directly affected by them.
  • Your primary goal is to satisfy and care for him/her.
  • You feel happy when you are able to solve problems for your partner.
  • You put aside your interests and spend time focusing on your partner.
  • You feel your partner reflects you, their appearance, etc.
  • You view your positive qualities as what you have to offer others.
  • You are unaware of what you want and are concerned with what your partner wants.
  • You have dreams of your future which include your partner.
  • You are careful not to provoke your partnes anger.
  • You are afraid of rejection by your partner.
  • You are generous in order to feel secure and prove your love to him/her.
  • As you involve yourself with your partner, you lose contact with friends and family.
  • You put your own values aside in order to relate to him/her.
  • You hold his opinion in high regard.
  • The quality of your partners life has an impact on the quality of your life.
  • Positive comments from your partner give you a high; negative ones leave you low.

How did you do? did you answer yes to many of these characteristics? Becoming aware of these tendencies can giv eyou choices about what you want and/or need to change. There is hope and help for you!

Take this quiz and assess your partner’s level of narcissism.

Score 1 = never; 2 = ocassionally; 3 = frequently; 4= always.

________ Very competetive

________ Manipulative

________ Misleads and lies

________ Insensitive to your feelings

________ Controls you

________ Envious

________ Needs to be cente of attention

________ Demeaning

________ Self-Absorbed

________ Easily angered when confronted

________ Indirectly looks for attention

________ Feels their needs take priority over yours

________ Critical of your friends

________ Careless and impulsive

Total your score.

Authors of the book, NARCISSISTIC LOVERS, suggest that if your score totals between 43 and 56, it reflects that your partner has excessive narcissistic qualities. A score between 29 and 42 indicates your partner has a high amount of narcisisstic traits and a score between 14 and 28 illustrates your partner has limited narcissistic characteristics.

The book suggests that you must arm yourself with information about narcissism in order to deal with it and know what you need to do to best take care of yourself.

What is Codependency?

This word has been in popular use for at least 20 years but there’s still no clear-cut definnition… Many people think it means being “dependent”, but it really doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with being a dependent person. While looking it up I found this definition in the Alcohol Self-Help News.

“Codependency is a condition that results in a dysfunctional relationship between the codependent and other people. A codependent is addicted to helping someone.  They need to be needed. ” And I think these definitions come pretty close to the truth.  However,  the other day, I came across a definition of codependency which I found intriguing.  It is, “Anyone who subjects himself to a problem person.”

Now, admittedly, this definition is a tad bit broad.  But I would simply add one word to it:  repeatedly.  A Codependent is anyone who repeatedly subjects himself to a problem person.

The word repeatedly makes all the difference.  If I repeatedly place myself in a position where I am with a problem person there are only a few choices I have….. What will happen to a codependent is that they will find themself in a cycle of reacting and enabling, which inevitably leads to anger, strife and frustration. Not exactly happy, joyous and free.

What if you are caught in this cycle?  A lot of times the “problem person” is one who has a substance problem or is highly narcissistic. Twelve Step programs, particularly Al-Anon can help one get out of the cycle of reacting and enabling. They do this by teaching a very powerful tool called “Detaching With Love”…. Also, Pia Mellody’s book, “Facing Love Addiction” has some quite in depth instructions on “How to Put a Relationship On Hold”….

If you get caught in the codependency cycle of repeatedly putting yourself in a  position where you are with a problem person and these self-help measures don’t work, you may need professional help.  Often times what lies at the root of this issue is a repetition compulsion -repeating a childhood wounding experience over and over.  A therapist trained in this type of work can help you begin to heal the origins of these patterns.