Self-Sufficiency vs Codependency

In Psychology Self-Sufficiency is the quality of feeling secure and content with oneself, a deep-rooted sense of inner completeness and stability, and Codependency is often someone who builds their identity around helping others.  Self-sufficiency and codependency should be balanced for a better way of living relationships in general but even with yourself.

Self-sufficiency is associated with the ability and the desire for people to make their own decisions, rather than having their life choices made by others. They trust in their own intuition, and are prepared to go their own way, even if it means going against the expectations of others, and so facing incomprehension and ridicule sometimes.  Self-sufficient people are authentic and truthful to themselves and others.

A self-sufficient person, usually learns very early on in life, the several tools needed to be self-sufficient, so their inner sense of well-being and completeness is  more resilient to the vicissitudes of life. In terms of lifestyle, self-sufficient people are happy with their own company. And because of their inner stability and wholeness, they’re less likely to seek the compensations of material goods and status. They’re less likely to need expensive possessions to feel good about themselves or to seek fame or power to make themselves feel more significant. Self-sufficiency walks hand in hand with resilience and resourcefulness.

Of course if this is taken to extremes or not well balanced one may become an egocentric in self-sufficiency by becoming so self-immersed and self-contained that they behave selfishly, without taking into account the needs of others.

Codependency is characterized by a person belonging to a dysfunctional relationship where one person relies on the other for meeting nearly all of their emotional and self-esteem needs. It also describes a relationship that enables another person to maintain their irresponsible, addictive, or underachieving behavior. They may seem to depend on others to validate their self-worth.

The term codependency has been around for decades and researchers revealed that the characteristics of codependents were much more prevalent in the general population than previously imagined. In fact, they found that if you were raised in a dysfunctional family or had an ill parent, you could also be codependent.

Low self-esteem, people-pleasing, poor boundaries, over reactivity, over caretaking or simple control, are the common traits of the codependent person.  

Everyone needs some control over certain people or events in their life but codependents take it up a few notches – as they also need to control those close to them; they need other people to behave in a certain way – their way - they feel they are the only ones who can control people and situations around them. In fact, people-pleasing and care-taking can be used to control and manipulate people. Codependents can be bossy and tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. This in turn is a violation of someone else’s boundary.

Dysfunctional communication and obsession is also something codependents have trouble with as they are afraid to be truthful, because they don’t want to upset someone else, so communication becomes dishonest, confusing and even considered manipulative.

Dependency of the codependents is the need they have for other people to like them to feel good about themselves. They’re actually afraid of being rejected or abandoned, even if they can function on their own. This trait makes it hard for them to end a relationship, even when the relationship is painful or abusive.

And then comes denial - one of the problems people face in getting help for codependency is that they’re in denial about it, meaning that they don’t face their problem. Usually they think the problem is in someone else or the situation. They either keep complaining or trying to fix the other person. They might be in denial of their need for space and autonomy, and although some codependents seem needy, others act like they’re self-sufficient - but it’s only and act they have learned to play well.  

Painful emotions in codependency create stress. Shame and low self-esteem create anxiety and fear about being judged, rejected or abandoned; making mistakes; being a failure; feeling trapped by being alone. The other symptoms lead to feelings of anger and resentment, depression, hopelessness, and despair. When the feelings are too much a codependent person lives in a numb state of life.

For everything there is a balance needed and if you read my last article  The 12 Universal Laws and How they Influence Us  you will better understand how this is so important. Why do some people develop weak self-sufficiency - others strong - while yet others become codependent, is a question I leave unanswered today, as some may attribute to or excuse with childhood experiences or trauma, while others do not, forgetting or neglecting the fact that we may change at any time we WANT to.

What is important for me today is while accepting and emphasizing that  Self-Sufficiency vs Codependency may be something we may compare here today for a better understanding of the normal traits of either personalities - either one may be tailored for a healthy way of life - where the truth of being oneself is the key to realize who is in power and for what purpose, so I finish with a question or maybe two for you to meditate on and make the necessary changes:

1 - Where do you stand in this lifetime - as a self-sufficient or a codependent person?

2 - In what healthier direction do you think you should move into – self-sufficiency or codependency?

Much Love and Light!


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