These selected characteristics of a codependent were applicable to my relationships. They were chosen from a much longer list in Melody Beattie's chapter "Codependent Characteristics." Of this short list, the most troublesome are highlighted.
Since none of the behaviors were inherently bad, almost anyone could find things that applied some of the time. The question would be: did the frequency and degree hamper my effectiveness? Added emphasis appears in red, and my reactions are enclosed in a box: (Note 98)
- think and feel responsible for other people.
- feel pity when other people have a problem.
- feel compelled to help that person solve the problem.
- feel angry when their help isn't effective.
- find themselves doing more than their fair share of the work.
- over commit themselves.
- feel victimized, unappreciated, and used.
|These behaviors were often contrary to what my intuitive sense suggested in a situation. They most often came out in teaching situations. Responsiveness to students was admirable, but taken to these lengths it was detrimental to them and my intuitive sense.
- come from repressed families.
- get defensive when others criticize them.
- reject compliments or praise.
- take things personally.
- have been victims of sexual or emotional abuse.
- feel like victims.
- get artificial feelings of self-worth from helping others.
- wish other people would like and love them.
|Since the attitude carried over, The Intuitive Self was short circuited when I responded from low self-esteem. These behaviors clustered around the Victim subpersonality family in the previous thread.
- become afraid to let themselves be who they are.
- appear rigid and controlled.
|My true nature was The Intuitive Self. Being afraid to be that meant cutting it off from experience. From fear of openness, the intuitive side was dampened.
- feel terribly anxious about problems and people.
- lose sleep over problems or other people's behavior.
- feel unable to quit thinking and worrying about other people or problems.
|Low level fears associated with these behaviors were frequent obstacles to expression of The Intuitive Self. When the mind was occupied with that kind of chatter, messages from The Intuitive Self were less likely to surface.
- become afraid to allow events to happen naturally.
- think they know best how things should turn out.
- try to control events and people through coercion and advice-giving.
|Being intuitive meant going with the natural flow. These behaviors directly opposed that way of acting. They clustered around the Mr. Right subpersonality pattern in the last thread.
- pretend circumstances aren't as bad as they are.
- go to doctors and get tranquilizers.
- become workaholics.
|Any behavior that avoided situations by hiding behind work or drugs, effectively avoided The Intuitive Self. This group of behaviors was closely linked to the Workaholic subpersonality pattern.
- don't feel happy, content, or peaceful with themselves.
- feel terribly threatened by the loss of any person they think provides their happiness.
- don't love themselves.
- often seek love from people incapable of loving.
- don't take time to see if other people are good for them.
- look to relationships to provide all their good feelings.
- stay in relationships that don't work.
- tolerate abuse to keep people loving them.
|These behaviors all relinquished power to someone outside myself. That meant giving up access to my intuitive knowing as well. Self acceptance was a prerequisite for Intuitive Self acceptance.
- don't say what they mean.
- take themselves too seriously.
- gauge their words carefully to achieve a desired effect.
- try to say what they think will please people.
- avoid talking about themselves.
|Each time I behaved in these ways, I undercut any guidance The Intuitive Self was trying to provide. The Unheard subpersonality pattern from the last thread was associated with these behaviors.
- gradually increase their tolerance until they can tolerate and do things they said they never would.
- let others hurt them.
|Giving in to others meant denying what my inner guide tried to bring to the situation. Weak boundaries meant my inner knowing was too heavily influenced by outsiders.
Lack of Trust
- try to trust untrustworthy people.
|Trusting those who were not deserving translated into trusting parts of me that were untrustworthy. This often meant going against intuitive instincts to respond from a subpersonality fear or desire.
- are afraid of their own anger.
- are afraid to make other people feel anger.
- repress their angry feelings.
- do mean and nasty things to get even.
- feel increasing amounts of anger, resentment, and bitterness.
|These limits on the range of behavior meant some urgings from The Intuitive Self were rejected as out of bounds. Subpersonalities grouped at the Power chakra level most often came into play here.
- are caretakers in the bedroom.
- withdraw emotionally from their partner.
- reduce sex to a technical act.
- have strong sexual fantasies about other people.
- consider or have an extramarital affair.
|No area of behavior would benefit more from the intuitive way. Responding automatically rather than in the spirit of the moment overrode natural intuitive promptings. This area was especially vulnerable because of the troubled relationship issues in this thread.
- be extremely responsible.
- become martyrs, sacrificing their happiness.
- find it difficult to have fun and be spontaneous.
- stay loyal to people even when it hurts.
Acting out of fixed positions limited the range of options I had to respond to an intuitive urge. In appropriate measure, responsibility and loyalty were signs of maturity. In the extreme, they defeated The Intuitive Self.
Taken together, these behaviors all reduced variety in my behavior. This meant I did not have the requisite variety to successfully deal with daily situations. Recovery of The Intuitive Self depended on outgrowing the codependent attitude.