Excel At Life logo
×



Contents

PsychArticles button PsychNotes button PsychApps button PsychAudios button PsychTests button About button
Support Excel At Life's Mission!
Follow
Help Translate
Spread the Word
Make Contribution
Become a fan on Facebook! Follow on twitter for site updates! Follow on Google+ for site updates!
Excel At Life--Dedicated to the Pursuit of Excellence in Life, Relationships, Sports and Career





CBT

Jealousy

Depression

Relationships

Conflict

Self-efficacy

Happiness

Goal-setting

Motivation

Wellness

Sport Psych



POPULAR ARTICLES

Crazy-Makers: Dealing with Passive-Aggressive People

Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

When You Have Been Betrayed

Struggling to Forgive: An Inability to Grieve

Happy Habits: 50 Suggestions

The Secret of Happiness: Let It Find You (But Make the Effort)

Excellence vs. Perfection

Depression is Not Sadness

Conflict in the Workplace

Motivation: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

7 Rules and 8 Methods for Responding to Passive-aggressive People

Promoting Healthy Behavior Change

10 Common Errors in CBT

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Rejection Sensitivity, Irrational Jealousy and Impact on Relationships

For Women Only: How to Have the Relationship of Your Dreams

What to Do When Your Partner's Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Relationship

Making Attributions for a Healthier Attitude

Happiness is An Attitude

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

The Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Co-Dependency: An Issue of Control

The Pillars of the Self-Concept: Self-Esteem and Self-Efficacy

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?

POPULAR AUDIOS

Panic Assistance

Motivational Audios

Mindfulness Training

Rational Thinking

Relaxation for Children

Change Yourself--Don't Wait for the World to Change

Loving Kindness Meditation

Self-Esteem Exercise

Meadow Relaxation

Rainy Autumn Morning

Energizing Audios

Quick Stress Relief

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Lies You Were Told

Choosing Happiness

Lotus Flower Relaxation

Audio Version of Article: Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People

Audio Version of Article: Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

Audio Version of Article: Happiness Is An Attitude

All Audio Articles





Kindle Books by Dr. Monica Frank





RECENT ARTICLES

Why You Get Anxious When You Don't Want To

Why People Feel Grief at the Loss of an Abusive Spouse or Parent

“Are You Depressed?”: Understanding Diagnosis and Treatment

15 Coping Statements for Panic and Anxiety

Beyond Tolerating Emotions: Becoming Comfortable with Discomfort

Emotion Training: What is it and How Does it Work?

How You Can Be More Resistant to Workplace Bullying

Are You Passive Aggressive and Want to Change?

When Your Loved One Refuses Help

The Porcupine Effect: Pushing Others Away When You Want to Connect

What if You Considered Other Peoples' Views?

5 Common Microaggressions Against Those With Mental Illness

What to Expect from Mindfulness-based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (MCBT) When You Have Depression and Anxiety

Does Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Lack Compassion? It Depends Upon the Therapist

When Needs Come Into Conflict

What to Do When Anger Hurts Those You Love

A Brief Primer On the Biology of Stress and How CBT Can Help

50 Tools for Panic and Anxiety

Coping With Change: Psychological Flexibility

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Ending a Bad Relationship

I'm Depressed. I'm Overwhelmed. Where Do I Start?



NEW AUDIOS

Building Blocks Emotion Training

Hot Springs Relaxation

5 Methods to Managing Anger

Panic Assistance While Driving

Autogenic Relaxation Training

Rainbow Sandbox Mindfulness

Mindfulness Training

Riding a Horse Across the Plains

Cityscape Mindfulness

Change Yourself--Don't Wait for the World to Change

The Great Desert Mindfulness

Tropical Garden Mindfulness

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Lies You Were Told

Probability and OCD

Choosing Happiness

Magic Bubbles for Children

Lotus Flower Relaxation

Cloud Castles for Children

Hot Air Balloon Motivation

All Audio Articles

×
The Irresponsibility of Dependency

If you use these audios, please support their development. Just $1 for each audio you use could greatly help with creating more audios!





print

The Irresponsibility of Dependency

This audio may seem harsh but for those who are overly dependent, but it is a necessary truth. Only by recognizing how your dependency creates what you fear will you be able to change your life. Your fear of being abandoned, of being alone, of being responsible for yourself is more likely to cause you to be rejected, abandoned, and alone. Once you realize that only you are responsible for changing this pattern, you can create a better life for yourself. No matter what happened to you in the past, you are responsible for your present.

Those who are overly dependent may present in different ways. Some present as helpless with the need to be taken care of while others may present as very controlling. No matter how the dependency may appear, it has the commonality of creating problems in relationships.

The purpose of this audio is to help you recognize this reality. By listening to it and making the choice to take responsibility for yourself, you can create a better future. Keep in mind that as with all the cognitive-behavioral tools, this should be used in combination with the other methods such as the cognitive diary method.

Transcript: The Irresponsibility of Dependency

People who are overly dependent tend to blame others, or the world, or other outside forces for their problems. If you are listening to this audio, you have taken an important first step to changing your life. Now it is critical to listen repeatedly until you have thoroughly examined your life and taken responsibility for yourself.

This audio discusses the dependent type of co-dependency which involves a relationship in which one person is overly responsible and the other is dependent upon the responsible one. This relationship is considered co-dependent because the individuals involved fulfill unhealthy psychological needs for one another. In the situation discussed in this audio, the tendency is to not take responsibility for oneself but to depend on the other person.

If you fit in this category, you probably do not want to listen to this audio because it will be uncomfortable for you. Many people who are overly dependent do not consider themselves irresponsible. And certainly, if we use the dictionary definitions of irresponsible such as foolish and impulsive, it would not describe most of those who are co-dependent. However, if we look at other definitions of irresponsible such as careless, thoughtless, and negligent we may see how that fits with being overly dependent.

You most likely believe that you are a kind, thoughtful person. And perhaps, according to the way you think, you are. But co-dependency is defined by behavior, not by how you think. In other words, it is important to examine your behavior and how it affects others.

Most people who are overly dependent are in denial about their behavior. They may convince themselves that they are incapable and the other person “should” take care of them if they love them. I once had a client who needed to learn to be more independent say “I should be loved just the way I am.” I said to him, “I don't see you dating homeless women from the streets. If you have standards for who you date, why isn't it reasonable to change yourself so that you are more lovable?”

It is important to break through this denial and look at your behavior as others see it and examine how it impacts your life. Recognize that you are not a victim but a creator of your life. Otherwise, you are likely to experience negative outcomes again and again.

Why is being overly dependent a problem? Because, most of the time it seriously affects your relationships. You may find and develop a relationship with someone who is an overly responsible care-taker type of personality and, at first, it might seem to be a good relationship. But eventually, the care-taker becomes resentful because they view the relationship as one-sided. They are always giving and never receiving anything in return. Let's look at the dictionary definition of irresponsibility again. From another person's point of view, such one-sided behavior may appear to be thoughtless and even negligent of the relationship.

You might think that you are giving in your relationship. However, if you are not giving what the other person needs, you are not truly participating in the relationship. And even a care-taker needs support, comfort, and someone to rely on at times.

As uncomfortable, or even painful, as it might be, you need to examine your behavior from the perspective of other people. How does it impact them? Typically, overly dependent people appear to be self-centered from the perspective of others. They seem to be primarily concerned with themselves and what will happen to them. Sometimes this is true even when their worries are about others. That might seem a little confusing, but to understand this statement you need to understand the core of your worries. For instance, if you are fearful of harm coming to someone else, is it because of how that might impact you? Or, if you a parent and concerned about the behavior of your children, is it because you want to help them have a good life, or is it because of how you might look to others if your children have problems? If you worry that a new job may be unhealthy for your spouse due to the travel involved, is it because you would have to face the anxiety about being alone?

On the surface, concerns and worries may appear to be focused on others, but for someone who is overly dependent, there is usually a self-focused core to the concerns. You might ask, “why does it matter what underlies my behavior if I am showing concern for others?” The reason it matters is because others will know whether it is true concern or if it is about you and fear of consequences to you. Typically, this is because your worries and fears will have the effect of strangling others rather than letting them grow. If your concerns ultimately make you feel better, then it is about you. In fact, when we are truly concerned about someone else, we may even feel worse when doing what is best for them. For example, letting a child solve a problem on her own without interference may be uncomfortable for you but might be good for her.

Some people who are overly dependent are anxious and fearful of failure. They don't want to make decisions because they might make a mistake. They don't trust themselves and don't want to take a risk. Therefore, they let others decide for them. As long as they don't make the decision, they believe they don't have to take responsibility for the outcome. However, that is wrong! When you let others make your decisions, you ARE making a decision. You have decided to not choose. Therefore, if you don't like the outcome, it is important to recognize that you are responsible for that outcome when you LET someone else make the decision. That was YOUR choice.

Other people who are overly dependent either haven't learned the skills to care for themselves or find it easier to let someone else take care of them. This type of dependent person will often be seen by others as lazy or uncaring about their impact on others. At first, the responsible person in this co-dependent relationship willingly takes care of them. However, eventually, the person is likely to become frustrated. Sometimes this frustration is directed at the dependent person through criticism and demands. Unfortunately, such a reaction tends to lend credence to the dependent person's belief that they are a helpless victim rather than helping them to see the necessity of taking responsibility in their life.

Whatever the reason is for your dependency, it is important to recognize that you are responsible and only you can make the changes. The only change the other person who is part of the co-dependent relationship can make is to stop taking responsibility for you. However, that often leads to the end of the relationship unless you change as well.

Therefore, if you want to have better relationships, you need to recognize that it is up to you. Your life is your responsibility. You are in control of what happens. Not others. Giving someone else control over your life, not making decisions, not sharing in the nurturing of your relationship, IS irresponsible. You can change that!

Certainly, it may be difficult. But will it be difficult when loved ones leave you because they can't tolerate the relationship anymore? Will it be difficult to be alone?

You are not the victim of other people's choices. You are the victim of your own. If you want a better life and better relationships, you have to be determined to take responsibility for your life no matter how hard it might be. It is up to you. It is your choice. Do you choose to continue to be dependent, believing that you are a helpless victim, or do you choose to take control of your life? This has always been your choice.

As I said earlier, these words may be hard to hear. But if you don't heed them, you are likely to continue down the same path. There is a reason you are listening to this audio. You don't want to continue down that path. You don't want to continue to experience the consequences of dependency. So, it is up to you. And you CAN do it, if you want to. You can face the discomfort, the anxiety, the feelings of failure or whatever else is necessary to create a better life. It is not the responsibility of others to make you happy, it is your responsibility. Only you can do that.





Become a fan on Facebook! Follow on twitter for site updates! Follow on Google+ for site updates!