Codependency 101: Discover, Understand and Overcome Codependency

Codependency 101: Discover, Understand and Overcome Codependency

If you are or ever have been in a relationship with a narcissist, chances are that you might be codependent. In this video, I’ll fill you in on what that means and how to overcome it. And my friend? You CAN overcome it – I promise.

Co-Dependent Narcissist Relationships: Identifying Codependency

Co-Dependent Narcissist Relationships: Identifying Codependency

Victims of narcissism often call themselves “people-pleasers” or “diplomats,” but the truth is, they are often so downtrodden in relationships that they just become changed, reactive versions of their former selves.

What is codependency?

When you hear someone use the word “codependent,” often the first thing you think about is someone who is in a relationship with an alcoholic or drug addict. That’s because the term was developed specifically for this kind of relationship – initially.

“Codependency” is defined as an unhealthy relationship where partners are overly reliant on one another. As a result, a dysfunctional pattern of living and problem-solving develops between the two.

What is narcissism?

It’s important to recognize that narcissism isn’t always a bad thing. So, let’s first define healthy narcissism. Every thinking person has a certain amount of narcissism in their personality. At its most basic level, narcissism is simply “self-interest” and it is why we feed ourselves, clothe ourselves and get out and do what we have to do to live. Having a high opinion of yourself doesn’t make you a toxic narcissist, but healthy narcissism does still allow for empathy and concern for others.

Toxic narcissism is excessive self-focus that involves a marked lack of empathy for others. In some cases, toxic narcissists will also be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder.

While narcissistic personality disorder is not considered to be a “mental illness,” it is defined as a personality disorder on the cluster B spectrum that manifests in an inflated sense of importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.

Codependency and Narcissism in Relationships: A Toxic Combo

As you might expect, this is also a common phenomenon among people who are in relationships with narcissists. This is because the narcissist has such unreachable standards in any relationship that the “supply” is treated as an extension of the narcissist’s self when it’s convenient – and as nothing, when it’s not.

When two people have a very close relationship, it’s natural and mentally healthy to depend on each other for certain things. However, if one of you loses sight of who you are, in order to please only the other person, the relationship can become very unhealthy. One of the most troubling relationship elements is codependency.

How to Go About Breaking the Cycle of Codependency

Here’s the part no one will tell you about breaking your cycle of codependency. There are so many complicated elements to the narcissist/codependent relationship dynamic. It is difficult to fully wrap your head around it if you haven’t experienced it – and often, even when you have. In this video, I’ll share with you the most important things you need to know to fully disengage and exactly how to go about breaking the cycle of toxic relationships in your own life – and ideally, in the lives of those who come after you (see our LOVE Mission for more information on our larger mission here at QueenBeeing).

Related articles

Psychology of the Addicted Narcissist: Are NPD and Addiction Connected?

Psychology of the Addicted Narcissist: Are NPD and Addiction Connected?

Are narcissistic personality disorder and drug/alcohol/gambling (etc) addiction connected? In this video, I’ll fill you in on whether they are connected, how many narcissists are also known to be addicts and much more.

Plus, i’ll tell you how to deal with a narcissistic addict and how to tell if someone is both a narcissist AND and addict, or just an addict. I’ll also discuss how to get a narcissist in rehab and what to say to a narcissist to get one to go to rehab.

Plus, I’ll tell you what to do if you can’t get the NPD addict to try rehab or recovery to start their own healing from their “drug of choice.”

Narcissists Hate It When You Succeed (at Anything!!)

Narcissists Hate It When You Succeed (at Anything!!)

Have you ever noticed how, when you start to succeed at, feel happy about, or get excited about…well, almost anything, the narcissist starts to hate you for it? And if other people notice your success and comment on it, the narcissist becomes enraged, offended – generally slighted. They minimize you, they tear you down – they focus on what you’re NOT doing in order to achieve that success.

Why do narcissists hate your success?

So, you’ve got a big project going, or you’ve started a business. Or you are the PTA president, or your company just gave you a big promotion. You’re excited! You’re taking action, you’re making things happen. Maybe you’re getting a lot of positive attention for it, right?

But then, the narcissist notices that you’re not giving him or her the same amount of attention you used to. Or that YOU are getting way more attention than you used to from other people. People are taking notice of the big thing you’re doing, and they’re saying nice things to you, and about you.

The narcissist feels threatened by your success and by the fact that you’re getting attention, no matter how small.

Whether you’re making money or not, the narcissist finds ways to say that your little project is causing problems in your relationship. You didn’t cook dinner last week, or you did not do all the stuff he or she requires of you because you’re too focused on it.

The narcissist starts arguments and attacks you and you become paralyzed – failing to take action. If you aren’t making money, the narcissist talks about how stupid you are for letting yourself be taken advantage of. If you are, the narcissist says you only care about the money, or they minimize the amount of money you are making – teasing you and trying to mentally beat you down.

And too often, the game works. The narcissist verbally and psychologically abuses you back into submission, and you retreat into your head. You stop talking about your project or your job or your business or your PTA work – and if the narcissist has anything to say about it, you’ll eventually quit doing that thing you love and spend your life focusing on him or her instead.

Why do narcissists need you to fail?

Why do narcissists seem to hate it so much when you succeed?

Reason #1: They are jealous of your success.

It doesn’t matter if they are equally or more successful than you – they feel almost offended by the fact that whatever you’re doing is getting attention from other people. Naturally, people will be excited for you sometimes – and you’ll get hate from some people. That’s life.

But when your own spouse, parent, friend, or coworker can’t be happy for you, it’s difficult to deal with, right?

The narcissist is resentful of your success because they think you don’t deserve it, or that they do deserve it and that it should be them. Or both. They feel more entitled to success than you, and they conveniently ignore the fact that you’ve worked your ass off to get there. All they know is that you got something they didn’t – and they certainly do not like it.

Reason #2: They feel threatened by your success – or they think you’re trying to make them look bad.

Or that you’ve encroached on their ever-so-specific comfort zone. Narcissists only like change when it’s about them getting more attention and more of what they want. They don’t want you to break out of that little box they’ve created for you, and they’ve got no problem with trying to push you back into it. You might be making them feel uncomfortable with your success because they feel like you’re somehow doing it to spite them or to challenge them. They’re so focused on being the center of their universe, and if you have the nerve to have a life outside of them, they are insulted: you’re no longer making them #1 in YOUR life.

Reason #3: They see you as an extension of themselves; therefore, you don’t deserve the success you’ve achieved.

After all, you have built your success on lies, according to the narcissist. All they know is that, in their eyes, you’re not even a real person, and that means that you must be pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes. You are faking it, they say, and pretty soon, people are going to find out. In their minds, there is a certain vision of success – and a certain type of person who deserves it. And despite your obvious achievements, the narcissist does not believe that you’re worthy. You don’t match their very narrow profile of what success is supposed to be – how dare you succeed at anything at all? If you ask me, this is all about projection. The narcissist projects his or her own insecurities onto you and is offended when you don’t manifest them.

Reason #4: They have an opinion of you and it doesn’t fit the image of the “you” that you have become due to your success.

This makes them feel like you’ve wronged them somehow – like you’ve gone outside of the little box they built for you in their heads. They feel betrayed – like you’ve done this TO them. They have decided long ago that you are inferior to them. And any other idea is absolutely not acceptable.

Reason #5: They feel like you’re stealing the spotlight – and that’s where THEY are supposed to be.

Since you are clearly inferior to the narcissist, according to him or her, you are wrong to attain the spotlight. The narcissist always needs to feel superior to you. He or she needs to control you – and you need to remain inside their little box for you. If you get compliments on your work, or your looks, or your kids, or your house – they’ll figure out a way to either take credit for those things, or they’ll straight up attack you. They may say that you’re dressing too slutty or being too flirty if someone compliments you on your looks – or they may rage against you for “trying to get attention” from “everyone.”

The narcissist will do anything possible to regain your attention, including STOPPING giving you theirs. They may also pull away emotionally or feel personally attacked if you have been successful. They will deny that they have a problem with you, and they will absolutely trivialize your efforts, your opinions – your thoughts and actions are considered “less than” or “fake,” somehow.

They will actively attempt to sabotage your success by putting you down, emotionally and psychologically abusing you, and even directly attacking you so that you’re so focused on their drama that you almost feel like you cannot succeed.

You have to remember that the narcissist, no matter how secure he or she seems, is the most insecure person you probably know. It’s all a front – in reality, they are pathologically envious, rage-filled, and emotionally abusive. They cannot stand to see you happy and successful, because any amount of success you achieve feels like a huge betrayal to them – and because they secretly wish it were them. But since they can’t see it or admit it to themselves, they simply focus on how they can take you down a notch or two.

How do you deal with a narcissist who is trying to bring you down?

You consider the source – and you remember that when someone insults you, it’s really a reflection of them, not you. You remember that you are worthy of your success and you shut them down by not reacting to their bad behaviors. You succeed despite their attempts to make you fail and you keep going. You don’t give in and you don’t give up.

You become a force of nature, and you eventually learn to use their abusive tendencies to drive you to become even more successful – and you don’t allow them to hurt you. Each time they try to take you down a notch, you use the feelings that come with it to push you to the next level. You don’t keep playing the game – you get off the crazy-ass merry-go-round that is a toxic relationship, and you fly as you’ve never flown before.

You win, and you don’t look back.

And now it’s time for the question of the day: can you relate to having a narcissist stop you or try to stop you from success in some area? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below and let’s discuss it.

Related articles

13 Life Hacks to Move Forward After Narcissistic Abuse: A Foolproof Formula to Overcoming Toxic Relationships

13 Life Hacks to Move Forward After Narcissistic Abuse: A Foolproof Formula to Overcoming Toxic Relationships

Here’s a foolproof formula that can help you to move forward after a toxic relationship with a narcissistic abuser.

At the end of any toxic relationship, it’s easy to become stuck in the past – and this is true whether that narcissist is a friend, family member or even a spouse or child.

You find yourself wondering what you could have said or done differently to avoid that last fight – you blame yourself and – even though the narcissist is gone, you still hear his or her voice in your head – you literally almost abuse yourself on their behalf in their absence.

You replay your favorite song over and over to relive the good times – and you cry tears of misery as you do. Just as often, you find yourself remembering the abuse, almost as if it’s against your will – and you relive it over and over again. Heck, you may even fantasize about how to win back that person’s love.

While a certain amount of sadness is natural, the sooner you accept the situation for what it is – an abusive, personality-disordered person who pretended to be someone they weren’t (the narcissist’s “false self”)-  the sooner you can reclaim your life.

So, I’m sharing 13 simple, effective – and proven strategies for how to look ahead and move on with your life. It’s time to stop letting the narcissist control you and start taking back your life.

Changing your Perspective

  1. Affirm your worth. Splitting up can leave you feeling guilty or rejected. Instead of thinking that you’ve failed, focus on what you’ve learned. Remember that you deserve happiness and fulfillment. 
  2. Take responsibility. At the same time, acknowledge the role that you played in any conflicts. By examining your actions, you discover what you can do differently next time. That’s a lot more powerful than being a victim. 
  3. Face reality. Chances are you’d still be together if you were really soul mates. When you stop idealizing your old flame, you’re more likely to notice other interesting singles.
  4. Talk it over. Connect with family and friends who want to support you at this difficult time. They may have similar experiences and fresh insights. 
  5. Identify triggers. Everyday sights and sounds may bring back disturbing memories. Take your ex’s photos off your phone. 
  6. Set goals. Empower yourself by taking on an ambitious project. Use your extra free time to reflect on your purpose and priorities. Maybe you want to devote more energy to your career or community activities. 
  7. Care for your health. Does a broken heart make you lose your appetite or drive you to seek comfort in a pint of Rocky Road? Protect your emotional well-being by staying physically fit. 
  8. Consider counseling. Whether you initiated the breakup or it came as a surprise, you may be feeling overwhelmed. A therapist  or a certified life coach who specializes in relationship abuse issues can help you cope with your loss and replace your previous patterns with more rewarding behavior. 

Trying Something New

  1. Redecorate your surroundings. If your apartment reminds you too much of your ex, restyle your space. If you can’t afford to replace the furniture, there are plenty of low budget solutions, like a fresh coat of paint or building a headboard out of an old door.
  2. Expand your interests. You may have been neglecting your hobbies if your last partner didn’t share your passion for opera or volley ball. Resume the activities you love, and discover some new outlets.
  3. Schedule a makeover. It’s easier to reinvent yourself when you’re comfortable with the way you look. Browse magazines for ideas or start small if you’re still figuring out what works for you. If a tattoo seems too radical, shape your eyebrows or get a pedicure. 
  4. Travel the globe. Pick a destination you’re excited about seeing. Look forward to interacting with others who see you as an individual instead of half a former couple. Enjoy feeling capable on your own as you figure out foreign currencies and sample the local cuisine. 
  5. Stay busy. There’s a difference between accepting your grief and wallowing in it. The more you do, the less time you’ll have to stare at the phone. 

YOU CAN bounce back after a toxic relationship, my friend. Soothe your hurt feelings and shift your attention to the future. By using your old relationship as an opportunity to work on yourself, you’ll be preparing for a new and more lasting love. You GOT THIS! <3 Stay strong!

Pin It on Pinterest