Co-Dep INTERNAL Negatives (Part 2)


I TRY & TRY, BUT

never seem to get anywhere

PREVIOUS: Co-Dep INTERNAL Negatives (Part 1)

SITE: Factors leading to Co-dep

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.


INTERNAL
 High COST of angry-niceness
(cont.)

✔︎ Regretful – getting lost in the ‘Wudda-shudda-cudda” forest of self-recrimination & hopelessness, yet another way to prevent yourself from making healthy changes to improve your life

✔︎ Resentful – you don’t like this about yourself, but you’re filled with resentments. It’s the rage about what you didn’t get as a kid, & the rage NOW at not getting what you silently expect/demand from others. They’re supposed to read your mind so you don’t have to ask. And, why don’t they appreciate & reciprocate all you’ve been doing for them??  ”Why does _____ keep ignoring me? Why hasn’t she/he texted back? What did they mean by that remark??”…..

✔︎ Risk-Averse – being so dependent on others to feel OK keeps you from testing yourself to too what you’re actually capable of OR –
You can take risks in some parts of your life, proving you can do it, yet convinced you can’t try out new ways of doing or thinking – in other areas.

✔︎ Self-Sabotaging – making sure your goals & dreams never come true, staying in jobs & relationships you hate but can’t seem to extricate yourself, refusing to use the options that would help you move on.

✔︎ Sleepless (in Seattle??) – tossing & turning, worrying about what you have to do in the morning & the rest of the day – every day, about how you’re going to manage the ‘conversation’ you’re dreading (with the boss, a subordinate, a family member….), obsessing about an ‘incident’ yesterday by text or email because someone was mad at you….. NEVER ever really relaxed

✔︎ Suffering – stubbornly cling to your self-hate to (unconsciously) prove your deep loyalty to the family, so :
—  you pick people who are unhealthy, making yourself vulnerable to the same kind of neglect & abuse you got growing up, & sometimes even worse
— all the stress of suppressing your emotions + cruel self-talk + unhappy relationships = physical ailments, chronic & long-lasting

✔︎ Terrified – all the time, even if you don’t realize that’s why you’re breathing is so shallow. Scared to make a mistake or of not knowing something, of doing anything that will cause ‘them’ to leave you, or fire you, of taking a stand, of admitting your deepest emotions & sharing your pain, of honestly admitting your family’s abuse & neglect, or your own shortcomings….

✔︎ Trapped – with all the crazy, toxic people you’ve accumulated (& family you cling to), unwilling to extricate yourself because you don’t really want to see  how awful they are & how much they’re harming you, and you can’t bear the idea of ‘hurting’ them any more than they already are. BUT it’s OK to let yourself be terribly injured by them???

✔︎ Uncomfortable – in your skin, crying, being noticed in a group, with gifts or rewards, taking in praise & compliments, even the validation you say you crave

✔︎ Waiting – never having been allowed to know who you really are has insured that you can’t motivate yourself. You wait for any outside force to push you in some direction, never being sure if it’s what you want. If there’s no deadline or needy person – if it’s just you – you’re stalled!

✔︎ Wishy-washy – trouble making decisions, trouble being firm with others, sticking to your point of view: “What if it’s the wrong one? // What if they won’t like what I say? // I want o see what they’re going to do first // I’m not sure what they want me to be/see/feel… // I can’t figure out what to wear to that event, who should I be, how am I supposed to act?I don’t know what to feel about this”….

NEXT: Co-dep EXTERNAL negatives – in us #1

Co-Dep INTERNAL Negatives (Part 1)

P-A wifeI’M SO STRESSED OUT
& no one will help me!

PREVIOUS: Co-dep angry-nice (#2a)

BOOK: “The Book of No:
250 Ways to Say It – & Mean It, & Stop People-Pleasing Forever”
Susan Newman, PhD (book review)


INTERNAL
 High COST of angry-niceness

beleaguered✔︎ Beleaguered (surrounded by troubles), yours & everyone else, until you just want to scream, but that’s too unacceptable, so you swallow the anger & collapse inward. Always saying “I’m sorry”- for things that are not your fault OR beyond your control, tying to placate the monsters inside & out

✔︎ Burnt out – run yourself into the ground, a workhorse – or should we say ‘work like a dog’!?
— try to do more than everyone else
— never ask for help (including spouse & kids)
—  have outrageous expectations of yourself (perfectionism)

✔︎ Confused – “I don’t know how to____, I can’t seem to ____ // Why don’t I get any better? Why am I not appreciated? What am doing wrong? Should I have ____? Why don’t I ever get picked for ____? // I’m not sure who to listen to, who to believe. Isn’t my family right? What if my husband /wife is right about me?”…..

✔︎ Desperate – your frantic efforts to get your needs met in round-about ways always end up in disappointment & disaster. Sadly, no matter how much effort you put in & how determined you are, just like you can’t fix others, they can never fix you. Even so, you keep PMES starving, but refuse to feed yourself. You just get more & more desperate, often to the point of being suicidal

✔︎ Distrustful – if others do actually like you, it doesn’t count because:
— you don’t believe you’re worthwhile
— you don’t trust your own judgement as to who is sincere & who isn’t
— you idealize others, BUT are secretly sure no one is safe
— you know you’re not being emotionally honest, so assume they only like your fake front
— you don’t realize others can see your good qualities, even tho’ you can’t

✔︎ False Self – that you had to develop as child – continues to get reinforced & dominates our life.  Only focusing on your outsides, waiting to be rescued / taken care of guarantees disappointment, wastes decades of your life. You miss out on drive & spontaneity, ignoring opportunities to be creative, to use your natural gifts & to accept all aspects of yourself

✔︎ Frustrated – from never getting control over others to make them be what you want, & do what you need – so you can feel safe. From trying so hard to get it right but never ‘figuring it out’. From longing for the love you don’t think you deserve or have a right to. From living in the fantasy of how thing would be, if only……

✔︎ Gilt-ridden – any time you’re less than chipper, any time you have an angry thought about someone, any time you just can’t do something you think you should or what someone else wants, any time you take a minute out for yourself, anytime someone’s angry at you, any time you’re not perfect……

✔︎ Obsessive – endlessly ‘chewing the cud’, going ’round & ’round about:
— something you did or didn’t do, that you’re sure is going to make others turn away from you in anger or disgust – OR
— about what someone said that hurt, or what they didn’t do that you wanted….. wasting time & energy trying to figure out why?
SO you can fix it & not be abandoned!
always outside

✔︎ On the Outside – for all our effort, you still have your nose pressed against the window – looking in! You’re still lonely, whether isolating or filling your social calendar to overflowing. When you relate to other from the facade of being OK but are really not, no one can truly know you

NEXT:Internal Negatives #2

Co-Dependence Negatives – Intro-a

angry-niceness 

I DON’T KNOW WHY
they’re being so mean to me!

PREVIOUS: INTERNAL damage

SITE: “Too agreeable’?

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

 

The HIGH COST of ‘too nice’
Co-dependence is a survival strategy developed in childhood in an alcoholic or otherwise narcissistic family & community. They prevented us from developing a clear sense of our identity, so we didn’t learn how to be our own knowledgeable & loving caretaker. We may not realize we’ve taken on this ‘persona’, but a deep part of our psyche wants to please others to avoid negative reactions we’re afraid we won’t be able to bear.

Now, as physical adults – but reacting emotionally as a child – we use co-dep tactics as sneaky ways of expecting other people to fill the hole in our heart left by our unhealthy parents. Unaware of being angry & scared, & not believing inot with-itn ourselves – we constantly look to others to tell us who we are, what we should wear, read, think, feel, study, do for a living…. even to giving us permission to exist! – because any differences threatens our WIC. We end up ‘wearing’ people’s personalities – at least when we’re with them.

This makes us vulnerable to the moods of others, as if their state if mind is a reflection on us – so if they treat us well we’re OK, but if they’re cranky, critical or just gone – we blame ourselves and feel bereft!  With weak or missing boundaries we’re everybody’s puppet, jerking an uncertain way thru life

Q: What if the one basic requirement for boundaries?

ANS: Our NEEDS! Knowing what they are, having permission to own them & then implementing as many as possible. You can’t draw a line in the sand unless you know where that line is supposed to be – which is based on your True Self.

People-pleasing
As co-dependents we are people-pleaser (P-P) – who will do anything at all, no matter how humiliating & self-destructive – to keep others attached to us. Many ‘experts’ warn that being too nice will lead to a loss of self-worth – implying we had it at sometime in the past. This may be true in some cases, but not for most ACoAs. People-pleasing is rooted in & springs out of a lack of healthy core & genuine self-esteem – to start with.

As a result of this lack, co-dep P-Ps are most easily attracted to friends & mates who are controlling, who always seem to know what’s best, & happy to tell everyone. And they want to be with us because we let them be in charge all the time. If we had at least one such parent or other important caretaker – we make the unconscious connection between love & being controlled. We think that way we’re safe & don’t have to make the effort to figure out what we want.

However, no matter how battered, each of us does have an inner voice of our own that wants to be heard. So eventually, in a long-term relationship with any controller – we can get more & more anxious, resenting the other person for always getting their way. But afraid of rejection, we may start withdrawing or become passive-aggressive, instead of leaving or being more assertive. (MORE….)

Being “too nice” can backfire

a.  Others often see it as a sign of weakness & some will use it as an opportunity to take advantage of you. (More in future post)
EXP: Researchers at Notre Dame University found that men who were considered “agreeable” (easy-going, cooperative) made 18% less money overall than less agreeable ones, & ‘nice’ women made 5% less than those who were less so.  (Study)

b. If you’re ‘too nice’, wanting social harmony at any cost,
you avoid conflict as much as possible, but end up harming yourself. Hiding from your own anger, & desperately afraid of making others angry at you, you’re much less willing to stand up for yourself, or say things like: “No, I don’t want that / No, I won’t do it / No that’s not what I meant….”

This avoidance actually creates more disruption, since problems never get aired or resolved, & in some cases cause others great harm as well!
EXP: Another study discovered that ‘nice’ people were more obedient toward authority & their rules – whether good or bad. When the researchers repeated the famous Milgram Experiment, participants who scored higher on traits like “agreeableness” & “conscientious” ended up giving higher shocks of pain.

NEXT: C0-dep Negatives – Intro -b

Co-Dep Angry-Nice UNDERPINNINGS (Part 1)

love-buyingscreen-shot-2017-02-24-at-12-13-36-pm 

THEY WON’T LIKE ME
unless I try a lot harder

PREVIOUS: Co-dep #1

SITEQs @ Co-dep
Anger
 
False beliefs @ being angry


Co-dependence UNDERPINNINGS (all at the same time!)
YOU ARE:
• Hero – of your own story, but not really. Your sense of importance & value is totally dependent on what you can do for others, whether they want it or not, and on how others react to you. If they respond positively, you can breathe. If they don’t – even once – you feel like the rug’s been pulled out. So you have to keep running from the monster (the Introject), to make sure you always do the right thing – for others – but never for yourself

• Jelly – inside. A quivering mass of terror & self-flagellation, always waiting for the other shoe to drop! The least little thing that goes wrong – you blame yourself – whether others hurt your feelings, or heaven-forbid you don’t know something, or make even a tiny mistake – all reasons to condemn yourself

• Mind-reader – sure you know what everyone else is thinking  –MINd]D READING about you. Your shame & S-H ‘knows’ it’s never anything good, so you never bother to actually find out by asking, lest your suspicions prove to be true

• Martyr – taking on the burdens of everyone else, carrying their suffering for them, assuming they are weak & you’re so much stronger

• Secret Superman/ Wonder-woman – able to leap tall buildings with your determination to march on alone in spite of all your hardships, proving your ability to save others, while never needing any help yourself

YOU HAVE:
• Antennae – that constantly swivel back & forth towards everyone else, overly attuned to your assessment/assumption of other people’s emotions & needs – whether accurate or not. Your focus is for external approval, rather than internal self-fulfillment. Left to your own devices, you feel lost, purposeless, even empty

• Brakes – like on a car – but only the emergency one, keeping you locked in place, stuck in the mud of your pain, so you can’t take care of yourself. You think if you stand perfectly still you’ll be safe, but all you’re doing is trading real freedom & enjoyment for fake-protectioncrazy committee

• A Committee – a dangerous ’round’ table in your head of warring factions – each with an opposing point of view, vying for the upper hand – AND all negative. They’re so loud, you can’t find your own voice, & they drive you crazy, because you’re trying to make sense of craziness!

• Distortions – of thinking (CDs) that warp the way you see & interpret the world – thru the haze of Toxic Rules, FoA & S-H. This includes a skewed idea of Higher Power/God. ACoAs automatically assume that “God is an Alcoholic Parent”. We either:
— hate the whole ‘spirituality’ issues because God didn’t rescue us from very real childhood trauma, or
— try to earn love & acceptance by good works (people-please HP) or
— we assume the ‘universe’ is against us, no matter what we do, just like it was at home

NEXT: Co-Dep UNDERPINNINGS  (#2)

Co-Dependent Anger-Niceness (Part 3)

over-giving 

THEY NEED ME, THEY NEED ME!
If I can carry them, I’ll be loved

PREVIOUS: Secretly angry-nice #1

SITEArticle 1 // Article 2

 

KINDNESS vs Angry-NICENESS
True Kindness is a positive trait, coming from an inner place of abundance – the person having enough of their needs & wants met from their healthy family, themselves & in the world. It allows them to be reasonably happy with themselves & their life, without being complacent. As a result, they can be thoughtful & generous toward others, without desperately needing or expecting a return.

This satisfaction then translates into relating positively toward others, AND carries them thru hard times – showers or storms  – which happen to us all.  Being a genuinely kind person is never a liability when it’s an outgrowth of our personal nice neighborsstrength, emotional stability & human understanding.    (Boundaries posts).

True Kindness is all the opposites of co-dependence. It’s being true to our own needs & values, expressing this to others so they know where they stand with us.
Sometimes healthy kindness is uncomfortable. Sometimes it means saying ‘No to someone’s request or demand, because it’s not good for us, or not good for them – like not giving money to an active addict, or not spending the night with a stranger….

NOTE:  Our True Self may indeed be helpful, caring & kind. And for wounded people who want to scrub off the False Self layer, with enough Recovery we who are ‘natural helpers’ can find a balance between legitimate giving & appropriate self-care.
Other personality Types can finally uncover & admit that it’s not really their style at all – they need more privacy & solitude to fulfill healthy goals & natural talents.
ARTICLE:”For Everyone who has been called ‘Too Nice’.” Re. Positive niceness!!

Co-dependent Fake Niceness
Most people occasionally need to hide their anger behind the face of politeness –  especially when it’s the only way to protect oneself.  This is normal.
Here we’re focusing on suppressed-anger-niceness as a way of life. It’s a defense mechanisms, one of many ways our damage shows up, used to disguise our unhealed wounds of the past. Childhood abandonment always leaves us with a great deal of anger, which ‘nice’ people turn in on themselves. Lacking genuine self-esteem, we latch on to others so we can manipulate them into providing our many unmet needs, instead of working to develop these for ourselves.

Co-Dep is an outgrowth of self-hate, which tells us that we caused our own pain, from birth – on. And according to this distorted thinking, if wehappy-man caused it then we surely can cure it, which is the WIC’s sense of false power, who is convinced that we can control how we are treated – by being extra good – no, perfect!   (opposite of Al-anon’s 3 Cs)
But all we end up doing is twisting ourselves into whatever pretzel we think others want, and trying to fix people who are the least likely to change – the narcissists & addicts around us who are too self-absorbed to even see us, much less care. Neither effort ever works!

In reality we could not possibly have caused any of our early suffering, since the damaged adults who raised us were already fully formed before we arrived! It’s not fair that we have to clean up the mess they left us with, but we do have the power to heal much of it, if we want a better life. Yet many people are unwilling to shed deep-seated defenses as it would mean dealing with the original wounds that caused their need for them.

Without a strong inner core of self-esteem, clear thinking & good boundaries, the reason for the way we interact with others is not ‘clean’. At the very least, the surface agreeableness of our angry-niceness is a pretense. At the extreme, being overly-sweet, overly-solicitous, overly-helpful hides our anger even more deeply. All types are (almost) never angry – on the outside!

Actually, our carefully controlled actions are basically self-serving, because we’re only being ‘so good’ as a way of conning others into taking care of us – emotionally, psychologically – & often in all 4 PMES way. Whether or not we’re aware of our compulsive patterns is not relevant here. (See Part 1 re. Selfishness).too helpful

If you’re still actively Secretly-Angry, you want to be seen as a kind person, in spite of how you feel inside, because society considers that a virtue. And being desperate for positive strokes, you assume that’s what is always required & expected of you. But you’re still living in emotional deprivation, so no amount of people-pleasing will fill the void.

Then, the more you do for others, especially if there’s no acknowledgement or appreciation – the angrier you get. But ‘nice’ people aren’t supposed to get angry – so the feeling transforms into resentments.

NEXT: Co-Dep defined #2

Co-Dependent Anger-Niceness (Part 1)

too niceWHY DON’T PEOPLE APPRECIATE
how hard I work at pleasing them??

PREVIOUS: Symptoms of Angry-niceness to others

SITE: Being too nice – dangers in 4 areas of life

QUOTE: ” A person cannot truly be free without self-reflecting” — Hegel

POWER ISSUES
All dysfunctional thinking & behavior grows out of our personality interacting with the unhealthy parenting we were originally stuck with.

Co-dependence (‘Roles & Co-dep’ andAnger & C0-dep’ posts) begins in early childhood, & rarely if ever diminishes on its own. Instead, without Recovery, it usually gets progressively more exaggerated & painful. It’s most often set up by a dominant-submissive family pattern. Only the parent(s) or other caretakers were allowed to have any power – over everything – what you did, what you thought, what you felt, what you wore….. & all the things you were not allowed.
And when children’s PMES needs & emotions are ignored & punished, they grow up without knowing who they are, what their rights are & with the assumption they are not allowed to exercise personal power. (Our Rights).personal power

Power is not a dirty word or an evil concept. It is only a negative when used to force others to do what we want, since that means it’s without their consent & against their will. (Rescuing vs. Heathy Helping)
Internal, personal power is essential for healthy functioning. This is what’s missing or very weak in all secretly-angry people.
 ❤️
 Being thoughtful & kind to others, needing companionship, or even going out of our way to be helpful is NOT automatically co-dependence. Motivation is what counts. (Deserving vs. Rights)

USES: The seemingly contradictory reasons for people-pleasing is the 2-sided coin of being afraid of independence & at the same time of being dependent, ie. fear of both abandonment (Separation) and fear of intimacy (Symbiosis).
Some people are more terrified of one than the other – consciously – but the 2 are so deeply connected, they both contribute to ‘over-niceness’ as a way of keeping everyone at bay. (Boundaries & ACoAs #3, re. Stayers & Leavers)

fear of abandonment1. Fear of abandonment (FoA): We always feel like the outsider, longing to belong. Being over-nice is supposed to keep people attached to us, but is counter-productive since they never get to know our whole self, not just our wound-flaws but also our true beauty.

2. Fear of enmeshment (FoE): We’ve been hurt & betrayed so many time, & suffocated by a needy parent. Well, we’re nobody’s fool – we’ll just stay behind ofear of enmeshmentur wall!
Being over-nice is supposed to prevent others from crossing our boundaries to the point of strangling us, but instead it just becomes solid ice, creating PMES starvation. BUT of course that’s because we don’t actually have boundaries, so we have to use artificial protection.
(These are related to Attachment styles)

SELF-CENTERED?
If asked, most Co-dependents would swear they’re giving, caring, selfless creatures. Their True Self may be all those things & more, but Co-dependence angry-niceness is a defense mechanism & the motivation for all those ‘helpful’ ways actually comes from the selfish needs of the WIC, trying to shut up the PP in our head! Not to mention that under all that sweetness lurks a volcano, dormant but deadly.(‘Rescuing: False helping’ )

• We’re told that we can’t love others until we love ourselves. But we were taught that’s selfish.
• We’re supposed to stop only thinking of ourselves & consider other people’s point of view – but isn’t that what we’re already doing???

So, which is it? Me or them? Selfish or self-less? Well, it both because Mental Health is always about balance (20 characteristics).

Here we the can look at Selfishness from 3 points of view:
a. Neutral Selfishnesswhen we do something good for ourselves, & it doesn’t involve anyone else

b. Bad Selfishness – when we do something that seems to only benefit us, & hurts someone else. This can easily backfire. 

c. Good Selfishness – when we do something that we like/ love/ want – with someone else, who also benefits. (MORE )

SO? In recovery our P-P / Co-dep hopefully diminishes, but any acting out of it is the BAD kind of Selfish, because – no matter how much we con ourselves, aware or not – we’re only trying to manipulate others into providing needs we didn’t get at home & that we don’t want to provide for ourselves.
❤️ But, the more we take care of ourselves, (good selfish) the more we can truly be aware of other people for who they actually are & treat them accordingly, rather than what we want from them. (“Abandonment pain, Now“// “How ACoAs Abandon Others“)

NEXT: Co-Dep angry-nice, #2

SYMPTOMS of Co-Dep Anger – toward others

WICs communicatingI’VE GOT TO BE NICE
so they won’t see my anger

PREVIOUS: Symptoms- in us

SITE: Co-Dependency  (includes characteristics Qs)

<— Inner children in adults


IMPORTANT:
as you scroll thru these various lists (this & the previous), do NOT use them to berate yourself. If they are primarily psychological rather than medical, they tell us our degree of woundedness, embodied in the False Self. We did not cause these patterns, but it is our choice & option to correct them, a little at a time.

• Looking at Plutchik’s “Emotion Wheel” – we see that anger & fear are opposites – so:
— if we are only aware of or act from being anxious, depressed, feeling like a victim – we’re hiding intense anger we’re afraid to admit to
— if we are in a continual state of anger, rage, resentment & hostility – we are denying feelings of sadness, vulnerability, hopelessness & fear

NOTE: Some things in the list will seem counter-opposite, but can in fact be different sides of the same person, like – act Superior on the outside, feel Inferior on the inside, calm on the surface, but roiling inside…..
ALSO – you don’t need to identify with everything to say you’re hiding rage, & as stated above, some of these things can be caused by sources other that repressed Es (medication, temporary intense stressors, a major illness….).
See —- upcoming — statements which signal indirect anger

How CO-DEPENDENTS behave
Behaviors
• ‘love-buy’ – overspend on gifts, tips, treats
• women often financially support their spouse
• rarely buy anything for yourself
• anticipate needs of others & supply them before being asked
• overly-kind (one of the subtlest forms of anger – think of Dexter, TV’s good-guy serial murderer bringing donuts to work)
• overly responsible at work, trouble delegating
• put yourself at risk rather than refuse someone’s request
• do much more than you’ve been askedscreen-shot-2017-02-24-at-11-41-20-pm

 Communication
• agree with everything others say, or just smile
• patronize (as in the Southern phrase “Bless your heart!”)
• laugh at jokes that are not funny or you’ve heard many times
• listen endlessly to other people’s problems & complaints
• won’t speak up against disrespect or abuse
• only hint, obliquely, at what you want or don’t like
• mistake honest, respectful dialogue for malicious confrontation
• repress, deny, ignore true thoughts & emotions (dishonesty)
• complain to everyone else about your relationship dissatisfaction except to the one involved

Relationships
• terrified of being dominated, & weakly try not to be, but  unconsciously act dependent, indecisive, unsure, non-assertive, with weak or no boundaries
• don’t go places or do things if your mate isn’t available or interested – then sulk, complain, cold-shopeople-pleaseulder
• refuse to leave harmful or ‘dead’ relationships, & make the other person responsible for ending it
• cause many ‘little problems’ that irritate your partner, & then seem surprised

• take a partner ‘hostage’ by needing them so much you can’t live without them, make them your whole world
• keep attracting partners that are overtly angry, P-As & narcissist, so you can keep being secretly angry – at them
• pick & stay with addicts, so you can fix them (control)
• don’t say what you want, like, need…. but expect others to mind-read
• withdraw from anyone you like, if it will prevent conflict – without explanation
• imagine worst-case scenarios even when things are going well
• keep bringing up old complaints  with children or mates

• go to any length to not rock to boatat risk
• keep recycling old ways of dealing with complicated situations
• re. sex – women – refuse to ask for what you want/like, never initiate, undermine mate’s sense of adequacy & skill, refuse to respond, lack of desire

NEXT: Co-Dep behavior #1