Co-Dependence Negatives – Intro-b

I’M PROUD OF WORKING
harder than everyone else!

PREVIOUS: Co-dep Intro-a

SITE: Childhood Trauma Recovery ARCHIVE

See ACRONYM page for abbrev.

 

The HIGH COST of ‘too nice’ (cont.)
Co-Dependence & Anger have a reciprocal connection. Some people compensate for their fear/terror of rejection – for having their own needs, opinions & emotions such as anger – by using people-pleasing tactics. They may not have started out angry, but the longer they have to suppress their own needs & feelings, the angrier they get.  ‘Fake-nice’ has its limits, so when we can no longer hold down the rage that’s been building, we can explode outward – at others, OR or implode – on ourselves, getting depressed, physically ill &/or suicidal. (see also 3 posts)

Active Co-deps have not yet learned that:
• it’s normal for everyone to experience anger, being part of the kaleidoscope of emotions we’re born capable of
• we can give ourselves permission to feel & deal with all emotions
• there’s a difference between the WIC’s anger from S-H thoughts & unrealistic demands of others vs. appropriate anger at being victimized by family & others
• the best way to manage anger is to deal with it as soon as we can, each time we feel it – so it doesn’t have a chance to build up
• it’s imperative to find legitimate, effective outlets for anger, so it doesn’t get vented in situations harmful to ourselves or others
(‘Anger & Co-dependency‘. Great site by Dr. Irene)

Michelle Ferris (LMFT) offers 3 Co-Dep traits that breed anger & resentment
:
1. The Illusion of control — over others (the Serenity Prayer backwards)
2. Being a Superhero — always over-giving, never asking for help
3. The Lie of being FINE — superheroes aren’t supposed to be vulnerable or have needs (MORE….)

GIVER or TAKER??

In their book “The Givers & Takers“, the authors Evatt & Feld point out that – ironically – Takers are more ‘desirable’, in spite of & because of being less available, less forthcoming & less sensitive. When they do give – it’s more reluctantly, sporadically & for calculated reasons. They’re the ones who lean back instead of forward in their chair when having a conversation, who seem not to need anything, who have an air of mystery. Yet, they’re considered more sexually & socially attractive, while Easy/Soft is considered uninteresting!

The authors believe these are the Introverts of the world, while the Givers are the Extrovert. There may be some validity in that, because Introverts don’t need or want as much contact & interaction with others. But it’s not the whole story.
Introversion is an inborn characteristic & is not a sign of emotional damage.
On the other hand, dyed-in-the-wool Takers are more likely to be trying to compensate for childhood damage – withholding, arrogant, insecure & narcissistic – hiding behind silence, while feeding off of others who chase them.

Now, if you are the co-dependent Giver type, unavailables are like catnip to you – BUT you don’t want to be one of them! You’re too driven to give, sacrifice, be needed, rescue & fix – to be aloof. HOWEVER – if you are indeed an extrovert/ connector type by nature, you really do have a good heart, so it’s imperative you learn to moderate how much you give & to whom – if you want mental health & true safety. (Healthy Helping).

Not the Real you? Angry-niceness is a damage-trait, like all other character defects. The big mistake many of us make is to think these patterns represent our real personality, murmuring: “Well, that’s just who I am, I can’t help it.” Actually, it’s a manifestation of the False Self, rather than written in stone. So the good news is that it can slowly be changed, or at least greatly modified.

NEXT: INTERNAL negatives

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