codependent behaviors

Codependency is a term used to describe an unhealthy pattern of behaviors between two individuals in a relationship. It can be defined as a central focus on the feelings and needs of another person, often at the expense of one’s own emotional well-being. Codependent behavior is not limited to romantic relationships but may also occur in family dynamics and friendships (Ullrich, 2020).

codependent behaviors

At its core, codependency is characterized by an excessive need for approval from others, poor boundaries when dealing with others, low self-esteem and difficulty saying ‘no’ (DiClemente & Khantzian, 1985). People who are codependent tend to take responsibility for other people’s emotions and actions while neglecting their own needs. This creates an imbalance where one person has too much control over the other—which can lead to unhealthy consequences such as anger or guilt (Ullrich, 2020).

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