Five Gifts of Codependency  It’s Not All Bad!

Five Gifts of Codependency It’s Not All Bad!

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I love working with codependents! They are wonderful people who are accepting
and forgiving of everyone except themselves. This contrast between how kindly they treat
others while being so hard on themselves causes much pain for codependents, who come into
therapy depressed, anxious, and stressed out without understanding why. Then when I explain that it’s the result of
feeling over-responsible for others while not taking care of themselves, I see their
eyes grow big as the truth of what they’ve been doing sinks in. That’s when I explain that being codependent
is not all bad. In fact, growing up as a codependent offers
some gifts. So let me be clear. The majority of my clients suffer from anxiety
and depression because of their codependency, so they must make changes to live a healthier
life. In recovery, codependents learn to overcome
their shame and fear, so they can improve self-care, especially in relationships. However, not everything codependents learned
growing up in dysfunction is bad. They also learned some valuable skills from years
of people pleasing and being highly sensitive to the needs of others, which should not be
condemned but rather cherished and refined in recovery. So what are these gifts that codependents
should take with them into recovery? Gift #1: Caring and Kind. Codependents are some of the kindest, most
caring people you’ll ever meet. They are giving and love to help others. The center of their world has always been
relationships, so they have a lot of love to offer. What has been lacking, though, is self-love
and self-care. In recovery, codependents learn to value their
own needs and feelings. They also learn to keep the focus on their
recovery, and let others do the same. In other words, they learn to take care of
themselves and be supportive of others without taking responsibility for their problems. Gift #2: Perceptive of Others. Codependents are masters at reading the moods
and needs of others. After all, they spent their entire childhood
doing just that because they believed they had to be what others wanted them to be in
order to obtain the love and approval they so desperately sought. However, in order to do this, they had to
ignore their own needs and feelings, which they considered to be bad or a burden to others. So, in recovery codependents learn to be perceptive
and respectful of their own needs and feelings. They also learn that healthy relationships
are obtained through negotiation rather than through compulsive people pleasing. Gift #3: Empathic. Codependents have great empathy for the pain
of others and are driven to try to relieve their suffering. They are generous, giving, and love to offer
a helping hand. However, their generosity often leads to being
taken advantage of because they’re people pleasers who can’t say “no.” So, in recovery codependents learn to give
themselves the same empathy and respect that they give others, so they can develop a healthy
balance between taking care of themselves and being supportive of others. They also learn to receive support from others. Gift #4: Nonjudgmental. As mentioned before, codependents are accepting
and nonjudgmental of the imperfections of others. However, they also have a high tolerance for
inappropriate behavior and are very hard on themselves, so if someone treats them badly,
instead of holding that other person accountable, they blame themselves. So, in recovery codependents learn to value
their own well-being by setting firm boundaries with people who seek to abuse, manipulate,
or take advantage of them. Gift #5: Skilled at Dealing with Difficult
People. Which makes sense because codependents had
lots of practice growing up with dysfunctional people. Sadly, however, codependents are also drawn
to dysfunctional people because they believe the only way to get love is to rescue and
fix others; and since healthy people don’t need rescuing or fixing, dysfunctional people
are what’s left. So, in recovery codependents learn to value
themselves by understanding and believing they are worthy of being loved for their True
Selves. In other words, they need to stop trying to
make emotionally unavailable people love them, and instead search for people who already
know how to love. Ok, so those are the five gifts. Now think about them: caring and kind, perceptive
of others, empathic, nonjudgmental, and skilled at dealing with difficult people. These are valuable skills and traits to possess. And when a recovering codependent adds healthy
self-care skills to these five gifts, well, it’s a powerful combination! And to reinforce that point, I have observed
that recovering codependents make some of the best therapists, nurses, teachers, and
other professionals in the helping professions. They also make excellent supervisors and managers. And let’s not forget that recovering codependents
are excellent friends, parents, spouses, family members, and citizens. So, I hope you’re able to recognize that even
though your codependency has caused you a lot of pain, it also has brought you some gifts
that make you the wonderful person you are today. If you’d like help improving your self-care
skills so you can harness your full potential, then visit my website,,
to learn more about the online services I provide. If you liked this video, please click the
Thumbs Up button and then subscribe to my channel to hear more from me. And finally, keep paying attention to your
life! Until next time.

6 thoughts on “Five Gifts of Codependency It’s Not All Bad!”

  1. Counselor Carl: You are AWESOME! Thank you for blessing me!! I came across your channel and have begun listening to all of your videos & sharing w/my friends. Your videos are the BOMB! May the Lord bless you 😊

  2. Gift number five is why Dr.Robert Rosenberg titled his book, The Human Magnet Syndrome, which is actually the codependent and the narcissist being drawn to each other.

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