Counterdependency Characteristics Part 1

Yesterday Teri introduced us to Jim, a sharp-tongued workaholic who seems very self-involved. Sound familiar? Maybe you have a parent, sibling, friend, boss, or spouse like Jim? Or, perhaps you see yourself in this description. Today we're going to discuss 4 of 7 characteristics of Counterdependency. 1. Grandiosity. Most counterdependents think they are God's gift to the world. Granted, we're all special, but counterdependents believe they are even more special, and deserve special treatment by everyone and sometimes even demand it from others.

2. Violate Other's Boundaries. Counterdependents don't always know where the line is for others and can oftentimes cross that line and become intrusive & inappropriate. Some examples include: inappropriate physical touch, name calling, asking inappropriate questions when first meeting someone, engaging in behavior that they've been asked repeatedly not to do, etc... Some counterdependents cross the line because they don't know where it is. Some counterdependents cross the line because they don't believe the boundary applies to them.

3. Arrogant/Confident/Visionary. Being confident is a good quality to have. However, for people with counterdependency, sometimes it does sway into the area of arrogance and cockiness. At the same time, this personality style can be a visionary; they have the ability to see a great business idea, put it into place and be successful. Sometimes the opposite can be true. Some counterdependents can have the arrogant attitude, and "talk a big talk", but never follow through. All of us have insecurities about something. At the core of a counterdependent is insecurity, but you would never know it, for it is buried deep and behind a hard outer shell.

4. Independent. This personality style rarely relies on anyone else for meeting their needs (they meet their own needs), and are very self-sufficient. For a counterdependent, work (or money) is their definition of success. If they are ever feeling a bit needy or in need of affection or attention, they generally withdraw or cutoff, thus making them even less accessible to those in their life.

As I mentioned earlier, perhaps you see a spouse, friend, family member, or even yourself in the above descriptions. Check back in later this week as we continue to share with you the other characteristics of counterdependency, & how to keep your sanity if you're in a relationship or work with a counterdependent. Thanks for reading!

Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counselingat Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.