On Tuesday, Tamara gave us great descriptions of 4 of the 7 characteristics of Counterdependency: Grandiose, Not knowing/respecting boundaries of others, Arrogant, and Independent. Thinking of anyone you know yet? Here are the remaining 3.
5. Oblivious/ Self-Centered- We often talk about how codependents stick their heads in the sand in denial but a counterdependent has their head in the clouds. They are very oblivious to others: their feelings, what's going on in their lives etc. They can also be very self-centered, feeling as if the world revolves around them. This usually plays out in some sort of addiction- work, sex, drugs, alcohol, affairs. They often feel entitled and even justified in why they do what they do. "I am just providing for my family- I HAVE to work 80 hours a week!" Or "My wife hasn't had sex with me in 2 months- I am entitled to sex with my co-worker!" Those are extreme examples but you get the point.
6. Controlling- The counterdependent thinks their way is the best way and thinks everyone else should think that way, too! If anyone deviates from their way, they are "stupid" or "they can't do anything right!". They can also be very controlling in relationships with money, sex, and making sure their needs get met.
7. Shows sadness thru anger- Because counterdependents are really insecure at their core, they have difficulty expressing any emotion that might make them appear weak. Therefore, they hide sadness and show it thru anger. Often a counterdependent who is showing anger either by raging or controlling, is really sad or afraid of something. It is very difficult to get them to see this and understand it because anger is so familiar to them. Once they can see this and how their anger effects others, some healing can begin.
Have you recognized some characteristics of someone you know? There are many counterdependents in the world and most of us do deal with one at one time or another. Tomorrow Joleen is going to discuss how to keep your sanity if you have one in your life that is not in recovery. Thank you for reading today!
*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.