Why Enmeshment is Unhealthy - Part 4

If you’ve been reading this week, you may have realized that you have been or are currently in an enmeshed relationship.  The following are some ways to avoid being a person who is always enmeshed with someone else.

Be ok with you. One big reason why people become enmeshed is that they don’t feel okay with who they are.  It’s easier to find an identity in someone else or take on another’s problems, thoughts, and feelings.  You have to be okay with being an individual, and learn to validate your own thoughts and feelings.  Think about your interests and the things you enjoy.  Try to start integrating those pleasurable activities again so that you feel like you have an identity.        

Increase self-esteem. When we don’t feel comfortable in our own skin, we tend to look for things that make us feel okay.  In order to avoid enmeshing with someone else, do things to increase your confidence.  If you stopped working out at the gym because your significant other wanted to do Pilates, go back to the gym.  Work on learning about yourself and what makes you feel positive self-esteem.    

Decrease codependency. Finding an identity in someone else is only a temporary haven to make yourself feel okay.  Are you exhibiting warning signs of codependency?  Some signs include being passive, allowing others to steamroll over you, and finding your success and happiness through others.  Learn to set boundaries for yourself and realize that it is okay to say “No”.

Be a big “O”. Shel Silverstein wrote a book called “The Missing Piece Meets the Big ‘O’”, which teaches us that we have to be okay with ourselves before we can be okay in relationships with others.  There are so many lessons that can be learned from this children’s book— it’s okay to be alone, feeling sorry for ourselves is not an attractive trait, others cannot fill our empty “holes”, and it’s better for us to compliment others than to complete them.  If you find yourself being someone who easily enmeshes with others, make sure to check out the link below! 

Watch a video of “The Missing Piece meets the Big ‘O’”

Check back tomorrow to read about the dangers of being in an enmeshed relationship!

Guest post written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW. Christy is a licensed therapist at Journey to Joy Counseling.