First you need to ask yourself, “Do I have a dependent personality, or do I display dependent traits?” The traits are not always easy to identify. It’s hard to look at ourselves in the mirror and admit that we have issues with relationships.
Dependent Personality Traits:
1. Difficulty making everyday decisions.
2. You need others to assume responsibility for many major areas of life.
3. You have problems disagreeing with others out of fear.
4. You struggle to start projects or do things on your own.
5. In order to gain approval you do things you really don’t want to do.
6. You feel anxious or distressed when alone or thinking about being alone.
7. You immediately begin looking for another relationship when a close relationship ends.
8. You feel better solving the needs of others.
9. You put the needs of others above your own needs.
10. You take responsibility for meeting hurtful, difficult, or even impossible needs.
11. You make yourself responsible when bad things happen.
12. You feel responsible for fulfilling the expectations of others.
13. You are aware of the feeling of others but unsure of your own feelings.
14. You consider the opinions and feelings of others of greater value than your own.
15. You have a great need for validation from others.
16. You adapt your behavior and physical appearance to the desires of others.
17. You are unable to create or defend personal boundaries.
18. You are unsure of appropriate boundaries for intimacy.
19. You attempt to manipulate others and situations in order to maintain relationships.
Being able to accept the truth about yourself, though difficult, is your pathway to freedom. You have previously spent all your time and energy trying to hold on to a relationship that is constantly threatening to slip away. In order to heal, you must see the value in expending time and energy in establishing relationships based on truth.
Realizing you have dependent personality traits is not the end of the world; it is the beginning of healing. You cannot begin to solve a problem if you deny the problem exists. But, they do not resolve on their own. Often the issues are progressive; they only get worse when we don’t address them. Yes, recognizing that you having dependent traits is hard, but it’s not harder than the constant need to shore up, restore, or rebuild existing relationships, nor is it any harder than running in that rodent’s wheel of one unsatisfying relationship after another. Identifying the fact that you have a dependency problem is the beginning of a solution to the pattern of relationship dependency. You will be one step closer to healing and recovery once you begin to work the process.
Article taken from: “Don’t call it love” by Dr. Greg Jantz and Dr. Tim Clinton
This article was written and published by Cheryl Connor. Cheryl has since retired, and all posts she created have been associated with Jenifer Whitemire.