Luckily for me I have friends. And with those friends- I have conversations. Generally that leads me to at least SOME sort of inspirational/blog-worthy thought.
I talked to a friend of mine last night about Co-Dependency. If you don't know anything about it, it's a really fascinating behavior that is much more common than people realize. One of the most interesting things about it, to me, is that it cloaks itself with a lot of good.
Co-dependent people have a need to make people like them. I think there are cases where it's more of a need for people to react to them, but I'm more familiar with the people-pleasing aspect of the behavior. Mainly because I'm one of them.
I've discussed this on this blog before, and it may be more information than is "acceptable" to reveal, but yes- I have been to therapy. I find therapy to be an incredibly helpful tool for any range of unsettling emotions from "troubled" to "out of it." If you have insurance that covers it, I advocate checking it out.
I went a few years ago because I was feeling bummed out more often than I would have liked, and had approximately two sessions with a woman who told me, after a few minutes, that I was fine and did not need to see a therapist. Which... I think is kind of dumb. But whatever.
She did tell me that I displayed a lot of Co-Dependent behaviors, which I'd never heard before. I've always known that I wanted people to like me, but I guess it never occurred to me the lengths I was going to make that happen.
The thing about Co-Dependency is that, as I mentioned, it masks itself with these beaming qualities. Being nice to people, doing favors for people, putting one's self out in order to be someone else's rock. And those behaviors, on their own, are fantastic. But the problem with Co-Dependent people is that we do those things expecting a very specific response, and when we don't get it, we're anything ranging from disappointed to angry. We feel we are owed respect or positive reactions from people based on what WE gave THEM. The thing is: that's total crap.
People are entitled to their attitudes toward me, and how they choose to interact with me is not my behavior to dictate. Sometimes, I'm going to be really nice to someone, and they're not going to care. And I'm going to have to deal with that. Sometimes I'm going to listen to somebody and give them advice, and they're going to promptly ignore me when I ask for that to be reciprocated. Again: their choice.
Co-Dependent people manipulate in order to orchestrate their world according to what THEY believe to be the correct way. Which... is sort of arrogant. Who is to say that my way is the right way? Can't there be alternate ways to handle situations, and can't all of those ways have some validity to them?
This is something that I've struggled with for years, now that I've recognized it. I think that a big part of me will always want people to like me. But, honestly, I think that's human nature. I'm okay with that. My hurdle has been to take other people's reactions and accept them as THEIR reactions. If I want to do something nice for somebody else, I no longer do it to play a Martyr or to tweak the way they see me as a person. Truth be told, I try to avoid credit for as much of that stuff as much as possible these days. The most important person I have to impress is myself, because me trying to impose any type of opinion on someone else seems sort of manipulative.
And there are people who don't like me. And it's not really my job to make them like me, and I'm okay with that. I don't want or need to be needed, anymore. I don't want the people in my life to feel like they have to have me there, but that they want to have me there.
I guess there really isn't a point to all of this, aside to say that it fascinates me. I think we all have a little bit of this type of behavior in us, and that's alright. The most important thing is to know ourselves and accept ourselves. And, you know, maybe if we're lucky- other people will appreciate who we are, too.