Krissy Hodges 
Healing – Transformation – Empowerment 

Codependency Part 2 ~ Calling Our Power Back

In 2010, 53.5% of women between the age of 15-49 in Northern Europe were in a couple (whether married or co-habiting) and 68.20% in Eastern Asia. All other areas of the World are somewhere in between those two figures (Source: Our World In Data). In the USA alone, there were 61.45 million married couples in 2021 (Source: Statista). With over 60% of couples globally estimated to be Codependent.

That’s a LOT of people (billions) who are giving up their personal power or making sacrifices in order to keep someone else happy. This can breed resentment, bitterness, weakness, misery & unkindness into relationships over time. It can prove very damaging to any family where the parents are Codependent with each other and pass that learned behaviour on to their children. If you’d like to read Part 1 of this blog series (explaining what Codependency is and why it is so damaging, please Click Here).

In order to start stepping out of being Codependent, the first thing we need to clearly know and be able to communicate in any relationship, whether with parent, partner, friend, child or work colleague is our YES and our NO. This sounds simple right? In principle, yes. Everyone should be able to say yes or no easily, based on their needs. However, when we are codependent, we will rarely check in with ourselves first to ascertain whether we actually want to do something or not. We’ll automatically respond in whatever way we feel will please the other person, regardless of our own needs or happiness. Saying ‘no’ feels like we’ll be letting the other person down or disappointing them on some level. As a Codependent person, we can automatically say yes, even if we don’t want to do something.

The first step when asked to do something by someone else is to consider our own needs first. It is NOT selfish to do this, despite that notion being bred into society. Just like putting our own oxygen mask on first on an airplane, it is imperative for our own emotional & mental wellbeing. It is absolutely essential if we wish to call our power back and stop being Codependent. We must ascertain our own needs and what makes us happy first and can then look at that in relation to the needs of others or a group.

If you struggle saying ‘no’ to others, then it’s time to find your truthful, honest YES and NO. The easiest way to do this is to take a breath and go inwards when you are asked to show up in a certain way or to do something for someone else. Give yourself the time to really feel into whether something is good for you, whether you actually want to do it or whether it feels nourishing or positive. Particularly when being asked by a parent, partner, child or close friend ~ Codependency is most prevalent with those closest to us. If you need to step away to give yourself space, just excuse yourself to the bathroom and then check in with yourself. If you’re on the phone or messaging, simply say you’ll get back to them and take a moment to run through the following:

🧡 If it’s not a WOO HOOOOOO YES immediately, if you don’t feel positive, bright, curious or excited…… then it’s likely a NO. When something is a ‘no’, it will usually feel heavy, uncomfortable, depressing, negative or we may feel guilt. NEVER say yes from a place of guilt as underneath guilt lies anger, which guarantees resentment and bitterness over time. When in doubt, choose NO as you can always change your mind later. However, once we’ve said yes, it’s a lot harder to back out.

🧡 Be prepared to disappoint people. If they are used to you doing nearly everything they want or whatever makes them happy, it may be a shock when you start to stand up for yourself and say no occasionally. Be kind and forgive them, for it’s always a little disconcerting when someone we know starts to change. However, stay gentle, but firm, in what is right for you.

🧡 Use the 10-10-10 rule for long-term decisions. All three rules won’t apply for all situations, but at least one of them will always be helpful. So ask yourself:

How will it make me feel in 10 minutes?

How will this affect me in 10 days?

What will the benefits of this be in 10 weeks?

If there aren’t a whole lot of positive answers to the above questions, then it’s a NO!

🧡 Our Yes or No also registers in our body. For NO, you may feel a tightening in the chest, in your shoulders/neck, around your mouth or eyes, in your hands or an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach. Our body contracts when something isn’t right for us, so on some level, we will tense up. When it’s a YES however, our energy rises. This may feel like a flush to the cheeks, we’ll break out in a smile, our muscles relax, there may be an excited or nervous flutter in our belly and our body feels expansive in some way. If discerning your yes/no is new to you, remember to pay attention to your body as it will always provide the answer you need if you spend a quiet moment tuning into it. You can practice this by asking yourself questions you already know the yes/no answer to and paying close attention to your physical response.

Learning how to become comfortable with saying ‘no’ is one of the first and most important steps we can take to move out of Codependency. We MUST learn to put ourselves first after a lifetime of putting everyone else in that position at the expense of our own health, wealth or happiness. It doesn’t make us selfish, it simply gives us the power to be discerning and to honour ourselves as well as others.

Another tool we can learn to support us in healing from Codependency is that of detachment and witnessing. This gives us the time and space to ascertain what our own needs are and allows us to observe the manipulations or behaviours of others, without being dragged into that drama ourselves. I’ve written a blog that explains what healthy detachment is and why it’s so useful to become an observer, rather than participant, when drama enters your life. It also explains how you can use this effective tool in your own, day to day life. Click HERE to read the full blog. Below are some really simple do’s and don’ts when healing from Codependency.

It’s also helpful to remember that our being codependent can be very disempowering to others and can emasculate a man or defeminise a woman. This is because we will always be trying to ‘fix’ them, keep them in a good mood or keep them calm in order that we feel safe and comfortable ourselves. This robs them of the ability to fix themselves and experience personal healing & growth. It also micro manages their moods and emotions, so they end up suppressing their true feelings or are unable to express them in a safe space that is free from our needs and expectations. Codependency doesn’t just mean we give up our own power. It can also mean we become controlling and take it away from others under the guise of ‘caring’. The biggest power you have is to focus on your SELF, not another person

If you’ve recognised the fact that you’re codependent, below are some important reminders you could print out and pop somewhere you’ll see several times a day. Intentions and affirmations are energetically powerful. Reading the below and repeating the statements out loud each morning would be of great benefit. If you do this for 30-90 days, your mental programming (brain neurology) will alter permanently and your perceptions will start to shift to that of an independent person, rather than a Codependent.

Codependency can manifest in different ways. We can shut down and become a ‘yes’ person. However, we can also flip the other way and develop a constant need to control others in order that we feel safe or comfortable. We may not realise that we’re doing it and it is often subconscious. However, when we examine our relationships or have conversations with loved ones about how we make them feel, it becomes apparent that control and the power dynamic is an issue within Codependent relationships. One that breeds resentment, conflict and power struggles that serve no one.

Codependent Control manifests as:

👉 a desire for the other person to change/heal

👉 a desire to ‘fix’ the other person

👉 a desire to minimise the other person’s emotions

👉 an unrealistic expectation for the other person to show up how we feel they should

👉 feeling responsible for someone else’s feelings or behaviours & acting in a way that takes control of them

👉 trying to control others ‘for their own good’

Codependency is often control disguised as concern or love. If you want to step out of Codependency, you have to be willing to let go of control. It is important to understand that you cannot control anything or anyone outside of your own self. No ifs, no buts, no excuses. Leave other people alone and focus on YOUR thoughts, your feelings, your behaviours and your issues. THAT is where your power lies. The minute you start focusing on other people when they haven’t asked anything of you, you start to give your power away. That road leads to deep resentment and unhappiness…… I say this from personal experience as it’s a road I walked for over forty years!

Finally, boundaries, or lack thereof, are a huge issue. Codependency can send our boundaries two ways ~ there are either none at all because we feel responsible for other people’s emotions or behaviour and want to make them feel better, so we’d do anything for them. This means we rarely assert our own needs or feelings and people will often use, walk all over or disrespect us. OR we erect boundaries from a place of defence and fear, which means they are defensive walls to keep others out. They are not healthy boundaries that we can clearly communicate to others and uphold in a healthy way ~ they’re a brick wall, pure and simple.

Boundaries are the rules that we live by that let others know what is or isn’t acceptable to us. Healthy boundaries are what make children feel safe and it’s the same when we become adults. It’s important as parents that we feel comfortable in saying ‘no’ to our children, especially with regard to our own personal belongings, space or in general, around health & safety. Children will often test boundaries and when they do, they learn that there are consequences for crossing a boundary line. This process teaches them how to become responsible for their own actions, how to respect themselves and others and provides a feeling of safety for a child. When we aren’t taught healthy boundaries as children, we do not feel safe and that feeling is carried over into our adult life. Boundary setting is a whole subject in it’s own right, so I’ll leave that here for now and will go into more detail in my upcoming book on intimacy & the release from Codependency.

Overall, the path to freeing ourselves from Codependency involves a combination of different actions. It isn’t likely to take place overnight as it takes time to extracate ourselves from a learned behavioural pattern we’ve carried for a lifetime, often without any awareness at all. We may realise we lack boundaries. We may realise there are trust, control issues or power struggles in our relationship. We may realise that there’s always an underlying feeling of unease or unhappiness we just can’t put our finger on. We may realise we’re terrible at saying no and that makes us feel walked all over or resentful. We may realise that we always rush in to help others at the expense of ourselves and find it it hugely difficult to receive. What we haven’t realised is that any of these behaviours usually points to us being Codependent!

Freeing ourselves from Codependency removes all of the above behaviour and opens us up to being able to really trust and enjoy deep intimacy on all levels. Being independent allows that truly deep communion between two people that most of us dream of. Being Codependent robs us of ever experiencing that connection.

Having openly shared and communicated around this journey with my partner, we are now adept at recognising and stepping out of Codependency on the odd occasion we wander back into it. It’s allowed our relationship to flourish into something truly honest, deeply intimate and created a healthy bond that can never be broken as it’s one we now make by choice, rather than from a place of learned bad behaviour and unhealthy mental programming. Codependency always left an undercurrent of uneasiness or unhappiness. The inner peace that comes from no longer having to carry that energy is priceless! We just have to be willing to own our own part in the dynamic and put in the gentle work to shift it.

I hope you’ve found these blogs useful. Please feel free to reach out and ask any questions, to pop your name on the list via the contact form for when my book on Codependency is published or you may book in a Clarity Session HERE if you’d like some deeper support going forwards.

With Love, Krissy

3 thoughts on “Codependency Part 2 ~ Calling Our Power Back”

  1. Loved this, Krissy, thanks for sharing your knowledge and insights and giving us tools to apply straight away. it’s a big journey and it makes me hopeful to hear it’s possible to step out of this learned behaviour, and also heal when you are with a partner, if both are willing to do the work. xx

  2. Lynda Johnson

    Brilliant article Krissy, let me know when your book is published, i can definitely use this with my counselling clients and my own relationship.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Shopping Basket
Scroll to Top