(AscendHealthy.com) – Having a close relationship with someone is a great thing, right? Well, only if it’s one where we’re able to be interdependent. Being codependent instead may actually be harmful to our emotional well-being. Read on to find out the differences and how to tell which relationship type we have.
What is Interdependence?
Interdependence involves recognizing and valuing the importance of an emotional bond between a person and their partner. It may also relate to the bond between two people who aren’t romantically linked but have another relationship type. That may include siblings, parents and children, friends, and even coworkers.
When people are interdependent in a relationship of any kind, they interact with one another and enjoy being with one another, but they can also do things on their own without a problem. They are independent, but they also value the closeness they have with the other person.
What is Codependence?
Codependence may look like interdependence on the surface, but it’s actually very different. Instead of doing things either together or separately, codependent people struggle to do things without the input or approval of the other person. They may continually look for external validation and have trouble doing even simple things on their own.
People who intertwine their identity with their partner’s identity are said to be codependent, and the same is true for other types of relationships that aren’t romantic, as well. Codependent people often ignore their own needs, wants, desires, and even life goals, prioritizing the other person’s interests.
What Makes a Healthy Relationship?
When relationships are healthy, there’s still some dependency. Interdependent relationships may be very valuable because they allow people to learn and grow from and with one another. That’s rarely a bad thing. Additionally, these relationships mean both people work with one another on the things that matter to both of them.
No one loses sight of their own importance or goals in a healthy relationship, and people feel free to be their authentic selves. Healthy relationships may also feel safe and secure, allowing people to express how they truly feel without fear. In these kinds of relationships, both people improve their lives and their futures.
What Are the Signs of Codependency?
For anyone questioning whether they might be involved in a codependence rather than interdependence, there are signs to consider. Codependent relationships commonly involve:
- Absorbing other people’s feelings
- Relying on a partner
- Poor boundaries
- Fearing conflict
- Defensiveness and denial
- Merging of identities
- Enabling others
Seeing those kinds of signs in a relationship may mean it’s more codependent than interdependent. Over time and with help, many people learn how to break this pattern. In some cases, the relationship may not be able to be healthy and must end. But the first step is to recognize the signs of a problem.
By taking a careful look at our relationships and the patterns in them, we may see how to reduce codependency and move toward interdependence. That may mean healthier, stronger relationships and a better sense of self. In turn, that may also improve the future and allow for the building of goals and dreams separate from those of other people.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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