You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.
At what point is enough, enough?
Codependent relationships are potentially very harmful if one or both of the parties are unaware of how far into the abyss it is taking them.
They come in all forms, both personally and professionally…relatives, friends, employers, teachers, coaches, classmates, coworkers and more.
In most cases, they formulate in a moment of innocence. But as time progresses, one of the parties gains familiarity with the other, thus breeding comfort on their end to lean more heavily on the other for one of a thousand different reasons. That is where the issues arise.
In that familiarity comes a decrease in the desire to camouflage their need for the other party. This expression of reliance also takes many different shapes and forms.
In that reliance, the dependence is formulated. From that point forward, it will take a path of its own.
This is not problematic in most cases. To know that you may rely on another person is critical to success on all levels, personally as well as professionally.
When that reliance becomes unhealthy and creates friction and tension in a relationship, that is where the party that is being imposed upon must make a decision.
At some point, that reliance can become an unfair ask, and as a direct consequence, create the unhealthy quality of the codependency.
When you are the party that is finding yourself in a self destructive mode, in order that you can support the other’s dependency, you are at a line in the sand that you must be willing to draw, lest you find yourself extinct for having made the effort in the first place.
We presume to know that boundary, but it is not until you are actually in such a space as to assist you in truly defining the parameters of your willingness to self destruct on behalf of another.
Eventually, we come to the conclusion that this destruction is intolerable and we set our boundaries, or we leave.
Or we perish.
Support for another in need could not be more important. Compassion is the currency of civilization.
Understanding the disparity between compassion, empathy and allowing dangerous codependency is the line of distinction that we all must define for ourselves.