Someone who is co-dependent often suffers from a deeply ingrained sense of unworthiness, low self-esteem and apprehension. They attempt to create a sense of self-worth through the act of ‘‘rescuing’’ or assisting others. They often subconsciously take on the role of helping friends and family, even in situations when the help is not wanted or needed.
Also known as having a ‘‘Superman or Superwoman Complex’’, they have an inability to be at ease and just enjoy themselves in normal and equal-footed relationships. In a business setting, they will more often than not seek out supervisory and leadership roles in order to fulfill their desires to help in any way that they can.
Here are 16 clues to check to see if you just may have a ‘‘Superman or Superwoman’’ complex!
- Your personal or business friends have chaotic, crisis filled lives and you always seem to get involved somehow.
- You grew up in a chaotic home environment, a strict environment that lacked excitement or were a latch-key kid in some way.
- Your intimate relationships more often than not are with people who have a lot of emotional, social and/or financial problems.
- You spend a lot of your own time, money, and energy fixing other people’s problems, hopes and dreams.
- Even though you’re exhausted, quite busy, or financially unable, you have a hard time saying no to people who ask for more than you can give.
- You move from one ‘‘basket case’’ to another, looking around for someone else to save.
- You develop stress and anxiety when someone gets their ‘‘life together’’ and seems to no longer need your help or need you in their life period.
- You’re always sacrificing your own needs for the good of others at any cost, including ignoring many of your own problems or failing to realize your own potential and dreams.
- Your worthiness in life seems to only derive from taking on roles that allow you to help others.
- You feel guilty or worthless at the thought of not being able to help a friend or family member at the drop of a hat.
- You don’t quite know how to be in friendships that don’t require you to ‘‘help’’ someone.
- You abruptly or gradually stop being friends with people who no longer need your help.
- You feel truly uncomfortable receiving help from other people.
- Your relationships feel more like social work and probably look like it to outsiders looking in.
- You secretly resent people who are or seem ungrateful at having their lives fixed by you.
- Your gravestone marker one day will probably say ‘’Dependable’’ and the thought of that even now brings you utter peace.
If many of these clues seem like you, this does not mean you’re a horrible person. It means you are an overly caring person that may need to step back and reevaluate the part they are playing in their relationships. It also means that you may not be putting yourself first and that may ultimately be why you are seeing the same repetitive behaviors in everyone you attempt to help.
Lastly, be comforted in knowing that it’s okay to seeking counseling and other help with this.
Remember that we truly can’t help others when we aren’t able to take care of and help ourselves.
-KayeCee Austin, TG2M Founder & Host
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