The difference between co-dependency and being an empath

 

Yes, there are similarities between being an empath and being co-dependent. In this blog, I’m going to address the differences.

Codependency Self-Test

These are my thoughts in regards to the questions from the test that can be found here (https://www.empathdestiny.com/are-you-a-co-dependent-empath/ ) with the numeric results in the answers.

1. I am in a significant relationship with someone who is addicted to a substance or a behavior, someone who is depressed, or someone who is very needy. Yes___ No___
Self explanatory. This question is very straight-forward.

2. I often feel the weight of responsibility for others’ happiness and well being. Yes___ No___
As an empath, it is not OUR responsibility to make others happy or for their well being. We can guide them towards happiness and well being but we can’t do it for them. Do not get this confused.

3. I can’t say “no” without feeling guilty. Yes___ No___
Self explanatory. This question is very straight-forward.

4. I can accurately “read” other people by analyzing their facial expressions and tone of voice. Yes___ No___
Do not get this confused with our empath gift. This is not “feeling” them, this is visual only.

5. When I am able to fix others’ problems, I feel strong and valuable. Yes___ No___
We, as empaths, are not supposed to fix their problems. We are supposed to guide them to fix their own problems. It is perfectly okay to feel content when they succeed at fixing their own problems, but it is very irresponsible of us to fix or try to fix their problems for them. You are ruining their chances for growth (and likely they’ll end up in a similar situation at some point)

6. I feel that I have to protect people, especially the addicted, out-of-control, or depressed person in my life. Yes___ No___
Absolutely not. It is not our job to protect people. Ever. (And to make this perfectly clear, we are not talking our underage children. That is a completely different situation until they become adults… Then you will have to decide if you are truly helping them or hurting them with your “protection”.)

7. I live in such a way that no one can ever say I’m selfish. Yes___ No___
This one just kills me. We must be selfish once in a while. We have to be in a good place ourselves before we can help other people.

8. I vacillate between defending the irresponsible person and blowing up in anger at him or her. Yes___ No___
Self explanatory.

9. I often relive situations and conversations to see if I can think of some way I could have done more or spoken better to relieve stress and solve problems. Yes___ No___
Stop this. Honestly, I still struggle with this sometimes, but mostly just work related! 

10. I feel very frightened of angry people. Yes___ No___
Self explanatory.

11. I am quite offended by personal criticism. Yes___ No___
Self explanatory.

12. To avoid feeling guilt and shame, I seldom stand up to people who disagree with me. Yes___ No___
Self explanatory.

13. I tend to see people and situations as “all good” or “all bad.” Yes___ No___
Self explanatory.

14. Though I try to please people, I often feel isolated and alone. Yes___ No___
Self explanatory.

15. I trust people too much or not at all. Yes___ No___
Self explanatory.

16. I often try to get people I love to change their attitudes and behavior. Yes___ No___
This is bad bad bad bad bad. I cannot emphasize this enough. Bad. Using your empath gift for evil, bad.

17. I tend to believe the addicted or depressed person’s promises, even if he or she has broken countless promises before. Yes___ No___
I give them a few chances. Usually about 3 (three is a good number for me). If they break their promises to me three times, I have to cut them loose until they are ready. Needless to say, if they come back in a few years (3!) and express that they have changed, I do give them another chance. 

18. Sometimes I have a lot of energy to help people, but sometimes I feel drained, depressed, and ambivalent. Yes___ No___
Well, duh. This is gonna happen. #18 is prally gonna be yes for just about everybody. We MUST take care of ourselves first. It’s okay to feel this way, but when we do, we seek help, rejuvenation, tree hugging, ME time! THEN we go back to helping people once we are back in a good place ourselves.

19. I often give advice, even when it isn’t requested. Yes___ No___
No no no and hell no. If not solicited, do not give!!! Ever!

20. I tend to confuse love with pity, and I tend to love those who need me to rescue them from their problems. Yes___ No___
I fear that some of you will not see this in yourselves. This might be a question you need to ask a friend or family, someone you can trust. 

21. I believe I can’t be happy unless others, especially the needy people in my life, are happy. Yes___ No___
*sad sigh*
This is the one that kills me. This is the one I see happen all the time. Those needy people in your lives? They are energy vampires. They are narcissists. You need to get away from them ASAP. No excuses. It’s you or them. If you want to truly help the world, you must escape this situation first and foremost.

22. I am often a victim in strained and broken relationships. Yes___ No___
This is a choice. Get out NOW!

23. I am looking for somebody who will love me completely and unconditionally. Yes___ No___
Love yourself completely and unconditionally. You are the only one who will.

24. My thoughts are often consumed with the troubles and needs of the addicted or depressed person in my life. Yes___ No___
This is a choice. Get out NOW!

25. I feel wonderful when I can fix others’ problems, but I feel terrible when I can’t. Yes___ No___
It’s not our job as an empath to fix other people’s problems. We can guide them. Yes, it’s sad when they don’t make good choices, but, I cannot emphasize enough, we can NOT do it for them!

Total: Yes___ No___

cryfreedom

—If you answered “yes” to 6 or fewer statements, you probably have relatively healthy boundaries, confidence, and wisdom in relationships. You can care about people without feeling responsible for their choices.
—If you answered “yes” to 7-15 statements, your life is shaped to a significant degree by the demands of needy people in your life. You often feel responsible for the choices others make, and you try too hard to help them make the right ones. You would benefit from the input of a competent counselor or support group.
—If you answered “yes” to 16 or more statements, you have lost your sense of identity, and you are consumed by the problems of addicted or depressed people in your life. You can’t be happy unless you are rescuing irresponsible people from their destructive decisions. In reality, however, your hope for sanity and emotional health is not in that person getting well. You have to take steps to get well whether that person does or not. Find a counselor or support group to help you gain wisdom and strength.

Some common characteristics of codependency include:

worry or anxiety
“bending over backwards” to take care of others
not knowing or not trusting one’s own feelings
feeling guilty for “not doing enough”
feeling isolated or depressed
staying in bad relationships (or sabotaging potentially good ones)
trouble with emotional connection and intimacy
workaholism
sexual problems
lack of energy
low self-esteem
inability to set boundaries
perfectionism
inability to share (or experience) feelings (emotionally numb)
striving for achievement (at any cost)

 If you have questions, comment below.

*huggles*

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