Mental Health

Be More Codependant

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Why we need to be more co-dependent

There’s a certain type of client who comes to me with a very specific issue they wish to resolve.

Co-dependency.

The image these clients present to the world is a passive one, but that’s far from the truth. Their need to be less dependent is usually linked to just one person or one relationship but what surprises them is my response to their ‘problem’, which goes something like this:

“What I really want is for you to become dependent on way more people”.

This sounds at odds with our individualistic, egocentric culture but let’s take a walk back in time.

Co-dependency is in our DNA

For the thousands of years humans have been on earth, we have lived together, normally in groups of around 30 to 100. Within those groups were smaller clusters, subgroups of people who remained highly dependent on each other. They learned to co-operate in order to survive.

Today, in theory, we don’t need our ‘subgroup’ to survive. We’re conditioned to be self-sufficient. But depending on others is in our DNA, it’s an inbuilt instinct passed onto us in through the generations.

That makes it hard, maybe impossible, to “unlearn” something that was once essential to our very survival.

So my gentle question to all of us is: within reason, why fight this natural urge? We feel safer when we’re connected to each other on an authentic level. It’s how we are made, how we thrive.

Back to my client.

The task is really to connect to more people on a deep, authentic level. That signals to our brains that we are not relying on a single person or relationship to meet our often complex needs.

And it helps in other areas too.

The woman who comes to me and says her boyfriend hates to hear about her issues with people at work learns that her new friend is not only happy to listen but suggests creative solutions. While she takes a bike ride with her neighbor in the afternoon, her boyfriend can schedule a workout.

You get the point. Multiple connections mean we aren’t placing unrealistic expectations and pressure on that one person to meet all our needs.

Finding strength in connection

What I also notice is that connecting and depending on more people makes us fiercely independent. It’s because we know we always have options. That confidence helps us to recognize and accept that each person has their own limitations (and strengths, of course) – and that’s OK.

We can also learn that we ourselves have limits (and of course, strengths) and be honest about it.

For example, I may not be of much help when you’re packing your boxes to move to a new home, but I am happy to bring over a meal or watch your kids while you focus on the practical tasks. In a group of people, everyone can pitch in based on their own talents and capabilities.

But if you are counting on only one person, disappointment will be inevitable. That disappointment risks making them feel inadequate or ‘less than’ and they pull away.

Co-dependence on one person unrealistic and therefore bound to fail.

My advice to you all is:

  • Build out a pack. You will feel confident, accepting and independent (oddly enough). Studies also suggests that you will live longer if you are socially connected!
  • Start today! Strike up conversations with your neighbors, co-workers and the people you encounter at the grocery store. Be known and know people.
  • Help others before you help yourself. It’s one of the best ways to establish good will and trust.
  • Reconnect with relatives and old friends.

Create a constellation of connections and say goodbye – and hello – to co-dependency.

XO,
Nicole

 

 

Nicole C Weiss LCSW

  • Phone: 619-318-5012
  • Email: nicolecard@gmail.com
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Life and Work

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I follow a lot of business blogs and although I enjoy them, I see a nonstop necessity to go at full speed. In reality, in my work as a therapist and coach who mostly focuses on emotions, I realize that we are often limited by things that happen in our daily lives.

Nicole C Weiss LCSW

  • Phone: 619-318-5012
  • Email: nicolecard@gmail.com
Nicole WeissLife and Work
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Acceptance (or the Art of Loving Our Imperfect Selves)

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All due respect to Elton John, but I’ve found acceptance—not ‘sorry’—seems to be the hardest word.

We crave it on an almost cellular level—in fact, our very existence was once tied to acceptance from our tribe. Today, we seek it all the wrong places from the size of our paycheck to our number of “likes” on Facebook. We search for it from strangers and spouses alike. We try to fill our acceptance vacuum with everything from boxed wine and Netflix to spin class and Xanax.

Nicole C Weiss LCSW

  • Phone: 619-318-5012
  • Email: nicolecard@gmail.com
Nicole WeissAcceptance (or the Art of Loving Our Imperfect Selves)
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Nicole’s 4 Steps To Finding Your Life’s Flavor

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One of the biggest tricks to plugging in and thinking possible is finding your flavor.

Why do I use the word “flavor”? Because I want to help you to get you out of your head and into your heart and soul. So much of our programming has to do with thinking. And thinking is great! For some things. We need our thinking brain for math and science and maps and all kinds of other logic-based reasoning, but what we know about happiness is that it is NOT one size fits all principle.  There is no one correct solution for everyone, the way there might be to a math or science problem. Therefore thinking only is not the sole key toward achieving happiness. We must also include the heart.

Nicole C Weiss LCSW

  • Phone: 619-318-5012
  • Email: nicolecard@gmail.com
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New Year

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You will be okay again – the art of getting back up

The last couple years I have been suckered punched. I have also learned to get up after being sucker punched. In between those knock outs I have experienced a full and wonderful life.

Nicole C Weiss LCSW

  • Phone: 619-318-5012
  • Email: nicolecard@gmail.com
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Helplessness – Then the Call to Action

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How do you feel when someone comes to you with pain…emotional or otherwise? What happens in your body? What do you want to do? What do you want to say? 

Now picture when you are in pain…emotional or otherwise, what is that you want? What is it that you most want people to say or do?

Nicole C Weiss LCSW

  • Phone: 619-318-5012
  • Email: nicolecard@gmail.com
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Finding the Gold In Imperfection

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Awhile ago my husband and I went to go see the unique and iconic singer Sia.  She was amazing and we thoroughly enjoyed the show. 

She never took center stage, instead choosing to stand off to the side. Her face was never visible.  She stayed hidden behind her iconic wig. On center stage were her amazing dancers and actors and her full, beautiful voice filled the space around us. It was a full production. Yet she never placed herself at the center of it all.

Nicole C Weiss LCSW

  • Phone: 619-318-5012
  • Email: nicolecard@gmail.com
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We Can Walk Through It

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This morning when I woke up the sun hit my face in a way that made me feel happy, glad to be alive. It’s not because I slept well. I woke up halfway through the night thinking for too long before I fell back asleep. And today is full and with no breaks. But still I feel good.

Nicole C Weiss LCSW

  • Phone: 619-318-5012
  • Email: nicolecard@gmail.com
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Are You Really Caring Less?

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My very favorite part of the growth process is when change becomes so real and so natural that it becomes like a fire in your belly that can’t be contained. Let’s call it a good fire. I felt this way after my divorce from my first husband. Leaving without knowing if I would even marry again (and not really caring either way on that one), not knowing how or if I would have children (something I still wanted) and saying to the world…whatever comes next I don’t care because anything is better than this. I felt as if I stopped caring about what others thought (as much). And started caring MORE about what was important to me. What was once a small flame of self love, respect and deep knowing grew big and bright.  

Nicole C Weiss LCSW

  • Phone: 619-318-5012
  • Email: nicolecard@gmail.com
Nicole WeissAre You Really Caring Less?
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