Ep #32: Codependent Behaviors

For some people in the health and wellness field, the fulfillment we get from helping others is what we live and die by, and we are constantly trying to people-please beyond our capacity.

Because we crave this feeling of usefulness and being needed, we engage in behaviors that are toxic for our own well-being to serve others. This codependency makes us show up fraudulently for those we love and can negatively impact our happiness in relationships. This week, we’re talking about a very serious topic that affects and hurts so many people. Codependent behaviors are terrible for the health of relationships and the people-pleasing can create toxic mindsets of anxiety and needing control.

By uncovering the deep roots of these behaviors, we can start being more earnest for those we are serving and ourselves. Listen in as we think about how we can overcome these behaviors so we can be authentic for those we love and start to find success by fully valuing ourselves beyond the feeling of being needed.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What codependency is and how it manifests in the health and wellness field.
  • How to identify codependent behavior and what it looks like when it is out of balance.
  • Ways to combat that imbalance and make helping others a healthy experience for both sides of a relationship.
  • Why codependent behavior develops and how it can make relationships negative.
  • How to break free of people-pleasing and how to show up more authentically for those you love.
  • The value of recognizing your codependent behaviors and how it can push forward your personal and professional goals.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to Integrative Life Coach Training for Health and Wellness Practitioners, the only podcast that can help YOU help more people, create a greater impact, and make more money in the health and wellness industry. Join Master Clarity and Confidence Coach, Kim Guillory, as she teaches you how to integrate your passion to serve with your skills and experience to create a business you love. Let’s get started…

Hello my lovely friends. Hanging out after a walk where it’s been really, really hot. But the last few days we’ve kind of had the indication of fall coming through. So I spent some time outside with my bare feet in the grass and getting a little bit of vitamin D, some sunshine.

My husband thinks I’m crazy laying down outside in the sun. He’s like it’s so hot, what are you doing? But you know, 15, 20, 30 minutes of sunshine every day is really good for the body and soul, for the mind, for all parts of us. Anyway, I’m feeling really bright and joyful because I have lots of sunshine absorbed in my skin right now.

Alright, let’s take this down to a little bit heavier topic. We’re going to talk about codependency. So last week, I talked about empaths. That’s something that I talk to a lot of healers. Actually, many people in the healing modalities, whether it’s energy work, reiki, massage therapist, yoga teachers, anyone in the helping modalities has the understanding of some sort of wound or pain or emotional discomfort.

We can relate to old traumas and actually, healing our self or helping our self, and knowing the frustration and the pain that we’ve lived through. We can empathize with other people and have compassion and understanding and then we have this deep desire to help them the way we help our self.

So we’ll get that out of the way and then I want to step into when this gets out of balance. So there’s the desire to help and then there’s this it feels good to help and then there’s this I have to help. And codependency is a learned behavior. It’s a condition that comes from patterns from something we’ve been told.

I’ll just give you a few things here how we relate to codependence or caretakers. They self-sacrifice, there’s this self-righteous about opinions, they feel compelled to help, feel responsible for others before self. There’s actually a judgment like it shouldn’t be this way, they shouldn’t feel that way, I need to help them change not being that way.

They believe they know what’s best for others. They give with strings attached or expectations. That one’s super interesting. I’m going to get more into that. They feel exhausted, irritated, frustrated, and anxious. Feel annoyed when advice isn’t followed. Like hey, I told you, I told you to do that, I told you what to do and you’re not doing it.

Discourages others from independent thinking. They may be pushy and tries to control others. Crosses boundaries. It’s actually almost like a condition of non-boundaries. And gives unsolicited advice. So that’s just a few things. It’s basically this need to help that goes beyond the boundaries, and it steps into this wanting to save, wanting to fix, to be the people-pleaser, to make other people feel better, to carry their pain, to help them not feel uncomfortable.

And I was talking about empaths before moving into this because I don’t think it’s an interchangeable thing. I think it’s a degree. And so you could say that you could be the victim of empathetic behavior, where it crosses the boundaries. And the same thing with I feel, so I must fix. That’s when I think it crosses into the line where they could actually be empath and codependent.

So I feel and I need to fix because I feel it. I need to make them feel better because it’s not fair that people feel that way. This is injustice, we should help. This is what Jesus taught us, this is what the church teaches us. We should selflessly give so that they don’t feel that way, so that they don’t suffer. And I think that’s where we get into trouble.

So the learned behavior is if I don’t do it then this will happen. Like if I don’t help them, they will. If I don’t give to them. So you’ll see this in cases of let’s say a friend is asking to borrow something or to do something or just always asking for favors or like, would you babysit or would you buy this for me or get this for me? I can’t do it, I can’t do it for myself.

The person who’s doing it doesn’t really want to. And so codependents are basically liars because they’re showing up fraudulently in the relationship. Because they’re doing stuff they don’t want to do and then wondering why the relationships are F’ed up. And it’s because they lack honesty, integrity, and intimacy.

Because you’re pretending to be someone, like this ideal, this ideal relationship or this ideal person, like the one who always helps you. You’ve identified yourself as the caretaker, as the helper, as the fixer, people-pleaser. And then you’re stuck in the rut because now if you say no, they’ll be mad and there’s some emotional manipulation and so then you’re stuck in the cycle.

And then what comes up is one of the greatest human fears, and that is I won’t be safe. I’ll be left alone. I’ll be abandoned. I’ll be rejected. She won’t like me. She’s going to talk about me, he’s going to – if I don’t do what he wants me to do, then I’m going to have to pay the consequences because he’s going to do something to me or ignore me, not talk to me.

And then there’s this need to settle. This I can’t have what I want, I can’t do what I need because I have to do this for them because this is what a mom does or this is what a sister does or this is what a coworker does, or a neighbor. I’m supposed to do that because that’s what I’ve been conditioned to believe that I should do.

And if I do this, then this is going to be the expectation. And then there’s a big disappointment when the expectation doesn’t come through because codependents make the assumption that if I over-give, I overdo, they’re never going to leave me, they’re always going to love me. I’m always going to be special. It’s what creates this sense of worthiness and value is how I show up as the helper is actually the identity that I’ve created or that I identify with.

Whether it’s what your parents taught you, what you saw your grandma do, what you’ve seen your aunt do, wherever you got this story from, that’s just your conditioning. That can be changed. But if you’re locked into this cycle of codependency, you don’t think it can be changed because your belief is if I don’t do it, they won’t love me. If I don’t do it, they won’t invite me. They won’t come over to visit me.

Like, I have to settle and I have to do things I don’t want to do in order to be loved and accepted. Like the relationship is conditioned. And it’s coming from – that’s just a mirror to your mind has been conditioned. Your belief about the relationship and how relationships work. And so they’re not open and honest and they’re not intimate actually.

Because it’s like the conditioning and the pattern is forcing someone to be out of balance, to not have the boundary. And then here’s the thing; like I did this and this and this, I washed your clothes, I picked up your boots, I do your dishes, and you don’t do anything for me.

That’s like that broken expectation. And then they’re bitter. Codependents are pissed. They are like, they give and give and give, and then they have the assumption that they are going to get back, they’re going to be accepted, they’re going to be adored, appreciated, respected, and then when they don’t get it back, they are like, some wasp.

They are going to sting you. Then because they’re not honest, they react to the hurt instead of being direct and being honest and being intimate. They, what I say is like they speak it sideways. In other words, they are always like, putting out shticks. And by that, I mean they’ll say sarcastic remarks like yeah, she knows what I mean because I said that and I did that. I put that post on Facebook, she knows I was talking to her. Yeah, she knows all about that.

You hear that kind of drama stuff. And that’s because they have this wound, this unhealed wound, unresolved trauma in their being whether it comes – last time I kind of mentioned this too. It’s like we don’t know where all the conditioning and patterning comes from. Some of it comes from this lifetime. Some of it comes from our forefathers and our other generations that was passed down into our systems, into our psyche, into our understanding.

You’ll see this with like, kind of like genetic traits. Where we actually have samskaras and memories that’s been passed down. Last time I mentioned the word like past lives, it’s not that I have an opinion one way or the other. I can only tell you from doing this work and helping people break beyond these patterns and actually coming to a place of power and control of their life, an empowered life where they make their own decisions from a responsible place as a mature adult.

That’s what we’re all called to eventually be. Mature adults. But we don’t really know exactly what happens after and where we are today is a result of everything that’s been before us and then the patterns that we continue, the cycles that we continue to bring forward into these current generations will continue on.

And so if you’ve been called, like this is not working for me, I am sick, I am unhealthy, I don’t feel well, I’m always angry, I’m super sad, maybe you’re depressed. I believe this is a lot of cases in suicide. That not being able to have a conversation, not being vulnerable, being honest, being afraid to speak up in a relationship and instead, it’s just easier to die.

That’s how strong codependency is. Rather than the fear that I think may happen, rather than the rejection and abandonment, rather than being declined and turned down or being isolated and alone, I would rather just get out of here. I do not see hope, I don’t see another way. Either I have to work myself to the bone, like I have to keep people-pleasing and I can’t get out of this trap, and as soon as I don’t do what I don’t want to do anymore, then I’m going to be left and abandoned and alone. That’s hopelessness.

There’s no way out. I have to continue doing what I don’t want to do and I have to continue living in misery. This is the card I pulled. This is martyrism, by the way. This is what I’ll call woundology. It’s when you have this hold of this old trauma, this old belief, these hurts, and you’re actually – you define yourself by the hurt. Not by your strengths and not by your empowerment, not by your independence.

And so that they kind of work hand in hand here. I will do another episode just on that. But I want to keep it super clean here and that way you can go to whichever show, how do you relate? Like, do you feel that you’re more of an empath? Do you feel you’re more codependent? Do you feel like you live by past trauma? Do you feel like you’re trapped into – maybe it’s like what I saying last time with the past lives or the generational patterns that have been passed down from forefathers.

This is so fascinating. So as a hypnotherapist, when we do regression work and we get into the emotions that are locked in the body in the subconscious, the story leaves a trail. And as we follow the trail back, we sometimes realize like wow, how did you know what happened at your birth?

There are things in utero that come up. Fascinating. I don’t make this stuff up and it’s not because I was raised with these beliefs. I was raised Catholic. And that’s the furthest thing from what we’re taught. But I also know lots of teachers of this work, as regression work, as trauma recovery that have come to the same realization. And they’ve documented this stuff.

And so I have been listening to a lot of this and there’s actually a show on Amazon of a local kid. So I never watch TV. Very rarely. Very rarely. I watch a couple things on Netflix if I feel like I need some brain candy. But I walk in the spare room and the TV is on pause and I’m like, who’s in here?

And I look at it and it’s on Amazon, which I never watch. I had never ever watched a movie on Amazon, even though I’m a Prime member. And when I clicked on it, the story said science of a soul. And I was like that sounds kind of fascinating. And so I hit play, and one of the first things it said was this eight-year-old in Louisiana and I was like, what?

So I sat down and I listened to it. Y’all, jaw dropped. Like, one of the highest profile cases of reincarnation, right here, 45 minutes from here. And telling the story, it’s like that’s kind of what my clients are telling me. And so anyway, that opened up my mind to realize that we don’t know squat. We think we know only because whatever system we were brought up in conditioned us to believe that that’s how things were.

There’s so much more beyond the limitations of the mind. But I’m not here to say what’s right and wrong, which one is a fact and what’s a thought. I have no idea. I don’t recall dying and coming back. I don’t know that so I don’t have that story to know if it ends.

And some people believe that – I’m really going on a tangent here so let me come back. Alright, codependency is a learned behavior of believing that you have to do things even if you don’t want to do them in order to be loved, accepted, be worthy, be connected to receive validation for who you are.

And when you think about giving it up, not being the people-pleaser and having structure and being honest, being vulnerable, having a conscious relationship where you have a conversation about how you really feel. Like you’re honest, like I don’t want to do this, this does not feel good to me, whatever your actual feelings are.

Like I feel used, I feel like I don’t want to do this, I’m angry, I’m resentful. I don’t like you very much, I think things about you, I ignore you, I don’t want to answer the call. I lie to you, I don’t want to do it and I feel like I’m trapped. And I love you so much that I want to be honest about this and see if we can resolve it.

That that conversation is so super scary in your system, like your physical system, the sensations that go through your body that cause fear. And it doesn’t make sense to you because you look back and you’re like, I don’t know where I got this from. Then that’s why I kind of went into the tangent. It could be something that’s in your body that goes beyond your experience that you can recall.

So it could be something unconscious from when you were a little girl and you saw or heard this happen. Like you heard both sides of the conversation or one side of the conversation and you just kind of created this contract. We call these sacred contracts or soul contracts where you are like, I will never do that because I never want them to be mad at me and you don’t know but you lock this in the psyche. You lock this in the unconscious.

I recall – so my brother was hell and my brother and dad fought all the time. And when I started doing this work and I went back into – because I was breaking these codependent patterns that were like, locked in my body, I do have this huge feeling for everything around me. And I kind of had turned that off for years because it was making me sick and I was sick but I didn’t know what it was.

So I’m standing in the room, I’m standing in the middle room. My brother and dad were fighting and I was really scared. I don’t know how old I was. I was young. I was standing in front of a dresser at the door and I recalled the contract. I recalled saying I will never make someone trouble like that.

And seriously, I think I locked it in right then and there and I just became a people-pleaser. Like what can I do for you? And then as I moved into adulthood and I opened my own business when I was in my early 20s. I started off doing nails and hair, and I got all of my worth and value from my work.

Like the client being pleased and happy. It wasn’t about the money. It was about the satisfaction that I got when I felt needed, when I felt appreciated, when I was in high demand. They would put me first, they wanted to make sure they got their nails done. I was important. And I got addicted to that.

And I remember this when I was nine years old and my dad married my stepmom. And I would rub her feet with Avon lotion. I was like, nine years old. And what I liked is that she liked me when I did that. And that pretty much – I always thought was what locked in the people-pleasing service. The business. And that’s what made me a great business person is I knew how to serve.

And I see this in the health and wellness industry also because we are either like, coaches or healers, or we work hands on. Whatever it is. But we are service oriented. And our mindsets, our thought, our beliefs are that they will like us, they will want to come back. The more I please them, the more secure I am, the safer I am, the better my business is, the more money I make.

We’re always looking for safety and security. And so then we go over and beyond the call of that and we could very easily slip into being a martyr, being codependent, being a people-pleaser. And basically dying to this.

So the physical manifestations of people-pleasing like, the condition of lack of self-care, I’ll say, is like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, cancer, thyroid issues, and that’s all from blocking the flow of energy and not listening to yourself, turning off your emotions, ignoring what your body’s telling you, ignoring the sensations because our bodies speak to us in feelings.

It speaks to us in pain, it cries out loudly sometimes. We get things like we have turned off the connection to our own body. We basically say shut up, I don’t want to listen to you because I want to do what my mind is telling me to do, so I’m going to take medication so that I don’t have to hear you talking to me. I’m going to turn off this pain. I’m going to turn off this sadness. I’m going to turn off – I don’t want to feel this way. Give me a pill so I don’t have to feel this way, so I can keep doing what my mind is telling me to do.

Well, here’s the problem. Your mind is the unconscious. It’s this kid that never grew up. It’s the immature person inside of you that hasn’t resolved the trauma. And so people-pleasing is kind of the same thing. You turn off your conversation with yourself. You turn off your communication with yourself in order to be liked.

It becomes this whole people-pleasing fiasco. The thing is you become the victim. You become the patient. Like, you become the sick one. And what you’re unconsciously doing is making yourself sick so that you no longer want to do it. It’s kind of like I’m saying some people have taken their own lives, and I know some of these personally and I do believe there was some of that played into it that they did not feel like they had the right to be their true self, to live by their opinions, to live by their understanding, and they couldn’t fit in and they couldn’t find that connection.

They couldn’t be their authentic self, and so they were basically dying to themselves anyway. You see this with overeating, you see this with the diabetic that continues to overeat, even though she knows, even though she’s on insulin, you see this with the person who continues to smoke even though they have the lung conditions.

They just basically have this I am not worthy of and I can’t have and so they keep doing the behavior and they’re basically just dying to a slow death. So you can call it intentional suicide, non-intentional is kind of like the opioid addiction and taking all of these numbing drugs. Whatever thing you use to void out on.

It’s so much easier to do that than to have a conversation that says you know, I really don’t like doing this. I really don’t want to do this anymore. I don’t want to work 15 hours a day, I don’t want to pick up your dishes off of the floor. I don’t want to have to do this. I don’t want to do it.

And that is so painful that your brain thinks that it’s super unsafe, that it’s basically going to cause you the death in the relationship or it’s going to cause you some sort of isolation, loneliness, abandonment, and because you believe your brain, guys. Because you believe your brain, you stay stuck in this.

You know something? You don’t have to believe your brain. Your brain is a little child that has unresolved issues, traumas, hurts, pain, dissatisfaction, rejection, and it is so afraid that if you become the real you, that you will lose your identity of the not real you.

And so if you were under-charging, overworking, over-delivering, settling, doing stuff you don’t really want to do because you’re afraid of what someone else will do, you’re afraid of manipulation, I want you to know something. This is not just about you hurting yourself. You’re actually hurting the other person too. So number one, you’re not in integrity. You’re basically a liar because you’re not living your true self. You’re not living in integrity.

And even more than that, you’re preventing that person from taking responsibility from dealing with their own emotions, from learning how to be more comfortable in discomfort. You’re basically stepping in the way of their maturity, of their developing, their growing up. And you’re doing all of this – it’s this facade. It’s this lie.

It’s this story that your mind made up that you have to do all of that stuff in order to be good enough, in order to be loved, in order to be appreciated, and it’s basically a lie. So you’re listening to the lie and then you’re lying. It’s terrible. It’s like a condition of lying.

If you are codependent and you need help, you know how to find me. Let me know your story. I love hearing these stories. And if you are a overcomer, like you’ve gotten beyond this, if you’re in my program actually, if you’re in the coaching and these are the things that you’re learning and you want to be interviewed and you want to share it with the world, reach out to me. I’ll be happy to bring you on.

And let’s talk about this. How you no longer have to settle, that you no longer have to do the things you don’t want to do in order to feel safe, that you have been conditioned by society, by generational patterns, by this false understanding of how the world works. And because you haven’t seen outside of it because your brain will never allow you to see beyond a solution it has not already experienced. It can’t do it, it can’t go there. It doesn’t know how.

And you’re stuck in the disbelief and living this woundology, which is just this – like I’m saying, you’re defining yourself by your hurt rather than your strengths and you could stay stuck forever if you’re identifying with this. And I want to help you get out of it. So that’s it.

I will not overdo, people-please, convince, or like – I’m done with the convincing energy. I’m basically just like hey guys, I got out of all this mess. Do you want to get out of it too? Do you want to create more impact, make more money, have more freedom in your life? Do you want better health, wealth, and relationships? Come on over. That’s what I can help you do.

The codependency is actually a shadow and you know, we have contrast so we have shadow, we have light, and the shadow is shame and fear. So when you’re noticing that you’re in shame, when you’re noticing that you’re in fear, then investigate. Go in and ask yourself the questions. Like why am I feeling fear? Why am I feeling shame?

And what is this shadow telling me? You never want to just like, get rid of the shadow. We don’t throw that in a ditch. We actually use it for information because your body speaks to you and your emotion speaks to you. That’s the language of your body, in order to help you grow and evolve.

So we don’t want to ignore it. Until next week, just start watching, noticing, asking questions, or you can send an email and just say oh my god, I related to everything you’re saying. I totally get it. Or yeah, I totally had to get over that myself because we have a lot of codependence in this world.

I know here in the Bible belt down in the south, we are like the southern hospitality is the real deal, guys. Don’t dare come here unless you want to be fed and loved, and you might even get your feet rubbed. We’re all about people-pleasing down south. Alright, later.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Integrative Life Coach Training for Health and Wellness Practitioners! If you’re feeling stuck on your journey to mind body integration, head over to KimGuillory.com to download your Stability First Meditation today.


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