Co-dependency No More

By Peter R. Dufour MA, CHT, Ph.D.

Note:     These statements were written to start a dialogue.

 The following belief statements create negative emotions that can lead to stress, anxiety, and sometimes anger.

  1. “If someone important to me expects me to do something I should do it.”
    Response: Not necessarily. The request may be unreasonable, interfere with something important you are doing, or going against your values.
  2. “I should not be irritable or unpleasant.”
    Response: It’s Ok to express irritability, just do it in a calm way, e.g. “I feel irritable.” (It conveys honesty, and informs a person of your honest mood at the time.)
  3. “I shouldn’t do anything to make others angry at me.”
    Response: The statement conveys to the other person(s) that if they get angry, you will cave it. Don’t do it!
  4. “I should keep people I love happy.”
    Response: Stay away from the word “should” it’s a depressing word. Each individual has to take basic responsibility for their happiness; otherwise they will depend on your doing it for them.! (That’s the essence of co-dependency.)
  5. “It’s usually my fault if someone I care about it is upset with me.”
    Response: It may not be anyone’s fault; perhaps a natural difference of opinion or priorities?
  6. “My self-esteem comes from helping others solve their problems.”
    Response: If asked, and only if asked, you can offer support; however, leaving the ultimate solution to them!
    You don’t want to own the outcome. OK?
  7. “I tend to overextend myself in taking care of others.”
    Response: Setting aside those who are “caregivers”, overextending oneself to the point of exhaustion, or rebellion, could result in serious illness or martyrdom. (Suffering to obtain sympathy).
  8. “If necessary, I’ll put my own values or needs aside in order to preserve my relationship with significant others.”
    Response: Never do that by compromising your values. Remember, your needs are important too.
  9. “Giving is the most important way I have to feel good about myself.”
    Response: The problem is with the words “most important way.” Self-Esteem comes from within!
  10. “Fear of someone else’s anger has a lot of influence on what I say or do.”
    Response: A fatal mistake. When they read your fear, they’re in control. They’re the hammer, you’re the anvil.

Printable version of PERSONAL BILL OF RIGHTS

Personal Bill of Rights

From Peter R. Dufour MA, CHT, Ph.D.

541 619 4469

Note:       Check any you “may be” uncomfortable accepting as a right.

(Please bring to appointment)

  1. I have the right to say no to requests or demands I can’t meet.
  2. I have the right to change my mind.
  3. I have the right to follow my values and standards.
  4. I have the right to personal space and time.
  5. I have the right to change and grow.
  6. I have the right to make mistakes.
  7. I have the right to express my feelings, positive or negative.
  8. I have the right to have my needs and wants respected.
  9. I have the right to express my opinion.
  10. I have the right to be happy.
  11. I have the right not to listen.

Everyone has a right to these entitlements!

© prd/ 4.15.2016