The Balance In Co-Dependency and Inter-Dependency

Photo by Andrew Wilus on

When we hear the word dependency, we begin to run for the hills when we hear that word as dependency is quickly associated with the negative aspect of dependence, which is co-dependency and addictions. Whether it be drug addictions or behavioral addictions, this to society is deemed as a lack of emotional and intellectual incompetencies. We tend to forget that we all are struggling with sometimes. Many times we assume that our situations are far worst than there. And how we perceived our adversity is created in an equal light. But that is not the case as we all go through similar situations but face different bumps along with the world. And the solutions that worked for us are not as universal as we hope that they would be. Not only because we have different challenges in adversity through our stereotypes that people assume us to be. Why do I say this? Because how many times have we experienced people were comparing our hardships to theirs. Attempting to theirs seems much more challenging than ours. But we all hold a different Map of the World. That depends on how we are conditioned early in our childhood and through the conditioning as an adult. Those who are in denial of this idealism neglect to think of their choices in everyday life. From the music that they listen to to the foods that they eat. To the clothing that they wear and to the people that they are attracted to. In our likes and our taste based on our motive. We all get conditioned to choose things in our lives that with a motive. All in the idealism that if we rep a particular brand, have an individual status, drive a specific car. In our perception, it will get us one step closer to the happiness we are trying to achieve.

Emotional dependency is not immature or pathological; it is our greatest strength…Far from being a sign of frailty, strong emotional connection is a sign of mental health. It is emotional isolation that is the killer. The surest way to destroy people is to deny them loving human contact

Dr. Sue Johnson – “Renowned Relationships

Upon my research, I ran into a very compelling article that quotes Dr. Sue Johnson’s book called “Renowned Relationships,” which states, ” Emotional dependency is not immature or pathological; it is our greatest strength…Far from being a sign of frailty, a strong emotional connection is a sign of mental health. It is emotional isolation that is the killer. The surest way to destroy people is to deny them loving human contact (pp. 21-22 – Healthy Dependency | Psychology Today). Which is one of the most heartening things anyone can feel during their most difficult times. When I say this, I speak by experience because I had my fair share of these moments occur in my life—the most recent, which I have forgiven, by the way. When my Godmother assumed the worst of me during a successful bandwagon attempt, my ex-fiancee told my family. I come to find out, never said it directly based on what communicated for me. But gave enough information for my family to assume that I was a drug addict. People assume you to be a certain type of person and believe it to be the truth. You begin talking to a brick wall. The intention for reaching out was not to call for money but to ask my Aunt and Godmother advice on how she would handle the discrimination I was facing since she had a degree and a career. I would maybe hold some answers that I was looking for. But aside from the acquisitions, I began to see that she didn’t have the answers I needed. As the response. Which were almost all the strong women I had in my life. I was running away from the problem and starting over again. That I must have done something to provoke the situation and that it was something and cutting my losses right there. But when I painted a picture of the woman we percieve to be not matching ourselves, we faced adversity. And why not try to fight against it pointing out some of the events they shared with me before this about who the real world is not “rainbow and gumdrops,” said one statement. “I’m tired of running away from problems that were caused by people with ill intentions and motives.” Which, in many cases, had those women become defensive with me. And others avoid me altogether. Where am I getting at with this? Is this, with Dr. Johnson’s quote, I was stuck with a choice. The hypothetical fork in the world. I decided to continue to fight or do what I was conditioned to due to adversity. Runaway from it. Which could have hypothetically had me on a slippery slope of becoming an addict. Which back then, my poison of choice was “finding true love.” Let’s say I was over this “fairytale” idealism with an already traumatic end to a relationship. Based on the things that I fell for back then, ignoring all the red flags at the time, I believed that “all men were the same.” I also had my regional attempt to assault me sexually and experienced another assault before that. But it was not realizing that I was leading with my core values. The will to Make A Difference continued to have me fight, win or lose. Because the truth is, for once in my life, I finally chose to fight back. 

One of the things that I happened unintentionally was that I gained interdependence. Which ironically, in a traumatic situation with a new view of the world that I had, which was “you sometimes need to stand your ground with people who maliciously attempt to harm,” I began looking at the actions and the facts that made me think. As many calling them acquisitions, figure out whether my feelings matched the actual event that was happening. I was thriving on inter-dependence as I began to realize that the support system that I had can sometimes be biased on both my behalf and the third parties’ behalf. I started putting the events together, weighing both my destructive behaviors and the third parties’ bad behaviors, which began to reveal a consistent pattern of the destructive behaviors. Which pointed out some of the conditioning tactics I would fall for in the past. Through family, through work relationships, through romantic relationships, and even through friendships. Not that they intentionally I want to believe maliciously. Back then, in my trauma, maybe I felt that in a sense. But what began to reveal that when it comes to injustice and doing the right thing. Many people are afraid to stand up in that call of arms. With the probability that something like this will never happen based on the things they avoid. One of the many joint statements in this idealism is “keeping your head down and not drawing attention to yourself.” But another harsh truth I learned was that you sometimes don’t have to gain attention to yourself as even the dullest diamond shines when someone sees you as a threat. No matter how little dominance that threat is. You now have become a target.

Balance is something that I began embracing during my life coach training. We may not be delighted in all categories in life, but we can get closer to what happiness means. The Wheel of Life made me gain more insight into what this means. The exercise that I used on myself that I earned in my Life Awakening Training helped these things inter-perceptive. So my wheel, for example. If you can see, the primary thing that I am unhappy with is the financial aspect part of the wheel, as it’s an obvious opportunity that I need to work on, where the second aspect of the wheel is the career.

What I love is what makes me the utmost happiest since I am my boss and make a difference to some of my readers by giving them advice in tackling some of the adversities that they experience on their journey. So why the inconsistency, you might ask. If I was not helping my family with all the issues that illness brings and supporting myself. It would have a few notches up. The books that I write make enough money to help sustain a healthy person based on all the work I have put in—but being a no-name author. It still has its adversity in trying to help out my family that I am grateful for in the sacrifices they made for me throughout my life, which had me begin figuring out what I need to change or do differently in this journey. To bring the happiness in finances notches up, which had me start working on some of the things I can do to get to where I want to get to, which before being co-dependent on others’ opinions at one point in time with some of the people who have settled. It would, in a sense, have me get thrown off track and have me give up altogether.

So how does co-dependency look like? In a past blog, I talked about the dangers of co-dependency, but I feel I failed on this blog by giving examples of how this can be detrimental to our personal growth. In co-dependency, we tend to rely more on the things to get us through versus depending on ourselves. Which truth is we can’t blame ourselves entirely for that. It’s how we have conditioned. But like every bad habit, one can always break it. So researching what co-dependent personalities, I identified with many of the characteristics I use to have when I was this person, which are the following (Top Ten Indicators that You Show Signs of Codependency (


  • Feeling responsible for solving others’ problems. The codependent feels the need to solve another’s problems. The codependent believes that their help is needed. They feel that the person in need cannot manage to make the right decisions or take the right actions to solve his or her own problem.
  • Offering advice to others whether it is asked for or not. The codependent jumps at the opportunity to provide “much-needed” advice. The codependent offers an endless stream of good advice regardless of whether the advice has been asked for or not.
  • Expecting others to do what the codependent says. Once advice has been given, the codependent expects the advice to be followed. Codependents often do not understand boundaries.
  • The codependent feels used and under appreciated. The codependent will expend enormous amounts of energy to take charge of another’s life. This is all under the guise of sincerely wanting to help. When the help or advice is ignored or rejected, the codependent feels angry, abused, and unappreciated.
  • Trying to please people so others will like or love the codependent. Codependents will go out of their way to please another person. They hope to receive love, approval or be accepted and liked. If the approval is not given, the codependent will feel victimized.
  • Taking everything personally. Because there are little to no boundaries, any remark, comment or action is a reflection back upon the codependent. This makes the need to feel in control paramount.
  • Feeling like a victim. Everything that happens either to the codependent or the loved one is a reflection on the codependent. Such people usually feel victimized and powerless and do not understand their role in creating their own reality.
  • Using manipulation, shame, or guilt to control others’ behavior. To get their way codependents will respond in a fashion that will force compliance by others. These tactics may be unconscious. Since everyone else’s behavior is a reflection on the codependent, it is important that the codependent feel in control.
  • Lying to themselves and making excuses for others’ bad behavior. Because codependents do not deal directly with their feelings, they develop techniques to lie to themselves about others’ behaviors. Because they feel responsible for others’ behaviors, they will rationalize and blame others for their loved one’s poor behavior or blame themselves for another’s poor behavior, seeking to maintain control.
  • Fearing rejection and being unlovable. The codependent fears that if he or she is not successful at everything, or indeed expresses his/her feelings or needs, they will be rejected. In a codependent’s way of thinking, he or she will be unlovable. A codependent does not trust others easily or share openly because he or she will be exposed.

Which allowing yourself to be open to being receptive without engaging in taking this personally. Holds the keys to helping you break the habits that we all have or had at one point in time to break those habits that hold us back.

If you think about it for a bit, we all engaged in this behavior at one point in time. With that said, do you recall the motive or reasoning in these actions you committed to? For me, it was for so many reasons. To be appreciated, to be valued. All the things that would coax the insecurities that I carried with me throughout my life. Attempting to find my purpose and place in the world. But what I was starting to do became reliant on what other people perceived me as instead of focusing on my core values. The feeling of being lost is hard to shake and overcome in many moments in our life. Why is that? Because it usually resides in those darkest moments of our lives. So how do we overcome this feeling of being lost or empty? Well, you have the answers to that one. But I will tell you how I overcame this—doing the opposite of what I was doing before and finding out what true inter-dependency looks like. When I started this research, I was a bit confused. Everything about interdependence stemmed from interdependent relationships, which had merely on what authentic leadership and independence. Which ironically go hand in hand. As I look back at the notes that I made in my previous journals’ pictures, I began to see a correlation that I will share with you in a few. But let’s look at the characteristics of independent people compliments of (9 Signs of a Truly Independent Person: Are You One? – Learning Mind (

Nine Signs of A Truly Independent Person

  1. You can live alone
  2. You’re a future planner
  3. Saying ‘no’ isn’t hard
  4. It’s hard to ask for help
  5. You have few friends
  6. You have an unshakable self-worth
  7. You go out alone
  8. You can lead
  9.  You’re financially independent

Which of course we may not have all these characteristics down, but that is a challenge you can start giving yourself if you see fit.

So why was I so dismissive of the idealism of interdepent relationships, because I felt then it didn’t apply to me. But here was the concrete truth in this. Was that relationships don’t just appear in a romantic aspect. Which then I swore I would never be in a relationship again. But I neglected to take into consideration other relationships. Relationships with family and friends. And most importantly, the relationship with myself. Which sounds a little crazy I know. But the relationship that I learned most above all, is the relationship we have with ourselves. Being in tuned with my own self, help me find the best love of all. The love I have for myself. Which if we break it down to the keywords that interdependent relationships consists of. Here are the things the key ingredients in maintaining a relationships compliments of Liz Jansen (9 Characteristics of Interdependent Relationships – Liz Jansen).

Nine Characteristics of Interdependent Relationships

  1. Boundaries
  2. Uniqueness
  3. Common Ground
  4. Synergy
  5. Responsiveness
  6. Communication
  7. Awareness
  8. Tolerance
  9. Evolution

Which if you look at these basic key phrases makes more sense and easily appliable to becoming the person you truly are capable of being. A force not to be reckoned with.

There were good and bad things that grew from the attempts. And the mistakes that I made throughout my life in my journey. The only specific thing that I realized in life is that you have to take the good with the bad. As with everything, there are pros and cons. My insecurities at the time didn’t allow me to take the cons or the bad things that happened and learned from them. Because I also had that victimized mentality at one point. Which revealed to me. That this was the factor that was stopping me from my journey. Breaking from being a follower and becoming the person I was always supposed to be before was hard to do as I cared what people thought. I feel it had a lot to do because I didn’t know how to overcome these objections and accusations if I were candid. I was easily manipulated and gullible then. Having this distorted idealism would have gotten me to this part of my life if I continued with that behavior. Being a life coach that tackles one of my core values and embarrassing me became much more manageable. It also allowed me to admit to the mistakes I have committed and learn from them to become a better version of myself. Which when people use victimhood in saying, “like if you’re perfect.” My simple response is this. “I know I am not perfect, but I use every mistake to become a better version than I am.”

Published by Frieda Lopez at Frieda the Writer

Frieda López is the writer for Journey of an Unraveled Road who was born and raised in San Antonio, TX. Through her professional career in Customer Relations and Retail Management, she has utilized her experience and interactions with the behavioral patterns, which was used to start her personal journey with Journey of A Unraveled Road as her debut novel. She has completed philosophy, psychology, and theology courses at San Antonio College as well as creative writing courses. Frieda López has been a lifelong writer since 2nd grade. A survivor of childhood trauma, childhood abuse, and domestic violence, she wrote this piece, which started this book as her personal journey; works from home in San Antonio, TX.

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