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Welcome everybody to another episode of Time to Feel. In case you don’t know who I am, my name is Holly Soulié. I am an emotional health mentor and the owner of the Emotional Health Shop on Etsy.
Today we’re going to talk about signs that your childhood was codependent.
This is really important because how you were raised
affects you on every level emotionally as an adult.
It affects your romantic relationships, your friendships, your relationship to yourself, your work, your relationship with your family, everything.
And codependency is a very ingrained state of being. . So if you were raised this way, it will affect you and how you interact with every single person. Until you can bring awareness to that. When you can say, Oh, this is why I am the way I am. That explains why I do this certain behavior.
I can see that from my childhood, then that empowers you to start seeing your own patterns and then helping yourself heal from it.
So I want to talk about this from a place of behaviors that you do as an adult that indicate that your childhood was probably codependent. So let’s jump right into it.
The first sign that your childhood was codependent is if you have a hard time setting boundaries as an adult.
For example, saying no to your partner is super uncomfortable for you. Setting a limit with your in laws makes you want to run and hide. Telling your boss that your workload is too much just puts knots in your stomach. If you avoid setting boundaries in general and this is describing you, then it’s a pretty big sign that you were raised codependently.
you’re not self empowered setting boundaries as an adult, then it’s a very clear sign that you were not empowered to set them as a child.
That means that maybe you tried to say no as a kid. But your parents or caregivers never honored your no.
They would consistently ignore what you wanted and do what they wanted instead.
Or maybe your parents controlled your choices and forced you to do things that they wanted.
Or maybe you were just never given an option to give input on big decisions that impacted you.
So I was raised in a very codependent home. My family was Mormon and Mormons baptize their kids at age eight. And I remember watching my dad make the phone call to schedule my baptism
and thinking he didn’t even ask if I wanted to get baptized or not.
That was a huge decision that greatly impacted me and I was never asked about it. There was never a conversation.
I got the message that what I wanted didn’t matter
and that I have to be who they want me to be so that I can be accepted. When
you have that repeated experience growing up, Then your very wise child mind understands, Oh, it’s futile When I try to set a boundary.
My parents don’t respond to that. They constantly override me.
I’m going to fall in line with who they want me to be so that I can get my needs met.
Which includes both your survival needs of food and shelter and your emotional needs for love and acceptance.
So you essentially learn that in order to be loved and accepted, you can’t be somebody who sets boundaries.
You have to be somebody who does what they’re told, who doesn’t question authority, who doesn’t have any input and just has to fall in line.
Keep in mind that what I’m talking about is when that was your experience consistently growing up.
Because parents cannot honor their children’s boundaries 24 Let’s be very clear about that.
I’m not saying that just because your parents didn’t give into your every whim that your upbringing was codependent.
An extreme example is you can’t just let a two year old run into the road because that’s their boundary and that’s what they want.
No, it’s the parent’s job to stop them from doing that and to protect them and to teach them that no, you can’t do that. That’s not acceptable.
So that’s not the type of thing I’m talking about here.
I’m talking about your parents never empowering you. To identify what your personal boundaries were,
and to then support you in having your boundaries respected at age appropriate times.
So that’s the first sign that you had a codependent upbringing is that if you struggle significantly to set boundaries as an adult.
I do want to say that setting boundaries is not a comfortable experience for pretty much anyone. It is uncomfortable to tell somebody, Hey, that wasn’t okay with me or what you did or said, I would prefer you did it this way.
It’s natural that that’s not a comfy experience. So I’m not saying that you have to be super in love with setting boundaries or that you have to experience zero discomfort setting them. what I am saying is if you are somebody who has a lot of fear setting boundaries, somebody who avoids it and just wants to run and hide when it’s time to set a boundary.
then you’re probably in the category of somebody who had a codependent upbringing. The next sign that your childhood was codependent is if you are somebody who avoids conflict at all costs.
For example, your friend said something that really upset you, and instead of addressing it with them, you just ghost them and don’t respond to their text for six months.
Or your partner doesn’t do their fair share of the chores around the house. Instead of having a conversation about it,
when they ask when dinner will be ready, you get passive aggressive and say,
Well, maybe if I wasn’t the only one cooking all the time, then dinner would already be on the table.
Because the truth is that conflict is a healthy and necessary part of any relationship. No matter how hard you try, even in the most perfect relationships, you can’t avoid it.
When you’re taught to have safe conflict growing up, then that translates into healthy emotional communication skills as an adult. codependent home, communication is a little bit more blurry.
If the family rules weren’t clear to you and you just weren’t really sure of what was okay and what wasn’t, then you probably would be walking on eggshells all the time because you wouldn’t know what would upset your parents or your siblings.
When you bring that type of behavior into adulthood, it can translate into shutting down and going silent during conflict.
Or you might go the complete opposite way and get overly aggressive during conflict. So that it goes from a how can we figure out this problem together
To I want to win this argument and be right at any cost? Because you see conflict as a power struggle.
Because that’s what conflict really is in a home, is a power struggle.
Whoever is right gets to take the other person’s power and win the argument.
You get to be king of the mountain and declare victory over the other person.
If this is you, then maybe in your family, you weren’t allowed to talk back. Maybe there was one or both parents who were more of a dictator and it was their way or the highway.
There are a lot of reasons that you might avoid conflict.
But it all boils down to you not feeling safe expressing your truth and or you don’t want to enter into a power struggle. Especially if you’re somebody that’s really timid, you’re sensitive, you don’t want to hurt people’s feelings.
If you subconsciously see conflict as a power struggle, of course you’re going to be avoiding it because you don’t want to hurt the other person. In the back of your mind, you’re like, oh, I don’t even want to enter into this conversation because I’m not going to be able to express myself because once I do, I’m going to have to take their power away.
This is what conflict means for me is being the one who wins. One person is right and one person is wrong. And I don’t want to be the person who makes that other person feel bad.
But when conflict is healthy, it’s not a power struggle.
It’s a conversation about how can we both adjust in this situation so that we both feel heard, seen, respected, and understood.
I don’t even look for compromise, especially in my marriage. We don’t do compromise. It’s like, this is a situation where we both get to win and we both get to have all of our needs met. It’s not one person is more than the other. It’s we are both a part of this partnership, and so we will find an arrangement where both of us get to have.
all of our power and all of our needs met.
I’m not saying compromise is a bad thing, but I am saying that it is possible to have this type of conversation without being a one or the other type of a thing. Like you win, I lose or vice versa. So that’s the second sign that you were raised in a codependent home is that you avoid conflict.
The last sign that you are raised codependently is if you are somebody who picks yourself apart after every social interaction, whether that be work in a professional setting or in a personal setting with friends or family.
Maybe you ruminate for hours of if you said something wrong,
you go over every conversation, everything you said, and you look at it from a self critical perspective.
And then you think, okay, what might this person have thought about me in that moment? When I said that, did I hurt their feelings? Did they think I was dumb? Did they think I was better than them? Did they think that maybe I thought that I was better than them? Did I say something out of line? and you do this even if you have no evidence that you said something that may have made them uncomfortable.
It’s just what you do after being with other people. You go home and you pick yourself apart.
This indicates a codependent upbringing because it shows that you don’t feel safe or comfortable being yourself.
You don’t feel like you can be an individual or stand out.
You’re trying to fit into everybody’s definition into who you think that they want you to be. And you worry that you don’t fit into that image.
It’s not just social anxiety or being a people pleaser. It’s an underlying belief that you can’t and shouldn’t be yourself.
Because in codependent homes, everybody’s energy is enmeshed and so are their identities.
Instead of being loved and supported as an individual, You’re conditioned to stay in line and be who the family expects you to be. This is especially true for women.
Boys are much more socialized to be independent, to question authority, to do their own thing. whereas girls do not get that same socialization, especially in codependent homes.
We’re taught to be caregivers, to be nurturing, to make everybody comfortable, to stay close to the family.
so if this was your upbringing, of course you’re going to be picking yourself apart after socializing. You were literally trained to be somebody who caretakes other people and make sure that they were comfortable, even if it made you uncomfortable.
If you continue to let that programming run unchecked, then you’re always going to feel the need to disappear into other people and to avoid friction at all costs.
Because it’s directly tied to your survival instincts. It’s who you were taught that you had to be to get your needs met. So this is why it is so important to understand your upbringing.
So that when you see that you have certain struggles in your relationships as an adult,
That you can point back to the behavior’s origin, which was in your childhood. And then you can say, Oh, I understand why I do that. Because I was trained to do that. Now I can work on it and shift into a behavior that feels better for me.
Because that’s all it is really. Healing is really just being able to understand the experiences that shaped you.
into who you are today, for better and for worse,
and consciously choosing to heal and changing how you approach things.
I see a lot of people label themselves as codependent, and then that label feels so heavy
that they kind of see it as a death sentence, or something that they’re never going to be able to overcome.
And I honestly get it, when I found out that I was codependent, I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t possibly see how I would ever even begin to heal from it.
But healing codependency isn’t a mountain that you climb and once you’ve climbed the mountain then you’re healed.
A more helpful way that I like to see it as
is as an elevator that’s traveling upwards in a big skyscraper. It’s something that you choose to do, and each floor or stage that you’re in, you will encounter different forms of codependency that you’ll have the opportunity to heal. Some floors you’ll stay on for longer than others.
But then once you heal and let go of that codependent behavior, then you can get back into the elevator and go to the next higher floor.
So maybe on your current floor, you’re working on resisting the need. to run away or to ghost people when they upset you.
and once you master that, then you’ll go to the next floor, where you’ll work on expressing how you really feel during conflict.
And then after that, maybe you’ll work on proactively addressing conflict before it starts.
So you can see it’s something that progresses, and you’ll have different evolutions of it as you grow and evolve yourself. You don’t have to see codependency as something that limits you or something that you’re stuck with forever. It can be something that you work on little by little without shaming yourself for being codependent.
When you can bring self compassion and gentleness into healing yourself, then you’re going to heal so much faster.
So the next time you shame yourself for doing a codependent behavior or for making a mistake, Remember that shame only serves to keep you stuck in the cycle that you’re currently in.
Because instead of your energy going into constructively addressing the behavior that you want to change,
it’s going into making yourself feel bad for doing that behavior. Which is another sign of a codependent upbringing, but we’ll talk about that one a different time. And really, shame is just a distraction.
So, call yourself out in those moments of self shaming, take a deep breath, and just recommit to breaking that pattern and move on.
to recap, the three signs that you were brought up in a codependent home was that, one, you struggle setting boundaries, two, you avoid conflict, And three, that you pick yourself apart after socializing.
If you would like to work on codependency with me, Check out my Codependency Cure Workbook Bundle.
I walk you through how to address codependency from different angles,
like setting boundaries, people pleasing, perfectionism, and a lot more.
You can find me at etsy. com and then search for the Emotional Health Shop. And you’ll see the bundle in my codependency essentials. Or, you can visit my website hollysoulie. com slash shop which is h o l l y s o u l i e dot c o m
forward slash s h o p
so that’s all for today. If you enjoyed today’s episode, make sure to subscribe, like, and comment, which will help other people find it too.
Thank you so much for taking time to feel with me today, and I’ll see you next time.