Codependency In Friendships

Codependency can occur in friendships just as it does in relationships. Similar to many toxic relationships, the usual pattern is that you become fast friends, not taking the time necessary to get to know each other and this serves both parties. The more ‘giving’ person is eager to move the friendship along so that they can begin looking after their new friend and care-taking. The ‘taker’ is happy for the friendship to move quickly so that they can begin using their friend.

It is most likely that these dynamics occur on a subconscious level, but due to the personality of each person they just fit together comfortably and become enmeshed in each other’s lives.

Having been in a codependent friendship before it felt like such a great connection we just clicked on every level. Looking back I can see that I spent much more time with this friend, than with other friends who I had known for longer. I was there emotionally for my friend, always supportive and offering a listening ear, but I soon noticed that this was not mutual. When she had something going on in her life I would drop everything to listen and be there for her. But when things were happening in my life, especially good things, she became sullen and distant. It did not feel like I had a cheerleader in my corner, in the same way that I felt I was for her.

As the years went by our friendship began to fizzle out, especially as I became busier and had different responsibilities, not being able to talk on the phone for hours any more.

The good thing is that as I began to work on myself, raise my self- esteem, my relationships and friendships naturally changed. I did not need to make a parting speech, or inform my friend of how things would be going forward, the friendship just naturally dissipated as I was expecting more and giving less.

Now that I am more aware of codependency and toxic friendships, I proceed with caution. At first I would say that I was hyper-vigilant and very cautious of new friends, which almost strangled new friendships before they got off the ground. Any signs of something that I deemed to be controlling or a red flag and I would cut the person off. Now that I have boundaries, I am less judgemental and tolerant of different personalities, I welcome new friendships, but I just know not to lose myself in the friendship or neglect the friends that I already have.

Have you assessed your friendships? A good rule of thumb is to check in with how you feel after speaking to your friend, or spending the day with them. Everyone has days when they just need a listening ear and a friend to lean on but this can be very draining if it is a pattern in the relationship, or if things are very one sided. I would love to hear your thoughts.


Published by C J Anonymous

I have started this blog to share my journey through narcissistic abuse and beyond, and to help others who may have been through similar experiences. I also wanted to share the things that have helped me to heal from codependency. As a mother it became of paramount importance to me to ensure that unconscious generational patterns were not passed down to my children. Narcissism and codependency runs through my family of origin, and whilst I have learned that I cannot change the behaviour of others, I know that I can learn and improve myself daily and show up as an example to my children. There is a wealth of information about narcissism and codependency and yet everyone has a unique story to tell. Other's that shared their stories, helped me to see that I was not alone in a toxic family, or an abusive relationship and I did not have to be the victim, I could reclaim my power and change my life around. My hope is to help others who may feel as though they are the victim, suffer from low self-esteem, or believe that someone else has power over them. It can sometimes be a small quote, or one blog post that resonates with someone and starts their healing journey.

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