When I started my recovery, my life was full of tons of failed relationships. Time after time, an issue would arise, and the friendship would be over. When an issue arose, I would either run for the hills, or suffer in silence and pretend there was not a problem. Usually it was a combination of the two – I suffered in silence, playing the victim until I exploded due to resentment.
Has this happened to you? If so, did you notice a pattern in the way you handled things, and what are the ways you handled them?
As codependents, we are exceptionally good at taking one for the team And being martyrs. We refuse to see Our part in issues and are the victim of whatever situation we are in. This leads to resentment because we have never given the other person a chance to correct whatever it is we took issue with. Eventually, this resentment becomes too much and we explode.
Running away from things was also an easy way out. Rather than sit down and talk with someone, we refuse to take accountability for the relationship. If we run away, we lose out on the chance to make things better and for the relationship to grow stronger.
Sticking around when things get hard is new to me. It took me a long time to become aware of the times I was running. What are some of the ways you were able to become aware of what you were doing? What did it teach you about what you need to do for yourself?
Once you figure out the signs you need to look for, learning how to set boundaries is great for helping deal with this problem. A simple formula for setting a boundary with someone is the following:
Using “I” statements, let the other person know how their behavior or action makes you feel
Let them know exactly what action it is that makes you feel this way
Tell them what you intend to do if the situation arises again
For example, if my friend had been yelling at me and I wanted to set a boundary it may look like this:
I feel disrespected as though I’m not really your friend when you yell at me. If you do it again, I will go home.
If you get stuck, this formula is really helpful and easy to follow!