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San Diego County
Co-Dependents Anonymous

San Diego CoDA's phone line is 1 (760) 215-9060

The CoDA Service Conference recently approved the CLC motions to accept the revised Patterns and Characteristics and the new Recovery Patterns of Codependence as CoDA-endorsed material which are posted here and on the website. Additionally, the motion to retain the former Patterns and Characteristics of Codependence on the CoDA website was also approved, which permits CoDA local groups to continue to use the "I" format of these Patterns and Characteristics by group conscience, if that is the format they prefer. CLC appreciates the time and efforts local groups, delegates and other voting members of the CoDA fellowship expended in reviewing and considering the CLC motions.


Patterns and Characteristics of Codependence

The following checklist is offered as a tool to aid in self-evaluation. It may be particularly helpful to newcomers as they begin to understand codependency. It may aid those who have been in recovery a while to determine what traits still need attention and transformation.

Denial Patterns:

Codependents often. . .
     ·    have difficulty identifying what they are feeling.
     ·    minimize, alter, or deny how they truly feel.
     ·    perceive themselves as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well-being of others.
     ·    lack empathy for the feelings and needs of others.
     ·    label others with their negative traits.
     ·    can take care of themselves without any help from others.
     ·    mask their pain in various ways such as anger, humor, or isolation.
     ·    express negativity or aggression in indirect and passive ways.
     ·    do not recognize the unavailability of those people to whom they are attracted.

Low Self Esteem Patterns:

Codependents often. . .
     ·    have difficulty making decisions.
     ·    judge what they think, say, or do harshly, as never good enough.
     ·    are embarrassed to receive recognition, praise, or gifts.
     ·    value others’ approval of their thinking, feelings, and behavior over their own.
     ·    do not perceive themselves as a lovable or worthwhile person.
     ·    constantly seek recognition that they think they deserve.
     ·    have difficulty admitting that they made a mistake.
     ·    need to appear to be right in the eyes of others and will even lie to look good.
     ·    are unable to ask others to meet their needs or desires.
     ·    perceive themselves as superior to others.
     ·    look to others to provide their sense of safety.
     ·    have difficulty getting started, meeting deadlines, and completing projects.
     ·    have trouble setting healthy priorities.

Compliance Patterns:

Codependents often. . .
     ·    are extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.
     ·    compromise their own values and integrity to avoid rejection or anger.
     ·    put aside their own interests in order to do what others want.
     ·    are hypervigilant regarding the feelings of others and take on those feelings.
     ·    are afraid to express their beliefs, opinions, and feelings when they differ from those of others.
     ·    accept sexual attention when they want love.
     ·    make decisions without regard to the consequences.
     ·    give up their truth to gain the approval of others or to avoid change.

Control Patterns:

Codependents often. . .
     ·    believe most people are incapable of taking care of themselves.
     ·    attempt to convince others what to think, do, or feel.
     ·    they freely offer advice and direction to others without being asked.
     ·    become resentful when others decline their help or reject their advice.
     ·    lavish gifts and favors on those they want to influence.
     ·    use sexual attention to gain approval and acceptance.
     ·    have to be needed in order to have a relationship with others.
     ·    demand that their needs be met by others.
     ·    use charm and charisma to convince others of their capacity to be caring and compassionate.
     ·    use blame and shame to emotionally exploit others.
     ·    refuse to cooperate, compromise, or negotiate.
     ·    adopt an attitude of indifference, helplessness, authority, or rage to manipulate outcomes.
     ·    use terms of recovery in an attempt to control the behavior of others.
     ·    pretend to agree with others to get what they want.

Avoidance Patterns:

Codependents often. . .
     ·    act in ways that invite others to reject, shame, or express anger toward them.
     ·    judge harshly what others think, say, or do.
     ·    avoid emotional, physical, or sexual intimacy as a means of maintaining distance.
     ·    allow their addictions to people, places, and things to distract them from achieving intimacy in relationships.
     ·    use indirect and evasive communication to avoid conflict or confrontation.
     ·    diminish their capacity to have healthy relationships by declining to use all the tools of recovery.
     ·    suppress their feelings or needs to avoid feeling vulnerable.
     ·    pull people toward them, but when they get close, they push them away.
     ·    refuse to give up their self-will to avoid surrendering to a power that is greater than themselves.
     ·    believe displays of emotion are a sign of weakness.
     ·    withhold expressions of appreciation.

The Patterns and Characteristics of Codependency may not be reprinted or republished without the express written consent of Co-Dependents Anonymous, Inc. This document may be reprinted for use by members of the CoDA Fellowship.  


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