Home  >  My Life  >  A Better Life

How to Be Less Codependent & Enjoy Your Life As It Could Be

Your happiness and mood don’t rely on anyone but you. Learn how to be less codependent and benefit all the way around in your life.

How to Be Less Codependent

We all have people in our lives who we love and adore, but the single person you should honor above all else is YOU. That includes learning how to be less codependent. It’s not selfish to admit that you need to focus on number one occasionally. It’s not selfish to know that sometimes that means understanding that you need to come first.

For people who have codependent tendencies, it’s hard to separate the need to focus all their attention on other people versus needing time for themselves. In fact, codependent people don’t realize that they need to spend time alone, they just think they have to focus on others completely; they even feel like they need that in order to feel good.

Confused? Let’s breakdown what it means to be codependent.

[Read: Codependent? Your guide to learning to stand on your own two feet]

When you are a codependent person, it means that you have a reliance upon others for your own happiness and well-being. It means you need their approval to feel good and validated. You might even rely upon them for your own sense of self, i.e., your identity. This isn’t just a small reliance, it’s excessive.

For instance, you might look in the mirror in the morning and think that you look okay, but you’re not quite sure. So, you ask your friend what they think and until they tell you that you look good, you feel like you’re not, and it ruins your day.

That’s just a very random example, but it shows what codependence looks like vaguely. It’s about not having the strength within yourself to stand by your own needs and wants, your own beliefs and confidence, without someone else backing you up.

[Read: How to build self-confidence – 16 ways to realize you’re worth it]

How to be less codependent – 9 steps to lead the way

You cannot be happy on your own, you have to be around others who back up your codependent ways. It’s not healthy and won’t bring you happiness. For that reason, learning how to be less codependent is key.

#1 Identify whether you’re being codependent in the first place. First things first, you have to know what you’re working with, and that means being open and honest with yourself. Do you think you’re being codependent? Do you feel like you rely upon others for how you feel about yourself and the things you say and do?

Be honest. There’s no shame in admitting it, as long as you’re focused on learning how to be less codependent if the truth is that you need to. Do a spot of deep thinking and figure out your starting point. [Read: Am I codependent? 14 signs you’re way too clingy and overstepping boundaries]

#2 Identify whether your needs and wants are being met. Codependent people often don’t get to do the things they really want to, and most of the time, their needs aren’t met. Of course, this is nobody else’s fault but their own, but in order to change the situation and learn how to be less codependent, know what you want and need in the first place.

More deep thinking is required here. Ask yourself what you want and what you need in life to be happy. Are you getting it? If not, how can you make a plan to ensure that you do? Be brave and take steps towards grabbing life with both hands.

#3 Ask yourself what you like to do, and then do more of it. Codependent people tend to do what others want them to do, without really spending their time doing the things they enjoy. You might really enjoy reading but if a friend makes a disparaging remark about spending time reading a book, you’re likely to give it up because someone doesn’t approve.

Identify the things you love to do and simply do more of them. Over time, you’ll learn to shrug off the need for approval because you’re enjoying yourself so much.

#4 Understand that being yourself is the only thing you can genuinely be. We’re all different, but that’s what makes us special. Being unique is part of who you are. There is nobody else like you, and you’re not like anyone else, no matter how hard you might try. Would you rather be a unique person or a fake version of somebody different?

Write a list of all your best points and focus on them every single day. Yes, we all have flaws, but don’t think about those! Think about your good points and feel good about them. By doing that, you’re going to have pride in being the wonderful person you are. [Read: Here are the steps to unfake your life and love being you!]

#5 Learn to set boundaries. If something doesn’t feel comfortable to you, don’t feel forced to do it. If you feel like you’re starting to move towards codependency, learn to pull yourself back. Set boundaries that allow you to be an individual and someone who enjoys their own time and space.

If you find that you come up against one of those boundaries, pull yourself back. Question what you’re doing. It’s only when you’re aware of your behavior that you can really make changes to it. [Read: How to set personal boundaries and guide others to respect it]

#6 Where did you learn to be codependent? Learning how to be less codependent means figuring out why you are that way in the first place. Did something happen in the past that made you go into yourself and lose your confidence? Have you always been that way? Think carefully about your past, even if it means going all the way back to your childhood and the way your parents treated you. Then, you will be able to identify your triggers that lead you towards codependent behavior.

#7 Learn to overcome, minimize, or avoid your triggers. Once you’ve identified your triggers, a big step in learning how to be less codependent is either overcoming them, avoiding them, or minimizing your exposure to them.

Maybe one of your triggers is about a particular person. In that case, question why this person makes you feel that way and work out what you can do to overcome it, minimize it, or avoid it.  Do you need to spend some time away from them? Do you need to focus on yourself for a while? What do you need in order to make this trigger less troublesome in your life?

#8 Understand that your happiness, moods, and actions are dictated only by you. The only person who can make you feel bad is yourself. The only person who can make you do something is yourself. And, the only person who can make you happy is yourself. You cannot rely upon other people for happiness or allow your moods to be affected by others to a huge degree either.

When you learn this and really commit it to memory, life will become easier. You’ll learn how to become less codependent because you know that other people can’t bring you the comfort and ease that you can bring to yourself. Sure, other people can make you feel happy, but you’re the only person who can really bring joy to your own life. [Read: How to live a happy life – 15 things you HAVE to know]

#9 Learn to really value yourself. You’re wonderful, you know that? Focus on your strengths. Learn to do the things you want to do without feeling the need for someone else to tell you it’s okay, and celebrate every success that you have. By doing that, over time, you’ll understand that your self-worth comes from you and no one else.

[Read: How to respect yourself: Secrets to self-worth and self-belief]

Learning how to be less codependent is a long road. It won’t happen overnight. Codependency isn’t healthy and it’s not going to make you happy, that’s for sure. Start small with these steps, and you WILL get to a happier place very soon.

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life.

Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
Follow Nicky on