Kicking Co-Dependency to the Curb: Gain Your Independence TodayIt’s Independence Day here in America, and what better way to celebrate than to kick your co-dependency habits to the curb, and focus on your own personal independence in your relationship.

Some people believe that a relationship means losing yourself in the other person… or losing your autonomy. But a healthy relationship actually fosters and encourages each other’s independent self. After all, few people find a mirror image of themselves all that they’ve ever wanted in a relationship.

But finding or keeping the essence of yourself — especially in a long-term relationship — can be challenging, even for the most independent-minded among us. All of us are at some risk for co-dependency, subjugating ourselves to another person’s needs or wishes.

That’s why this article from regular Psych Central contributor Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT resonates:

Across cultures, autonomy is a fundamental human need. People who experience autonomy report higher levels of psychological health and social functioning. They have an increased sense of well-being and self-esteem. When you value yourself, you’re more able to claim your autonomy.

It’s a feeling of both separateness and wholeness that permits you to feel separate when in a relationship and complete when on your own. You feel independent and are able to say no to pressure from others. Your actions are determined by your beliefs, needs, and values, which give you more control over thoughts and emotions.

It’s the opposite of being a rebel or people-pleaser. A rebel’s thoughts and actions aren’t autonomous. They’re an oppositional reaction to an outside authority and thereby they become controlled by it. Actually, autonomy allows you to listen to someone non-defensively and modify your views to incorporate new information.

It’s a great article, and one worth your time this Independence Day: Co-Dependency: Put the “I” in Independence.



View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 1 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.

    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Jul 2013
    Published on All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2013). Kicking Co-Dependency to the Curb: Gain Your Independence Today. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 3, 2015, from


Recent Comments
  • Pearliegirl: Amazing! And thank you to all of you bold enough to share a piece of you. I’m an author of this...
  • Jeannie: I am almost 65 and have ADHD Adult……I did not out grow it, but though out my adult life, I have...
  • Rockybdc: What’s prompting me to write was your inclusion of the serenity and third step prayers. I am an...
  • Ellie: Where did you get all this information about Sparks from?? Can you provide a bibliography please!!
  • melvin: Hi Jonah, I agree with you that managing behavior responded to anger works well in terms of avoidance of...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code

Users Online: 7384
Join Us Now!