“Most of us live in a state of codependence, be it with our partners, friends or social group,” according to Isha Judd, author of the books Love Has Wings and Why Walk When You Can Fly . We let others shape our beliefs and decisions — so much so that we lose sight of who we are, she said.
Darlene Lancer, MFT, a psychotherapist and author of Codependency for Dummies, also noted that many people don’t become fully autonomous, instead “forming our feelings and behaviors around something external.”
Autonomy means being the author of your life, she said. You compose the rules you live by. It means “owning your own reality, perceptions, thoughts, feelings, opinions [and] memories.”