Toxic Relationships, Co-Dependency, and a Loss of Identity

This post was written by Rhonda Wasserman

Original content by Ashley Berges

Do you know that many of us are raised to value ourselves based on doing things for other people? This gives us value rather than finding our value from within. Hence, this belief leads us to have toxic cycles, creating co-dependency, and continuing down a path of identity loss.

Many of us believe our value comes from how we relate to and treat others. We feel it is based on how we help others, and what we do for people. We believe this directly reflects our values. This thought process is flawed, treating people respectfully and doing the right thing for them is correct, but our value should not be a direct reflection of this. 

We are the source of our worth. Most of us did not learn this lesson from our parents. They were not aware of this information and they found their value outside of themselves. As a result, our parents saw that what they did for others was linked to their value.

To change our beliefs, we must first get to know ourselves. This is very difficult because we do not realize that we should be getting to know ourselves. We tend to learn about others, but never take the time to get to know ourselves.

We see ourselves as lonely when we are not thinkinking about ourselves. Often, we feel that it is awful to be alone because we have never gotten to know ourselves. In order for this to change we must open our inner dialogue. We need to get to know ourselves, we need to be a friend with ourselves.  

There are some steps we can take to begin learning about who we are and make friends with ourselves. 

It is important to eliminate distractions. Take some time to concentrate on our problems vs everyone else’s problems. It is easier to see someone else’s issues rather than our own. 

Define our beliefs and values, who we are, what we believe in, what we value, and the things we will not negotiate in our lives. We need to figure out our purpose, and what we are here to do. Figuring out what makes us tick is essential to getting to know who we are.

Once we realize why we are here on this planet or begin to understand, we will become richer human beings. A purpose-driven life, even looking for purpose, gives us value. These beliefs that we create and stand behind are the bedrock of our boundaries. When we can identify what we believe in and value, then these become the boundaries we live by. When we are in toxic relationships and do not know our beliefs and morals, we sacrifice them. Therefore, in these situations, we are either desperate for relationships or we do not see our value and will sacrifice anything. 

Learning about who we are is going to help us understand our intent and motivation. It is going to help us understand what makes us tick and define us. It will also help us create positive boundaries in life that we will not step over. These non-negotiables are things we want for us to have a happy healthy life

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