The Other Center
By: Christy Aloisio
September 18, 2011

Very few people come in to my office, hear that they are codependent, jump up and say, “Wow you are right. Thanks so much my problems are solved!” It actually is quite the opposite most of the time. I hear more of the, “I am not a doormat, what are you talking about! I am a strong and independent individual!” It takes time to be able to learn and hear the truth about ourselves, and that is perfectly natural. But the one issue on codependency I have the most “agreement” from people is being other centered. When I share this with codependents, they generally see it is a good trait not a negative one. And here I go again, I am going to burst the bubble on this one too. A little other centeredness occasionally is not a bad thing, but being other focused through your life is unhealthy and painful to yourself.

Codependents take being other centered to the extreme. So much time is spent worrying about how others may feel or what they need there is no time left in there for some self TLC. It is a detriment to yourself. So much time is spent meeting everyone elses needs, we cannot even remember what our needs are! It is living for others instead of ourselves. Our “self” does not even hit our own radar. But, can you see the issue with this? If our “self” does not hit our radar, why would it hit anyone elses?

The issue that comes up the most with this in relationships is that two codependents rarely marry. If they did they would never be able to decide where to go to dinner :) So, one spouse in the relationship is built to spend a lot of time thinking of what the other person may be thinking or need and how they may meet this in them. The other spouse is not wired this way. They are more independent and oblivious. They need their partners needs spelled out to them with big bold letters. The other centered spouse has a hard time asking for what they need. They often feel as if they spend so much time thinking about how to meet their partners needs that their partner should be doing the same. Sorry folks, does not work this way. We need to ask for what we want and need. And although this may seem pretty unromantic to most, it is better to ask and receive, then to never ask and build up resentment because our needs are not getting met.

Working on being more you centered feels selfish for most when they first start working on it. Even a small shift in the other centered thinking can make a codependent feel as if they are the most selfish person who has walked on this Earth. It takes practice and work, but the result is a much more balanced and centered you. A person who can care and be there for those around them, but can also care for him/herself! Other people can take care of you, but if you can’t take care of yourself it will not matter! Be kind to yourself!

Come on in and meet with me and we can tackle your codependency and get you caring for yourself in a whole new way. Call or email to make an appointment today! We also offer group therapy for those who would like to try it out! I have groups Tuesday 5:45 -7:15 pm and Thursday 7:15-8:45 pm. They rock! [email protected] 317-607-8983