Counterdependency – With Bill Hoffman

In their book, “The Flight From Intimacy”, Barry and Janae Weinhold expose the sibling of Codependency known as “Counterdependency” .

What is it? Well… co-dependency indicates being  “dependent” on the behaviors and connection, be it ever so dysfunctional, to another human being. “Counter” dependency is basically the opposite. It is the posturing that I don’t need anybody. This becomes problematic in relationships obviously. I may “want” to have a relationship as a human being, but I may not want to have anything to do with them in realty, becoming an island in the relationship.

Some of the obvious temperament types gravitating in this direction would be the Melancholy and Choleric of course. They are also more prone to being “ego maniacs with inferiority complexes.” In the book, the Weinhold’s point out, that” people with counter dependent behaviors may appear strong, secure, capable and successful on the surface, but inside they feel weak, fearful, insecure and needy. This brings in the Supine and Sanguine as well. Saying in effect, “love me, but leave me alone.” Or the Phlegmatic that just doesn’t want to invest their precious energy in to a relationship. A lack of ability and/or desire to be emotionally intimate, but needing love at the same time.

Enter developmental trauma to the equation, and you have another layer of emotional dysfunction caused by developmental trauma issues. A plethora of emotional developmental stunting plays into temperament propensities causing yet another layer of confusion in attempting to live a “normal life.”

“Why do I always get defensive and deflect and push people away”? Why do I keep sabotaging relationships”. “Why don’t I care?” “Why don’t people like me?” These are common questions that people may wrestle with and wind up trying to “cope” with the problem, instead of discovering why. So perhaps I drink to kill my insecurities, become real clingy when intoxicated, and when sober, want nothing to do with the person. This is only one of any number of scenarios.

Maybe I insulate myself from others by resorting to anger as that’s the only go to I ever knew in my house growing up. And the only way I felt safe was to “protect myself” by not being vulnerable, and deflect my anger at myself and my parents and insecurities onto others. I may never give myself into a relationship or know genuine intimacy until I deal with the root systems that cause the “counter-dependency” I am experiencing.

This, as well as any other emotional malady, can be helped if we are willing to get into a Process in which the root systems are exposed of trauma that are giving me a pre-disposition to any number of dysfunctional behavior issues. Adding ineffective coping strategies on top may compound the problem and cause long term depression, hopelessness and despair, and perhaps guilt and shame, to name only a few.

Get into a Process of self discovery and healing that will allow you the opportunity to discover WHY you gravitate towards particular dysfunctional patterns in your life.

BH/Canva Pro/The Weinholds


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