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Codependency is a bad trap to fall into, guys. We know that many of us don’t think we show traits of being codependent, but if you sit down and actually have an honest reflection about yourself, you’ll probably find that you have lots of similarities to those people who just can’t be alone. That’s not a terrible thing, but it’s something that needs to be addressed — and sooner, rather than later.

The whole thought of writing an article about codependency comes from a friend of mine, who, after a summer of difficult things going on in his personal and professional life, has shown the inability to be alone. Not only has he developed the “whoa is me” attitude — where everything in his life now comes out as negative, rather than focusing on the good things he has going on — but his codependency has actually worn on our group of friends. He’s afraid to say no, always has to be doing something, is questioning himself with decisions and, well, the bottom line is he’s not very happy with who he is right now.

That last part is the biggest debilitator of codependency, as it makes people question who they are, what they stand for and find themselves incapable of doing things on their own. It’s a lack of identity, so to speak.

With all that said, there are ways to avoid being so codependent, and, after seeing my friend fall into the trap — as well as having an ex-girlfriend with a similar personality — here are some ways to stop being so damn codependent, guys.

Be honest with yourself

Before you can make changes with your codependency, you need to open up, look yourself in the mirror and actually admit that you have an issue. Much like those people who struggle with addiction, identifying and understanding you have a problem is the first step. Once you’re honest with the situation, you can reflect on the things you need to improve on in order to get out of that state of mind.

Your focus becomes your reality

By far, this is one of the best pieces advice I’ve ever received from someone, so I’m passing on the wisdom. Whether you’re in a relationship, just got out of one or are down in the dumps and can’t stop being codependent, what you focus on is what your life becomes, so it’s time to change up your mindset!

For instance, it’s easy to focus on how you don’t have a big group of friends like you did in your mid-20s now that you’ve gotten older. Instead of wondering what happened, start focusing on the positive by telling yourself you’ve just gotten more selective with whom you hangout with and give your time to, making the current relationships even more beneficial.

Stop having so much FOMO

FOMO, otherwise known as “fear of missing out,” is a terrible, terrible trap to fall into. In other words, when you have the inability to tell people no because you think you’ll be missing out on something, your codependency is in its prime stage. There may be a big group of friends going to the bar (again) to drink an abundance of alcohol on a Friday, but, ask yourself what you’ll really be missing out on? Rather than damage your body and bank account, consider sitting this one out and spending a night alone for once.

Set achievable goals

It doesn’t matter how you do it, but setting goals for yourself is an ideal way to stay focused on yourself and conquer the things you enjoy. Some people do this weekly, while others look more long-term and focus on monthly or yearly goals, but, however you decide to do it, when you set goals, you avoid the trap of doing things for others. That may sound selfish, but this is your life, after all, so take it back by maintaining interests outside of what others are doing; those are what make you unique!

Learn to love yourself

Above everything else, avoiding codependency starts with loving yourself. There’s a major difference between being confident and being cocky, so don’t confuse the two. Loving yourself means understanding what your strengths and weaknesses are, accepting them, not caring so much about not being perfect and living your best life. You may not have all the money in the world, the best looks or a job that you love to go to everyday, but you’ve got plenty of other things that you should love, and, once you do, you’ll be less codependent and much happier.

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