Working in a high stress environment can be motivating and force personal growth. You may feel more motivated to work hard and make results happen for your company, at the risk of developing unhealthy daily habits to cope with the pressure. Many careers that bring high amounts of stress are known to put employees and senior management alike into daily habits including drug and alcohol abuse. Coupled with unhealthy eating and sleeping habits, this dependency and develop into a complete addiction to just get by on the daily. As work cultures often want to foster a community aspect and workers learn to lean on each other to deal with stress, they may form codependent relationship that only encourage a frequent use of drugs or alcohol. Studies done recently in a variety of professional workplaces show us that over 50% of people know a business executive who has either abused drugs at work or on a break nearby from work.That need to develop codependent relationships can translate from work to our family lives at home as well. Let’s walk through the reasons of why workplace addiction develops and ways to avoid codependent relationships overall.
Codependent Relationship Red Flags
How does one know if they are in a codependent relationship? How do you figure out if you’re codependent yourself? A healthy relationship means that two people growing together and can benefit each other after the majority of interactions. They shouldn’t be growing more reliant on each other and start to yearn for putting control on the other’s thoughts, feelings and overall life decisions. While the point of this close connection is to find someone who has compatible traits to yours and makes you feel secure, it’s dangerous to keep pursuing a relationship with a coworker or friend if you’re compromising your beliefs due to fear of the relationship ending. Key red flags of being codependent include:
- You feel constant anxiety and low self-esteem in the relationship. This can be a fairly obvious explanation that comes with seeking constant approval, respect and love from anyone who isn’t yourself in a codependent connection. Over time you could start feeling incredibly drained and like you have a lack of adequate opinions or decision making skills. Giving someone control over how you feel about yourself is incredibly risky and can lead to a frequent pattern of breathing a sigh of relief when the other person feels positively to your decisions or extremely angry over one’s he or she isn’t happy with. If this is your relationship at work or in your personal life, you need to take a step back and assess why you are allowing so much control to go towards this person. Try to confide your feelings of stress and anxiety to another loved one that you know well and can trust with your struggles. As an outsider they may help you see signs of unhealthy habits and encourage you to treat your own responsibility as a priority.
- You start to change yourself to please the person in the codependent relationship. If you are normally someone who doesn’t approve of drug or alcohol abuse, you may find yourself finding ways to let bad habits or addiction slide in order to satisfy the other person. Maybe you’re both extremely religious and grew up being incredibly dedicated to aligning our daily habits to it. You could be the one who converted religions (i.e. Christianity to Muslim faith or vice versa) to feel closer to your partner. Taking any huge sacrifice such as this one is a direct reason to blame for why you don’t feel control over your life. Your reality shouldn’t be revolving around someone else and the same goes for your preferences towards religion and risky in dangerous behavior. Stand by your morals no matter what and realize that someone who truly cares about your wellbeing and happiness would never force you to give them up.
- You spend all of your time with the other person in the codependent relationship. The hours of your day that are meant for doing well at work, passions you care about and taking care of your overall well-being. If you are already giving all of your time to your significant other, pleasing a family member or even hanging around a coworker you may be doing harm to yourself. It’s especially detrimental if this person represents the source of your confusion or stress if they want to constantly ask for favors, caretaking or force you to agree with their own beliefs. You may realize that you naturally treat the other person as the center of attention and dominant decision maker. Once you’re spending your entire time with him or her you will only feed into this damaging behavior as you should have enough time to work on your own development as well. To combat this, make sure you speak with a professional if you have a hard time pulling away and find hobbies that make you feel joy. The more time you invest in yourself the more fulfilled and clear headed you will feel over the long term.
Utilizing Codependency Recovery
If you’re realizing that you are codependent person or are at a loss of dealing with a codependent relationship in your life, don’t fret. You are at the right time to start pursuing help for codependency recovery and getting on the road to better relationship health. The first step to treating codependent relationships with others who encourage additive or destructive behaviors is to recognize there is a problem in the first place. There are many online resources that are free and user friendly for anyone who needs immediate help with their unhealthy behaviors developed from codependent relationships. It also has tools that can help users better understand the relationship between stress and different mental states that may lead a person to engage in more risky behavior through a codependent partner overall. Treat your body with kindness and allow yourself to take a break from the hustle of work and personal life before you feel too overwhelmed!