relationships. For more criticism of the codependency concept, see
Tavris (1992) and Solomon (1994). The latter author attacks the
emphasis on being independent by citing the benefits of mutual
dependency or caring in love relationships. Healthy giving and loving
support should not be confused with unhealthy codependency.
Melodie Beattie's books are considered "fairly good" by
professionals, but many other books about codependency are not
respected, especially if they take a very spiritual approach (Santrock,
Minnett & Campbell, 1994). More help might be gotten from books
about assertiveness and communication (chapter 13), interpersonal
relationships (chapters 9 & 10), life-planning and decision-making
(chapters 2, 3 & 13), building self-esteem (chapters 6 & 14), and
anger or abuse (chapter 7).
Believing You Are in Control of Your Life:
Becoming an Internalizer
In order to feel independent and free and responsible for what
happens, you must see yourself as having some control over the
situation, over your own behavior, and over the outcome of the
situation. Otherwise, you see yourself as helpless and at the mercy of
the "powers that be" or fate or chance. We have already discussed
self-efficacy, i.e. faith in your ability to handle a specific situation, in
chapters 4 and 5 (also see method #9 in chapter 14). That is
important but doesn't need to be repeated here; however, the concept
of internal or external locus of control does need to be briefly
described because it is another important aspect of passivity and
Some people believe they are in almost complete control of what
happens in their lives. They are called "internalizers" because they
assume the locus of the controls over their lives to be internal, i.e.
inside them (or inside the space ship you are in charge of). Likewise,
Humanists and Existentialists believe that we are internalizers and
have choices to make that determine what happens to us. Thus, we
are responsible for our future and for what we feel.
Self-discipline is when you tell yourself to do something and you don't talk back.
-W. K. Hope