Psychological Self-Help

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someone who is over-protective (a "rescuer" or codependent). Indeed,
that is the essence of a dependent adult: they want to have someone
support and take care of them (Bornstein, 1992). 
As a generic term, dependency also implies being weak and
fearful, indecisive, insecure and somewhat helpless, naive and
inexperienced, and overly sensitive. Even these negative traits include
many behaviors that suggest putting other's preferences, needs, and
wants before your own. That is, it is assumed that you let others guide
what you will do because you want and need their approval, control,
support, or love. Thus, conformity, compliance, passivity, and non-
assertiveness are often major aspects of dependency. These behaviors
and attitudes are not powerless; in fact, they affect others powerfully,
e.g. being unmotivated irritates people, being helpless and in trouble
prompts others to try desperately to help, etc. 
Conformity is when we change our behavior or opinions due to real
or imagined pressure (not direct requests) from others. This includes
behaving in traditional ways or according to cultural or familial
customs, so we all conform. Compliance is when a direct request is
made of us and we agree to do it. Passivity is when someone else
takes action involving us or against us, and we do not object or resist;
we are submissive or inactive. Non-conformity or non-compliance or
passive resistance is when we are independent, resist these pressures,
and "do our own thing." Anti-conformity or rebelliousness, on the other
hand, is stubbornly doing the opposite of what you are told to do, even
if it isn't too smart. For instance, a teenager might avoid homework,
stay up late, and use four-letter words to defy his/her parents, not
because he/she thought these things were wise or in his/her best
interest. The constant rebel is no more free than the conformist. 
Due to the enormous attention given to addiction in the last 15 to
20 years, some new concepts have developed. Obviously, a drug
addict or an alcoholic is dependent on drugs or alcohol. But, many
other out-of-control behaviors have been included in the addictions:
gambling, shopping, working, sex, promiscuity, eating, socializing,
compulsive cleaning, etc. These are needs that may dominate us and
we comply. Codependency is another new label, although an old idea.
It is when you are addicted to an addict (or any needy person), i.e.
you loose yourself (ignore your needs) by becoming dedicated to
helping an addict overcome his/her addiction. Codependency develops
in stages: first, you may participate with the addict (drinking,
shopping, working); then, realizing the strength of the other person's
addiction, you go along "just this once" to keep peace; finally, the
addict is obviously unable to stop him/herself but you now deny the
destructiveness of his/her addiction as well as deny that you have lost
control of your life too. The codependent is extremely dependent. They
long for approval and recognition of their sacrifices; they do, indeed,
tolerate awful circumstances, including abuse; they fear being on their
own. They feel constant, dreadful responsibly for controlling someone
else (saving them) and they blame themselves (not the addict) when
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