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Selah R, M.S. LPC
Selah R, M.S. LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 582
Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor; over 13+ yrs exp working with adults, teens, & families/couples.
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I contacted you on July 17 about a friend of mine regarding

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I contacted you on July 17 about a friend of mine regarding asking her to have a cup of coffee with me.I told you about some of the things she was doing at work ie reporting c-workers for not doing what she considers an adequate job and taking control of the situation. I do not work with this person but I did the same work at a differenct location. I sometimes don't trust my own judgement that is why i consulted you. I value your opinion. I don't know if you have a record of this situation but since that time I have not heard from this friend. I believe her behavior was her way of sabataging our relationship. I have done some reading about codependent personality's.I guess I am looking for an answer for her behavior so I can understand it. She seems gravitate to needy people and once they no longer need her she does something to dispose of them.She did not take any interest in doing recreational activities with me and when she did i always had the feeling she thought she was helping again. I began to feel like I was some kind of project. I needed a friend not a caretaker --not that a friend does not do some caretaking at times but a friend should welcome some recreational activities as well and initiate them. It is nothing for this person to work 8, 9, 10 hrs per day and work 12 days in a row to accomplish projects at work. I woould say she is a workaholic. I would like your opinion. Now that I see these behaviors in her I don't believe she is or was a friend, especially since I have not heard from her. I find her behavior strange. We used to talk on the phone at least once a week. I have not heard from her in almost 3 wks. she went on holidays for a week. i would have thought that she would have given me a call before she left--not. I will not be calling her because like I said I don't believe she is a friend. What is your opinion. She has a friend --a single mother on welfare assistance that she is holidaying with. This so called friend of mine is a well educated healthcare professional with ample funds. I also find her relationship with this other person a little bizarre. From what I know my friend is caretaking this woman and her child as well. I can handle not having this person in my life but I guess I thought she was a friend--I made a mistake. Correct?
Hello again,

The problem with codependent people is they sometimes don't know how to maintain a relationship that isn't based off their false beliefs. If she only feels like she is good at being a caretaker, or only is desirable to others when she is performing for them, she may not have the interpersonal or social skills to keep up a healthy relationship when that pattern breaks. Most people with codependency issues do not understand what they are doing, and are not rationally making the choice "I can no longer relate to this person because I feel anxious not being able to take care of their needs, so I'm going to end the relationship now that they don't need me any longer." So instead the find a subconscious way to end or sabotage the relationship to end their anxiety, end the relationship, and allow them the freedom to jump into a new relationship with a new person.

She probably really thought they were your friend, and probably thought the relationship was important because she spent time trying to play the role of caretaker. But once you didn't need that role, and she felt your resistance to their taking control, she used that resistance to extinguish the friendship (causing the strange incident over what you could and couldn't drink).

I don't know if I'd say you made a mistake. I think you made a relationship, discovered it wasn't a healthy relationship, and refused to allow her to control you with her unhealthy patterns. That's a wise choice, and shouldn't be held against you as an error or mistake. People always show us their best qualities when starting a relationship or friendship. The key is knowing when it's time to say "this isn't healthy" and then getting out of the relationship before it causes damage. And it sounds like you did just that.

She has issues that she's probably had since a small child. It may take her a long time to realize she's trapped making the same mistakes over and over again, assuming she ever dose see that. Some people with codependency can live their whole lives without ever really owning their issues or owning their part in why relationships failed or never seemed fulfilling enough. But there's no way for you to rush the healing process for her, it's something she's got to walk through.

Best wishes,
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Could working the way she does in order to fulfill /complete the tasks required to improve her work place be part of the same problem ? I found what she did --taking control with her colleges to be very aggressive and showed little compassion for these people. One of them is on stress leave because of it. My "friend" stated that they were not doing their job, their students were not being taught adequately so it was good that she identified what was going on and she was able to rectify the situation. she has no patience for people that are incompetant for whatever reason. Now that her college is on stress leave , my friend has to do her job as well. Her comment was "oh well the students like me better anyway. I believe my friend is aware of her contolling behavior but does it anyway. she is just hardened and doesn't care. Her caretaking means taking care of herself. Please comment.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
see the above note
her caretaking, controlling, and criticalness are all part of the same problem. She feels better about herself when she is in a position of power. People who are truly health and in a healthy relationship know how to give and take. They can be caregivers in order to help build others up, not to build themselves up. They can offer constructive feedback without being mean, and they are able to help problem solve instead of just point fingers.
For whatever reason, she doesn't have these skills. We most often see codependency issues in child abuse survivors and children who grew up in neglectful families such as children of alcoholics. She might also have another personality disorder on top of it like narcissistic personality disorder.
I am sorry her actions have caused significant stress for other coworkers.
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