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and the more normal a person is it seems I spend less time with them (not Needed?) so, I get it.

hm.
you aren't as odd as you thought!


You got it, joycets!

Regrettably I think you know where I am coming from. I don't consciously and deliberately looking for needlings, but I find myself enjoying their company and spending too much time and interest with them. fundamentally, I think us codependent types subconsciously are attracted to other codependents-needlings whereas most of the normals (LOL) which instinctively/subconsciously withdraw.

The thing is, this guy is clueless. I find him likeable (though I tend to find too many people likeable) and though I don't really want to spend every available hour with him, I don't mind the rare and infrequent 5-minute (or less) chat etc. say maybe limited to once a week. As of now, sometimes it is consecutive days, or alternate days. I've known him now almost two years (will be two years in the spring) and I guess because of the holidays and weather, he got more clingy recently.

For me, he is just indicative to me that I haven't kicked most of my codependent habits with other people and relationships. Much like my sometimes excessive (to normals) alcoholic drinking, I have a hard time knowing what is normal limits and boundaries of acceptable drinking habits and when it crosses the line. Not a good metaphor since most advise is to completely abstain from alcohol whereas people and social interaction is generally considered necessary, or critical.

A separate issue, but a stronger factor with some codependent relationships is to avoid more obvious and direct abusive relationships, which includes traditional views of "domestic violence" abusive relationships (severe physical, sexual, emotional, and/or other abuse issues) and just extremely unhealthy and dysfunctional relationships. My own history of adult relationships include at least one DV relationship with all the elements to significant, if not critical, levels with the exception of physical abuse. And though my dealings and relationships have been somewhat better, a theme of dangerously abusive (not physically, but psychologically) people have remained in my life at many levels.

The main difference for me is that I finally can - and do - pushback, but often only when things have gotten to the figurative "when push comes to shove" point, I tend to go overboard. Not always though. My main problem is not knowing how to clearly and effectively communicate with people if I need/want something, or if I am conflicted with something. I am still a doormat, if less than a doormat. And when this doormat gets pooped on too much, this is a doormat that will seemingly abruptly grow teeth and bite.

Thus I still have that annoying passive-aggressive nature that I have learned to recognize in others, but not sure how to get to the healthy ground of being assertive, and neither passive nor aggressive.

All this is hard to explain without giving examples right now, except for my current needling. Emotionally, I know I should be able to communicate with him, or at least modify my behavior and responses directly so I don't get to the point that I feel used and abused.

My ideal, I guess, is knowing how to healthily and safely manage this so-called friendship and communicate effectively and directly to him. The main element though is controlling my kneejerk instincts to take care of others, or in this situation, automatically offer him a meal, etc.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to think and process this a bit.

ST
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