Helping You Cope With & Stop



Bullying and Co-Dependency: Are You Affected?

Codependency: a tendency to behave in overly passive or excessively caretaking ways that negatively impact one’s relationships and quality of life.  It also often involves putting one’s needs at a lower priority while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others.

Narcissists, with their ability to “get others to follow their plans,” are natural magnets for someone who might be co-dependent and whose tendency might be to put others’ need before their own and not ‘fight back’.  Among the reciprocally locking interactions of the pair, is the way “the narcissist has an overpowering need to feel important and special”, and someone who behaves co-dependently “has a strong need to help others feel that way”. (Wikipedia)

Might You Have a Tendency Toward Co-Dependency?

Rate Yourself on a Scale of 1-5 (1 = not like me, 5 = very much like me):
Question: Is your happiness and what you decide to do closely tied to what others think of you?

5  4  3  2  1

Question: Do you look for validation, reassurance and encouragement in things you do?

5  4  3  2  1

Question: Do you seek approval from people who are the most unlikely to give it to you?

5  4  3  2  1

Question: Do you feel responsible for other people’s feelings (ie) if someone is angry, upset, etc?

5  4  3  2  1

Question: Do you have trouble staying focused on your own needs and goals?

5  4  3  2  1


Do you feel someone else’s unhappiness reflects that you have failed to ‘make them happy’?

5  4  3  2  1

Question: Are you fixated on another person for approval and do you go beyond normal kinds of self-sacrifice?

5  4  3  2  1

This article is short.  Maybe the message is clear.  It’s time to protect yourself…and you are worth it!

Suggested reading: “Codependent No More” by Melody Beattie, published in 1987.


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9 responses to “Bullying and Co-Dependency: Are You Affected?”

  1. Bully Free at Work: Valerie Cade says:

    Wonderful question! There are a few reasons on this one – a bully has a “spell” over most targets (not all) but most, in that concept of “crazy-making” occurs whereby every respectful exchange process on would think might work with another person does not work with a bully. It is the process of coming to terms with this that often has people “stuck” as they cannot believe someone could act this way. Some people have a more difficult time coming to terms with this than others. Thee are the folks who can “call a spade a spade” right away and implement a strong boundary. There are folks that “hope fourth best” or “fall in love with potential” or “think if they keep trying” (which are all great attributes to have with non-bullies) but they struggle in “letting go”. Some people also struggle and have a blind spot with co-dependecy (reading more on this subject will give one more background – this occurs due to separation anxiety and being able to implement a boundary is like cutting one’s arm off for some). It is a legitimate blind spot for some just as some have a blind spot in being mindful or kind or compassionate.

  2. jason says:

    I wonder how much of it comes down to whether you like yourself or not. If you continually seek validation from those who will never give it to you, then the question is simply ‘ Why?’. What is requiring such a strong desire to be acknowledged by someone you would normally Pass on the street without giving a glance?

  3. Melissa says:

    Yeah, that is how I see it too. And, this does not apply only to bulling. It also applies to taboos in society and preserving the status quo. ie You put up and shut up or else you are isolated.

  4. Midastouch says:

    Either you take the HEAT & survive by putting up with it, or else look to QUIT and be on your own…

  5. Midastouch says:

    The problem is there is only way NOT TO BE BULLIED ANYWHERE – start off your own Business and do reasonably well….I cannot think of a Workplace after working for 30 years in the Industry that has no BULLYING happening at some level….

  6. Bully Free at Work: Valerie Cade says:

    That is a log time to feel that way. One thought for you and I don’t know if you have thought about this idea and that would be to decide today to commit to yourself to study bullying, co-dependency, self-worth and inter-personal relationships. To study. Meaning to seek out the knowledge and then be able to empower and build yourself up to the point of being stronger and being able to feel better. Sometimes it can feel like it is impossible – hopeless for sure. What if you were to start by reading each day and taking in information that could help you? I have have learned that sometimes we wait for others to change in order for us to feel better – and that day never comes! I think you deserve to feel better and I want you to know we and many others are in your corner. Your past does not have to equal your future. It will not change over night, but know it can get better. Step out in faith and be plugged in today. Keep reading the right stuff so your mind has something positive, hopeful and strategic to work toward. I believe you might look back in awhile and see that it was worth it to make this decision. Wishing you the very best in your next steps…

  7. kelly says:

    That book changed my life. I’m a nurse and nurses tend to be co-dependent. I used to be a doormat and I was bullied by my managers. Then I educated myself about bullying. I will never allow myself to be a victim of bullying again.

  8. AJ Pearson says:

    I don’t know what I am. After being bullied off and on for 40 years. And being told to ignore it. To being bullied nearly everyday for a year and being told to ignore it. I would try to get my husband to help me by bullying him. And he told me to ignore them. Now we all try to ignore each other and do what we want. I don’t wait on many customers anymore. I haven’t cleaned the store for nearly 2 years. The last time I talked to my sister in law will be a year next month. She told me I do nothing I know nothing I am nothing. My husband is the only person who wants me there.

  9. BertieorBirdie says:

    Never seen a bteetr post! ICOCBW

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Valerie Cade, CSP is a Workplace Bullying Expert, Speaker and Author of "Bully Free at Work: What You Can Do To Stop Workplace Bullying Now!" which has been distributed in over 100 countries worldwide. For presentations and consulting on workplace bullying prevention and respectful workplace implementation, go to

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