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Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie
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“Furthermore, worrying about people and problems doesn't help. It doesn't solve problems, it doesn't help other people, and it doesn't help us. It is wasted energy.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“Codependents are reactionaries. They overreact. They under-react. But rarely do they act. They react to the problems, pains, lives, and behaviors of others. They react to their own problems, pains, and behaviors.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“We don’t have to take rejection as a reflection of our self-worth. If somebody who is important (or even someone unimportant) to you rejects you or your choices, you are still real, and you are still worth every bit as much as you would be if you had not been rejected. Feel any feelings that go with rejection; talk about your thoughts; but don’t forfeit your self-esteem to another’s disapproval or rejection of who you are or what you have done. Even if the most important person in your world rejects you, you are still real, and you are still okay. If you have done something inappropriate or you need to solve a problem or change a behavior, then take appropriate steps to take care of yourself. But don’t reject yourself, and don’t give so much power to other people’s rejection of you. It isn’t necessary”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“Ever since people first existed, they have been doing all the things we label "codependent." They have worried themselves sick about other people. They have tried to help in ways that didn't help. They have said yes when they meant no. They have tried to make other people see things their way. They have bent over backwards avoiding hurting people's feelings and, in so doing, have hurt themselves. They have been afraid to trust their feelings. They have believed lies and then felt betrayed. They have wanted to get even and punish others. They have felt so angry they wanted to kill. They have struggled for their rights while other people said they didn't have any. They have worn sackcloth because they didn't believe they deserved silk.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“We don’t have to take things so personally. We take things to heart that we have no business taking to heart. For instance, saying “If you loved me you wouldn’t drink” to an alcoholic makes as much sense as saying “If you loved me, you wouldn’t cough” to someone who has pneumonia. Pneumonia victims will cough until they get appropriate treatment for their illness. Alcoholics will drink until they get the same. When people with a compulsive disorder do whatever it is they are compelled to do, they are not saying they don’t love you—they are saying they don’t love themselves.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“...the pain that comes from loving someone who's in trouble can be profound.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“I know when to say no and when to say yes. I take responsibility for my choices. The victim? She went somewhere else. The only one who can truly victimize me is myself, and 99 percent of the time I choose to do that no more. But I need to continue to remember the key principles: boundaries, letting go, forgiveness after feeling my feelings—not before, self-expression, loving others but loving myself, too.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“Many codependents, at some time in their lives, were true victims—of someone’s abuse, neglect, abandonment, alcoholism, or any number of situations that can victimize people. We were, at some time, truly helpless to protect ourselves or solve our problems. Something came our way, something we didn’t ask for, and it hurt us terribly. That is sad, truly sad. But an even sadder fact is that many of us codependents began to see ourselves as victims. Our painful history repeats itself. As caretakers, we allow people to victimize us, and we participate in our victimization by perpetually rescuing people. Rescuing or caretaking is not an act of love.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“We don’t have to take other people’s behaviors as reflections of our self-worth. We don’t have to be embarrassed if someone we love chooses to behave inappropriately. It’s normal to react that way, but we don’t have to continue to feel embarrassed and less than if someone else continues to behave inappropriately. Each person is responsible for his or her behavior.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“We rescue people from their responsibilities. We take care of people’s responsibilities for them. Later we get mad at them for what we’ve done. Then we feel used and sorry for ourselves. That is the pattern, the triangle.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“Worrying, obsessing, and controlling are illusions. They are tricks we play on ourselves.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“Many of the people I’ve worked with in family groups have been that obsessed with people they care about. When I asked them what they were feeling, they told me what the other person was feeling. When I asked what they did, they told me what the other person had done. Their entire focus was on someone or something other than themselves. Some of them had spent years of their lives doing this—worrying about, reacting to, and trying to control other human beings. They were shells, sometimes almost invisible shells, of people. Their energy was depleted—directed at someone else. They couldn’t tell me what they were feeling and thinking because they didn’t know. Their focus was not on themselves.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“The formula is simple: In any given situation, detach and ask, “What do I need to do to take care of myself?”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“Codependents make great employees. They don’t complain; they do more than their share; they do whatever is asked of them; they please people; and they try to do their work perfectly—at least for a while, until they become angry and resentful.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“We Are Lovable
Even if the most important person in your world rejects you, you are still real, and you are still okay.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“Frequently, when I suggest to people that they detach from a person or problem, they recoil in horror. “Oh, no!” they say. “I could never do that. I love him, or her, too much. I care too much to do that. This problem or person is too important to me. I have to stay attached!” My answer to that is, “WHO SAYS YOU HAVE TO?” I’ve got news—good news. We don’t “have to.” There’s a better way. It’s called “detachment.”3 It may be scary at first, but it will ultimately work better for everyone involved.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“I saw people who were hostile; they had felt so much hurt that hostility was their only defense against being crushed again.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“For each of us, there comes a time to let go. You will know when that time has come. When you have done all that you can do, it is time to detach. Deal with your feelings. Face your fears about losing control. Gain control of yourself and your responsibilities. Free others to be who they are. In so doing, you will set yourself free. ACTIVITY Is there an event or person in your life that you are trying to control? Why? Write a few paragraphs about it.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“Taking care of myself is a big job. No wonder I avoided it for so long. —ANONYMOUS”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“A friend, Scott Egleston, who is a professional in the mental health field, told me a therapy fable. He heard it from someone, who heard it from someone else. It goes:
Once upon a time, a woman moved to a cave in the mountains to study with a guru. She wanted, she said, to learn everything there was to know. The guru supplied her with stacks of books and left her alone so she could study. Every morning, the guru returned to the cave to monitor the woman's progress. In his hand, he carried a heavy wooden cane. Each morning, he asked her the same question: " Have you learned everything there is to know yet?" Each morning, her answer was the same. "No." she said, " I haven't." The guru would then strike her over the head with its cane.
This scenario repeated itself for months. One day the guru entered the cave, asked the same question, heard the same answer, and raised his cane to hit her in the same way, but the woman grabbed the cane from the guru, stopping his assault in midair.
Relieved to end the daily batterings but fearing reprisal, the woman looked up at the guru. To her surprise, the guru smiled. " Congragulations." he said, " you have graduated ". You know now everything you need to know."
" How's that"? the woman asked.
" You have learned that you will never learn everything there is to know," he replied. " And you have learned how to stop the pain".”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“Codependents: don’t trust themselves. don’t trust their feelings. don’t trust their decisions. don’t trust other people. try to trust untrustworthy people.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“Detaching does not mean we don’t care. It means we learn to love, care, and be involved without going crazy.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“Few situations—no matter how greatly they appear to demand it—can be bettered by us going berserk. Why do we do it, then? We react because we’re anxious and afraid of what has happened, what might happen, and what is happening. Many of us react as though everything is a crisis because we have lived with so many crises for so long that crisis reaction has become a habit. We react because we think things shouldn’t be happening the way they are. We react because we don’t feel good about ourselves. We react because most people react. We react because we think we have to react. We don’t have to. We don’t have to be so afraid of people. They are just people like us. We don’t have to forfeit our peace. It doesn’t help. We have the same facts and resources available to us when we’re peaceful that are available to us when we’re frantic and chaotic. Actually we have more resources available because our minds and emotions are free to perform at peak level.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“The only person you can now or ever change is yourself. The only person that it is your business to control is yourself.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“A codependent person is one who has let another person's behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person's behavior.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“the surest way to make ourselves crazy is to get involved in other people’s business, and the quickest way to become sane and happy is to tend to our own affairs.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“As I’ve said before, no wonder we think God has abandoned us; we’ve abandoned ourselves.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“I want to thank each person who has the courage to push through and past the set of coping behaviors we’ve come to label as codependency—who learn what it means to take care of themselves. “Nobody taught me how to take care of myself,” a fifty-year-old woman told me recently. “I didn’t have enough money to go to therapy, but I had enough to buy a book.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“If you did not have that person or problem in your life, what would you be doing with your life that is different from what you are doing now? How would you be feeling and behaving? Spend a few minutes visualizing yourself living your life, feeling and behaving that way—in spite of your unsolved problem.”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.1 —II TIMOTHY 1:7”
Melody Beattie, Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself

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