Signs of Externally-Centered (Codependent) People who suffer from low self-worth because of abuse

  • I have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and it is easier for me to be concerned with others than myself
  • I have a hard time looking too closely at my flaws and faults
  • Often afraid of authority figures
  • Approval- seeker, caretaker, people-pleaser
  • Afraid of angry people and personal criticism
  • I judge myself harshly
  • Low self-esteem
  • Dependent personality.
  • Terrified of abandonment. Will do anything to hold on to a relationship in order to not experience painful abandonment.
  • I experience guilt when I stand up for myself instead of giving in to others
  • I don’t see myself as a loveable, worthwhile person
  • We are attracted to people we can pity and rescue
  • May react more than act in life
  • Without being in a relationship, I am nobody
  • I value other’s opinion more than I do my own
  • I live in constant fear of being rejected 
  • If I am abused or mistreated, I still remain in the relationship
  • I frequently resent others for making me act against my will
  • When others are upset or in error, I automatically assume it is my fault
  • I am always apologizing for myself
  • I’m exhausted meeting others needs but feel resentful my needs are not met
  • I have to be whatever my partner wants me to be, otherwise, s/he will leave me
  • To feel good about me, I need to be liked and approved of by all
  • I focus on meeting others needs to the point of hurting myself
  • I have a hard time setting firm boundaries and carrying through with them
  • I often find myself people pleasing
  • I give up my values to maintain a relationship
  • I have difficulty believing I can take care of myself
  • When others blame me for their unhappiness/problems, I believe them
  • I focus all my energy on other people and their happiness
  • I am unable to determine what I want and need in life
  • I assume God doesn’t want anything to do with me
  • I believe others know what is best for me better than I do
  • I assume my presence is a bother to other people
  • I find myself trying to find ways to run from or numb down my feelings
  • I doubt my ability to be who I want to be and do what I want to do
  • I make excuses for the irresponsible behaviors of people I love
  • I define worth by how my children turn out or who I am married to
  • I have trouble asking for help
  • I have a hard time knowing what I need and want and what is important to me
  • I am mad at God because I am so miserable
  • I lose sleep worrying about another person
  • I live my life by a list of should’s and oughts someone else determined for me
  • I get my sense of self-worth by helping/rescuing/fixing/care-taking others
  • I over-commit myself then feel resentful later
  • I go to work early and stay late because the boss needs me
  • I let other people take advantage of my goodness
  • I believe others would fall apart if I wasn’t there to keep things together
  • If someone doesn’t keep up their end of a commitment, I do it for them
  • I obsessively perform (clean house, do laundry, do projects, etc.) to please others
  • I worry more about the kids or spouses activities/needs more than my own
  • I often take on more than is my fair share
  • Sometimes I feel crazy or off-balance
  • Sometimes I wonder why I can’t get anything done
  • I feel guilty for taking care of myself and when I haven’t done anything wrong
  • I have stress-related health problems
  • I have health problems because I won’t take time to eat right and exercise
  • I find other people with worse problems than me to focus on to distract myself from my own problems
  • I hold myself responsible when abused by others
  • I find myself going from one bad relationship to another
  • I find myself unnecessarily spying on my partner/children/significant other(s)
  • I find myself sabotaging another person’s attempts to make positive changes
  • I have trouble following a project through from beginning to end
  • I do overkill on any project I do
  • I judge myself without mercy
  • I have difficulty having fun
  • Work and play are out of balance in my life
  • I take myself too seriously
  • I feel different from other people
  • I am over-responsible or under-responsible
  • I jump into relationships to make myself feel better or fix problems in my life
  • I need to be needed
  • I find myself doing for others what they really should be doing for themselves
  • Most people I am in a relationship with are people who need me
  • I fear confronting a person who has an addiction or with irresponsible behaviors
  • I measure my self-esteem by how much others depend on me
  • I believe others can not get along with me
  • I believe I can not survive alone
  • I use meeting the needs of others to make myself feel whole
  • I cannot be happy unless others do what I want and are what I need them to be
  • I believe that if I am good enough or loving enough I can change another person’s behavior
  • I play the role of a martyr (sacrifice myself for others), to get love & approval
  • I am hurt and angry that after all my efforts in helping other people, they do not return the same amount of help, love, approval or appreciation
  • I never have enough time to take care of my needs or fill my commitments but I can do it for others
  • I feel like I am not being responsible or a good friend/person if I refuse any request
  • I often feel anxious, angry or upset when people don’t do things I want them to do
  • I have a hard time asking for help
  • I try to anticipate others needs and meet them
  • I feel responsible for almost everybody and everything
  • I can’t say no without feeling guilty—I often say yes when I really mean no
  • I feel I have to protect people even if they’re addicted or severely irresponsible
  • I vacillate between suppressing my anger and letting it explode
  • I feel overly frightened by people
  • I seldom stand up to offensive behaviors or people who disagree with me
  • Though I try to please people, I often feel isolated and alone
  • I trust people too much or not at all
  • I often try to fix, regulate, change or improve people without their permission
  • I want to believe promises, even if the person has broken them countless times before
  • I have a lot of energy to help other people but feel drained or depressed privately
  • I tend to confuse love with pity and tend to fall in love those who need to be rescued
  • I often feel I have no power in my life
  • I become defensive when someone points out my faults
  • I feel wonderful when I can fix others problems, but terrible when I can’t
  • I try hard to please others but I seldom think/feel I measure up
  • I am terribly hurt by personal criticism
  • I find it hard to identify my feelings but try to manage other’s feelings
  • I feel guilty for feeling certain feelings
  • I deny, trivialize or hide how I feel
  • I find it hard to make my own decisions but try to make them for everyone else
  • I often judge what I do, think and feel as not good enough or inadequate
  • I am often uncomfortable when acknowledged, praised or receiving gifts
  • I have difficulty expressing my needs, wants and wishes to others
  • I choose other’s opinions over my own
  • I adapt to others opinions out of fear of rejection
  • I take on others feelings
  • I am loyal when loyalty is not deserved
  • I think other’s opinions are more important than mine
  • I have difficulty expressing my opinion if it differs from others
  • I disregard my interests and needs for others interests and needs
  • I accept sex when I am seeking love
  • I get hurt or angry when others don’t allow me to help them
  • I offer advice that is not asked for
  • I give a lot of favors and presents to people I care for
  • I use (or have used) sex to fix problems in my relationship
  • I have to be in a relationship to feel whole or fix loneliness
  • I am either controlled by others or trying to control others
  • I feel responsible for the behaviors of others
  • I rescue others from the painful consequences of their choices
  • I need praise from others to feel good about myself
  • I am lonely much of the time, even when I am in a relationship
  • I often feel hurt or angry but can’t express it
  • I have an overwhelming need for others to like and approve of me
  • I need to be needed in order to have self-worth
  • Advise without consent
  • Feel liable for the outcome
  • Need to be right, perfect and look good
  • Try to manipulate the outcome
  • I frequently beat myself up or criticize myself
  • I often judge myself harshly; nothing I do is up to my expectations
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Self-worth is dependent on being needed and having few needs
  • Preoccupied with the problems and needs of others while neglecting their own
  • Don’t expect others to help you, listen to you or care about you
  • Adept at solving the problems of others while not being able or motivated to solve their own
  • Over-commitment in many important relationships
  • Cannot say no to requests for help
  • Creates excessive/impossible work and personal schedule
  • Unable to ask for what they need or want
  • Feels selfish or needy when asking for help
  • Difficulty identifying and communicating emotions
  • Willingly conforms to unrealistic/unreasonable relationship expectations
  • Fearful and avoidant of disagreements and conflicts
  • Feels powerless to protect themselves from har; easily manipulated and exploited by self-serving individuals
  • Does not set firm boundaries or consequences for violation of boundaries when mistreated or abused
  • Attempts to control or manipulate others who typically neglect them
  • In an attempt to be helpful, pushes their help onto others
  • Confuses work and personal relationships
  • Believes that “What I think and feel doesn’t matter.”
  • I can’t trust my own perceptions, discretions, feelings, ideas or reality
  • What other people think is more important than what I think
  • Taking care of others is more important than taking care of me
  • Other people’s feelings are more important than my own

“The Human Magnet Syndrome,” by Ross Rosenberg Breakthrough Life Coach Inc., by Lisa A. Roman

~Author unknown