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What’s a Codependent Perfectionist, anyway?

Codependency and perfectionism are buzzwords, tossed around casually, and often incorrectly, in the landscape of social media. To heal something, we must understand
it. So let’s map out the foundations of both tendencies, and how they like to operate


Originally, codependency was primarily talked about in relation to substance abuse and addiction. In her book Codependent No More, expert Melody Beattie coined and defined the term as follows: “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.”

The idea of codependency has evolved over time. Although it still applies in relation to addiction, I like to think of codependency as simply emotional and relational enmeshment that can happen in the presence of addiction or simply on it’s own.

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In codependency, we have difficulty seeing where we end and another begins.

In my own struggles, I based my identity based on who I was to other people and the roles I had: daughter, sister, friend, therapist, and student. In codependent enmeshment, we base our emotional state on the wellbeing of those around us. Codependency can be highly debilitating and can manifest in every area of life from family to work.

Not sure if you struggle with codependency?

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In simple terms, perfectionism means holding ourselves to unrealistic standards that we will never attain. Perfectionism typically develops in childhood, as a way to please our parents, teachers, and other important people in our lives.

For perfectionists, just being is not enough.

As perfectionists grow up and become adults, they find their identity in their work, status, body image, finances, and accomplishments. Perfectionists are always striving to meet their next goal in order to feel better—because just being is not enough.

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Perfectionism can cause us to hide our shortcomings, pain, and struggles.

Because we don’t want people to judge us, perfectionists often paint a perfect picture rather than share what we’re really going through. This leads us far away from our true selves, stunts our creativity, and stifles deep connections.

Not sure if you struggle with perfectionism?

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What if I struggle with both?

Codependents tend to have issues with perfectionism and vice versa. Shame and feelings of worthlessness or not being good enough are at the core of both of these issues. We don’t feel lovable just being who we really are, so we turn to codependency and perfectionism to seek love and acceptance from others.

Codependent perfectionists wrestle with accepting things as they are and just being, which makes us discontent in the present moment. Together, these tendencies are family dynamics that become generational trauma when not worked through and healed.

Hope for Codependents and Perfectionists

Codependency and perfectionism can be healed. Out of my own journey with both issues, and my experience working with countless individuals and families, I created The Codependent Perfectionist framework.

At the core of healing these two patterns is self-love: the happy place in-between selfishness and selflessness. Whether you’re a parent or not, single or in a relationship, there is a different way to live and relate to the people around you.

To help launch you into your path of healing,
I created the Codependent Perfectionist quiz.

This free 25-question quiz will help you determine if (and to what extent) these patterns
are driving the bus in your life, and immediately offer solutions tailored to your lifestyle
and relationships.

Ready to start your journey toward healing codependency and perfectionism?