Remaining in close circles (social, professional or otherwise) with people who see me as less capable than I actually am can paradoxically have a bonding effect. This is one way in which codependency manifests. We want to stay and do one of two things: A) Figure out are they right about me? Am I bad/stupid/less than/not enough? and/or B) I want to show them I’m better than how they are seeing me! The former is the confusion that comes when we believe that who we are is how we could be perceived by others. The latter is what is known in 12-step programs as “making a person our Higher Power.”
It is an empowering breakthrough for a codependent to finally give up these struggles, dis-identify with others’ misperceptions, learn who they really are, begin living for their own approval. It then feels natural to walk away from that person/ group of people, when the new realization sinks in: Why be around people unwilling or incapable of seeing me for who I really am? Would it be a better use of my time to be around people who recognize my character, skills and strengths?
It is an even more empowering breakthrough to do all of the above, with an open heart toward the person/people pre-judging you.
If when walking away, anger or attachment is still present in you, it is likely that the wound in you did not heal at the root level, and there still exists a need for approval outside of you, or there still exists a doubt about who you really are, and you may again feel bonded to stay. Chances of returning to the dysfunctional relationship(s) increase.
Instead of leaving in anger, let your newly opened eyes be the driver of change.
There is a Buddhist teaching, “With no enemies on the inside, enemies on the outside cease to exist.”
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