You Know You’re Codependent When…

Donald Miller

Recently I found myself wanting to fix somebody. It’s a bad habit. I’ve had it all my life and I’m getting better in percentages.

Wanting to fix somebody is basically codependency. Perhaps in its mild form, but codependency all the same.

If there’s been any health evolving in my life over the years it’s been in learning that other people are other people and their psychological health is not my responsibility (within reason, of course). By that, I mean if other people make bad decisions then those decisions are theirs, not mine. I must be strong enough to walk away and allow them to fail or suffer their own consequences.

That’s tough stuff to learn when you’re the helper/teacher/prophet type.

*Photo credit

I had a life coach last year who taught me that my job was to be a coach, an inspirer, an instructor, but not a friend. That was hard for me to receive and live, and yet I credit my life coach for my current sanity.

Can you really be close friends with thousands? Eventually, people have to be responsible for their own lives. And besides, nobody will really respect you if you start moving into their psychological territory. Each of us were given a mind and it’s our mind, not anybody else’s.

I recently heard Dr. Henry Cloud tell a funny joke. He said, “You know you’re codependent when, right before you die, somebody else’s life flashes before your eyes.”

So, I’m curious…

    Do you have clear boundaries between what is your responsibility and what’s somebody else’s?

    Are you able to let people fail?

    Can you be somebody’s supporter without owning too much of their lives?

I’m learning. And the more I learn, the happier I am.

Donald Miller

Donald Miller

Donald Miller is all about story. He helps people live a better story at and grow their business at Follow Don on Twitter (@donaldmiller). To read more of his posts on the Storyline Blog, click here.