When to stop trusting an addict or alcoholic to do the right thing” Overcoming Codependency

When to stop trusting an addict or alcoholic to do the right thing” Overcoming Codependency

Here’s the truth. You can have absolutely everything else but if you have a relationship that causes you  confusion, anxiety, resentment, or pain, then you’ll ask yourself “what’s the point?” You deserve better than that. So, how do you  have the peace and sanity you deserve, especially when it comes to dealing with a relationship with an addict and alcoholic?


Let’s be real. When you have a relationship with an addict or an alcoholic, you feel like you have  two people. You have the person you know your loved one can be and you have the person that is currently showing up for you.


There’s a tug of war between the two and you wonder if you can ever trust this person to do the right thing. 


You grow so resentful and tired of believing the lies only to be disappointed over and over again! When should you stop trusting an addict or alcoholic to do the right thing?

There comes a point where you think, “I’ve got to stop being so gullible.”


I have an online family program that I run with a group component, and at the start of the family’s journey I ask everybody, “who is dealing with this addiction for the first time?” A few raise their hands. Then I ask, “Who is dealing with a relapse for the first time?”, a few more hands go up. Then I keep asking how many times their loved one has relapsed and sometimes I get all the way to 22 times.”


But sometimes recovery is like that. It’s like a combination lock and every time somebody goes into treatment they get another number on the lock and they’re a little closer to long term recovery.  Sometimes it takes more than one try, more than one number to be set free. And we never know when that’s going to be.


So we remain “cautiously optimistic.”


But what does that really mean?

Trust is the foundation of every good relationship. Without trust, we have nowhere to go. I know you want to trust and I know you are keeping the hope alive that your loved one will finally get it! But I also know you are in immense pain and your feelings run the gamut from despair to numb. 


You’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop and when they are sober, you can’t even feel happy because you think, “it’s only a matter of time before it all goes to Hell again.”


Your pain is real. Your anxiety is valid. Your feelings matter! But if you’re used to walking on eggshells, you won’t know what to do with your pain. 


You may feel guilty for being angry or feeling distrustful. Your addicted loved one may even put the blame for their relapse on you for not “believing in them enough”. It’s an unbelievably hard place to be in. 


We don’t talk about the family enough.  And that’s why my mission is so important to me. Addition affects the family so much more than we realize or give attention to. 


There’s a lot more help for the addict or alcoholic. And one can feel like you have nowhere to go. 


The truth is, of course the addict has had it rough. But you may have had  it worse.


Why? Because while the addict was high, checked out, or sleep walking their way through the pain they caused, you were awake for every second of it. 


You may find out that you’re just now realizing the massive impact this has made of you mentally, spiritually, emotionally, financially and physically. 


So, back to trust. When do you stop trusting that the addict or alcoholic will do the right thing?


Here’s the rule. You can always trust something to be what it is and you can never trust something to be what it is not. 


For example, I am going to trust that a chicken is a chicken and a tree is a tree. But I’m not going to trust that a chicken is a tree. (no matter how much potential I believe it has or how much I think it should be or the story that if the tree loved me it would.)


What that means for you when a person is active in their addiction, you’re not going to trust him or her to behave in any other way than an addict in active addiction would behave.


You start to realize that getting mad at an alcoholic for drinking is like wanting a chicken to be a tree. 


When you say, “I trusted you that you wouldn’t use drugs”, “I trusted you that you wouldn’t drink today”, “I trusted you not to get high.”, “I trusted you to go to the meeting.”. It is the same as saying, “I trusted the chicken to be a tree.”


It’s ridiculous. It doesn’t make any sense. 


 So, what do you do? Give up believing? Give up hope? Stop trusting forever?


No. You never give up hope. You never stop having faith that things can and will be different. But you give that to your higher power and you deal in reality.


Here’s what happens. You call out the person for using. They promise they will get help and start to work some kind of program. You get happy. Your brain gets flooded with happy chemicals and you become high on hope. You think, “Thank God! They finally get it! It’s over!”




So, here’s the new way to look at things. I do not want you to believe anything that comes out of an active addict or alcoholics month~ EVER.I want you to watch what they do instead.


I don’t want you to believe anything that comes out of an addict’s mouth in recovery for the first full year. I want you to watch what they DO instead. 


The truth is they want what they are saying to be true. And you can want it too. But it hasn’t happened yet!


So, support their intention. But understand all they are giving are ideas. Nothing has happened yet. 

You can say, “That sounds great! I can’t wait to see that!” Then WATCH.


It will either happen or it won’t. And then, you are left with what to do next. Those are called boundaries.


If you need help with boundaries, you can find a free workshop at www.LoveCoachHeidi.Com 


So that’s it for now. I’m keeping it simple because it is. 


Coach Heidi

Why do people stay in unhealthy, toxic relationships?

Why do people stay in unhealthy, toxic relationships?

Why do people stay in toxic or dysfunctional relationships? You’re smart. In other areas of your life you can make things work and people are around you scratching their head wondering why you’re in the relationships you are. And even you have asked yourself on numerous occasions, ”Why the hell can’t I break free from this person? What is this magnetism that I’m drawn to?” Of course, there are many reasons people stay in toxic or dysfunctional relationships, but I am going to outline 3 of them. The first reason I think that people stay in a toxic relationship is because they don’t know they’re in one. They will use words to describe their partner like self-absorbed, mean, controlling, selfish, insecure or entitled. They’ll use these words instead of toxic, abusive or dysfunctional. And I find this especially true if this person grew up in a dysfunctional family. Often, this leads to questioning what’s healthy or normal in relationships. Sometimes, we just think of these toxic people as people “difficult” or “complicated.” Another thing I find among those who grew up in toxic households is that we cultivate an ability to make sense out of people’s crazy. But just because you can make sense of people crazy doesn’t mean that you should live inside the crazy. Maybe you end up rationalizing or making excuses for their bad behavior. You say, “Well you know that they’re having a really hard time right now” or ‘“They just grew up kind of jacked up so they behave this way because of that.” This may or may not be true. This issue is it borders into this area of what I called Toxic Compassion, which is your innate ability to make sense of other people’s bad behavior, giving you an excuse to tolerate said behavior simultaneously, What we need to do when we’re dealing with a toxic or dysfunctional person is to call a spade a spade and actually start calling it what it is~ Toxic. If you still have questions as to whether or not they are toxic, go over to www.LoveCoachHeidi.com where you will find the common traits. The second reason that people stay in toxic or dysfunctional relationships for my perspective, is because they internalize the toxic person’s behavior You theorize that if you would just say or do the right thing, they will change. You think if you could behave better you can bring out the best in that person. But let’s be real. Sometimes the best just ain’t there! I think our environment of toxic positivity really screws this up here because we are told that everybody has the potential to be wonderful and kind and loving. No honey, no they all don’t. You know there are locusts and there are honey bees and they both serve a very good purpose in this world. One creates and another destroys. Humans mirror nature. You can’t hang onto potential and hope a locust will turn into a honey bee. And you can only see people clearly if you stop internalizing their behavior. If the toxic person is also gaslighting you to make you believe it really is your fault, this only makes matters worse. They may say things to you like, “I never would have behaved that way if you hadn’t done what you did.” “I didn’t really hurt you.” “I didn’t really say that to you.” And if they’re a person who uses drugs or alcohol and is abusive they may say, “That’s not the real me. I would never do that if I didn’t have a drink in me.” The truth is research shows that abusive or toxic people are abusive and toxic and alcohol just exacerbates it. Alcohol doesn’t create abusive people. Drugs and alcohol aren’t the reason that somebody’s abusive. People are abusive and use drugs and alcohol and abuse people. We have to stop rationalizing and justifying unacceptable behavior. We’ve all heard hurt people hurt people. NO. Not all hurt people hurt people. Some hurt people help people. Toxic people hurt people. We have to stop internalizing somebody else’s behavior and making their bad behavior a reflection of something we’re doing or not doing and stop scrambling and hustling in an effort to be a better human being so we can make it go away. Did you ever notice that even when you seem to be on your best behavior and doing all the right things that they’re still mean and cruel to you? And then scratch your head and wonder why they treated you that way? If you find yourself asking questions like “What did I do to deserve that?” That’s a really big clue that you’re in a toxic relationship. This is a locust my little honey bee. Okay now you’re not a victim here, are you? Once you’re aware of what’s happening you become a volunteer. Once we see the light we can’t keep signing up for somebody’s bulshit the same way we have been over and over because once we know better, we do better. I want you to understand, I’m not talking about an abusive relationship where you feel unsafe. If you’re in an abusive situation, I don’t advise you to like to jump up and start speaking your truth and making big moves. I advise you to go to www.thehotline.org and get support right now. But if you are not in a situation where you feel unsafe to make some changes, you can certainly do so now. Let’s say you are starting to see the toxic person clearly and you are able to stop internalizing their behavior but you’re still stuck. Why? The third reason we stay is because of trauma bonds. At the end of the day, your magnetism to “Jack” or “Suzie” isn’t really about Jack or Suzie. It’s about an unresolved issue that has been triggered up in you. It’s at this point that my clients say, “But Heidi. I’m an extremely strong, independent, person. I’ve worked through my stuff. Everybody did the best they could. I’m over it. I have no desire to go back and look at any of that stuff because that’s in the past. thank God. Seriously. We don’t need to do that. Everyone did the best they could. It really is just this person.” Look, I get it I get it. I know what you mean! You have intellectually made peace with the past. But trauma lives in the body and takes the form of compulsive self destructive patterning that keeps sucking you back into hurtful scenarios. So how do you identify and confront that pattering? You get with someone who is qualified and equipped to help make sense of it all. I’d certainly love to be the one to come alongside you and help you. I’ve Created an entire program to heal all of this. It’s called LYFE School and you can find out more information at www.LoveCoachHeidi.Com In the meantime, awareness is always step one before we take action. You can’t fix what you won’t face. Take the next few days to look at your relationship. What is the truth of your situation? Love, Coach Heidi

The Perfectionist Attachment Personality Pattern: Overcoming Codependency

The Perfectionist Attachment Personality Pattern: Overcoming Codependency

This is the last Pattern of all the Attachment Personality Patterns I have been teaching on over the past 8 weeks. And it’s been the most difficult. I have sat down to write about this pattern 4 times. And each time, I go and try to find where I was writing, I can’t find it. I have stopped and started this thing over and over. When I sit down, I wonder, “How can I word this the best way?” “What’s the right thing to say about this pattern?” And then, judging what I wrote as not good enough, I vow to come back to it later. Such is the life of the Perfectionist. Before we get into the pattern, if you’re new to me, let’s talk a little about Attachment Personality Patterns. When you’re born into a dysfunctional family, whether it’s alcoholism, addiction, chronic sickness, smothering, or absent parenting, you develop a way to thrive, survive, connect, or cope in that family. Essentially, you find a way to be loved, or not get hurt and I call these Attachment Personality Patterns. They are a form of codependency. I’ve come up with 5 core traits of each of the 8 personalities, you can find them at www.LoveCoachHeidi.Com . It’s important to remember that patterns are not pathology. You can change your pattern when you choose to do the work of codependency recovery. But the very first step is awareness, because you cannot change what you don’t see. With that awareness in mind, here are the 5 core traits of the Perfectionist. Core trait #1. Perfectionists have difficulty admitting mistakes and overreact to criticism. Perfectionists could mess up royally; they could fail out of college at the 11th hour and find a way to spin it into a positive light. “Well, at least I made it all the way to the end before that happened.” If you tell a perfectionist they hurt your feelings, they will say something like, “I’m sorry if I hurt you.” Or “I’m sorry you thought that’s what I meant and that hurt you.” Very rarely, if ever, will they simply own it and say, “I’m sorry I hurt you.” This is because if they own up to hurting you, they feel they are admitting they are flawed in some way. This can be maddening if you’re with a Perfectionist because they never fully validate your experiences. A perfectionist will try and think of every possible outcome before pulling the trigger on something because they are trying to avoid criticism. Let’s say a Perfectionist work night and day on a project for work. They will pour their heart and soul into it, making sure everything is just right. They’ll turn it in, believing it’s exactly the right way it needs to be. But let’s say the boss send an email that the project needs tweaking. The Perfectionist will blow the email out of proportion. Then, they’ll either launch into an argument defending the way they did things in an attempt to appear right or they will start cleaning out their desk, thinking they are about to get fired. And that’s because of the next trait. Core trait #2. Perfectionists are very black and white, all or nothing thinking. Most Perfectionists won’t even attempt anything unless they already believe they will be successful at it. Rarely, will they try something for the sake of seeing how it goes. Perfectionists are ties to an outcome and they outcome is being good, looking perfect and doing things the right way. If they are having a difficult time and performance is suffering at said task, they will abandon it proclaiming it’s a waste of their time. In the mind of the perfectionist they are either awesome or they suck. There is no grace. Core trait #3. Perfectionists judge themselves and others without mercy. When a perfectionist does make a mistake, even though they will not admit it to others, does not mean they are unaware or in denial about it. A Controller pattern will believe they’re always right, but a Perfectionist will actually believe they might be wrong and that scares the Hell out of them. So after an argument where the Perfectionist spoke their mind, they will ruminate on what they said and how they said it over and over to confirm it was good, correct or right. Controllers say something, believe it’s the gospel and move on. Perfectionists ruminate and stew. They will also look at others mistakes and be hyper critical. They look at others lives and constantly judge others choices. But this is usually as a means to confirm that the Perfectionist’s way of doing things is better, right, and good. Core triat #4. Perfectionists hold themselves and others to impossibly high expectations. Not only does the Perfectionist believe they must do everything perfectly, they believe others must too. This trait is the most difficult for partners. Because of that all or nothing, black and white thinking, Perfectionists often see their partners as good or terrible. They vacillate between the two and often gave no grace. Because they believe they know the right and best way to do things, they also believe everyone else should automatically know the best and right way to do things. So, when other’s fall short, they are hyper critical of them. Core trait #5. Perfectionist have trouble seeing a project through until the end. They procrastinate and lack follow through in areas where they feel ill equipped. Unlike a Performer who will scratch, claw and find a way to make it the top, even if delayed by failure, the Perfectionist gets crippled by it. When they run into too much resistance, or things feel too hard, they give up. Although hey promise to continue, they rarely return to the original project. They will trade it in for something they feel more secure about accomplishing. Perfectionists stop and start things more times than they can count. But because they compound that with the other traits of all or nothing thinking and hyper sensitivity to criticism, they rarely complete the things they don’t feel confident in. This is not to say they don’t complete things, they will complete the things they feel good at. But they tend to be risk adverse in the areas where they don’t feel they have mastery. So, what’s the path out of the trap of Perfectionism? Take out a journal and write about how each trait shows up for you or holds you back in your life. Then, go over to www.LoveCoachHeidi.com and check out our programs for Codependency Recovery. Love, Coach Heidi.

The Pretender Attachment Personality Pattern: Overcoming Codependency

Even though I used to pride myself on having a built in bullshit detector the size of Texas, being able to spot a phony a mile away, I was regretfully unaware of all the ways I was bullshitting myself. I had suppressed my truth for so long that I forgot what it was.
When you grow up in an alcoholic home (or any dysfunctional home), you follow a set of imaginary rules that help the family keep secrets.
One of those rules is “Don’t talk about problems. Don’t have any problems. We’re fine. You’re fine. Nothing’s wrong.”
If you happen to suffer abuse in that home (either physical, emotional, psychological, or sexual) the gaslighting that ensues can be so intense and successful that you start to believe the lies and internalize them as your new truth.
I remember being beaten or berated and simultaneously hearing, “I’m not hurting you.”, “You’re not hurt.” “It wasn’t that bad.” or any other version of “That didn’t happen.”
You start to wonder if you’re really just fine.
You’re clearly NOT fine. But you start to dilute yourself that you are. You know deep down things are not as they appear. But you do anything to avoid being “found out”. Naturally, you start to work even harder to seem as though you’re better than fine. You lock yourself into a pattern of overcompensating to hide your feelings of defectiveness. You become a Pretender.
If all the world is a stage, a Pretender wants the starring role.
1. Pretenders are chameleons and lack a sense of true identity. Many Pretenders pride themselves on being able to fit in anywhere at any time. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The problem lies in the fact that eventually, pretenders lose themselves and lack a true sense of who they really are.
Many Pretenders follow trends and look to celebrities to see how they should be dressing, what they should be liking, and what they should be interested in. Rather than focusing on what they like, they act as a Pleaser Personality in this sense. But the main difference is a Pleaser will please to make others happy and avoid being at odds or different, while a Pretender will please to gain praise or admiration. Pretenders please to look good, while a Pleaser pleases to feel good. Many Pretenders come into coaching to find their True Self.

2. Pretenders are performers, they put on a show. I once had a client come back from the bathroom, sit back down in her chair and declare, “That’s it! I’m done turning the water on the acting like I’m washing my hands. I’m not washing my hands. I didn’t pee on my hands. I’m done standing at the sink with the water on so others can think I’m washing my hands.”
I looked at her in amazement. “I thought I was the only one who did that!” We both laughed. What’s that about? It’s the show.
Imagine if we do it with the water at the bathroom sink, where else we do it? Everywhere. The motto of the Pretender is smile; put your big girl pants on. Suck it up, buttercup.”
Pretenders are highly image conscious. They want to be seen a certain way and want to hide the parts of themselves they deem less attractive.

Pretenders could also have been responsible to being the “happy one” in a sick family. If you grew up with the expectation and subsequent praise for bringing the light to the darkness in a dysfunctional home, that pressure engrains and lives on today unless questioned or confronted.

I was a consummate “smiler”. And some days, when I’d show up as my authentic self, others would give a look of deep concern and ask, “What’s wrong? Are you ok?” I used to get so annoyed.
I wanted to scream, “Yes! For God’s sake, I’m human! Leave me the F alone!”

But in reality, I had set up that dynamic for years. I’d been the one to smile through my pain. Could be falling apart, but my lipstick an lashes looked on point. How exhausting!

3. Pretenders lie to look good including telling half truths, embellishing truths or speaking to manifest things into existence. There is a deep belief that Pretenders hold. “I’m worthless unless I’m doing well or better than most.” So, they define themselves by status, stuff and societal appeal. They become climbers either socially or corporately to prove their importance.
Many Pretenders want to keep up with the Jones’s and will live above their means in order to do so. They’ll carry a Chanel in public and eat Raman Noodles in private. Pretenders live in denial, curating their image, only showing their best. Even displays of vulnerability are well planned and calculated to position themselves. Many clients have lied about where they went to college when they didn’t even go.

4. Pretenders have imposter syndrome and deeply fear being found out. There’s a deep seeded belief that at their core. Pretenders believe they are a worthless nobody who doesn’t matter unless they are achieving. Never quite good enough, there’s s a feeling of inadequacy that never goes away. That’s why there is a constant hustle to climb. Many Pretenders never have enough qualifications. I know I was like this when I first started coaching. I wanted someone else to put their stamp of approval on me and deem me credible, ready, and able. I have too many certifications to name. But ironically, the only thing that helped me feel qualified was getting results for my clients by being brave enough to help them. When I certify coaches, I run into this dynamic often. That’s why I use part of our time together to actually begin helping people before the certification process ends. It really helps coaches feel empowered and equipped.

5. Pretenders are jealous, covetous and insecure. Because pretenders feel their value comes from achieving (performing in life), they covet others success and ten to be jealous of others status, position or stuff. This often creates rifts in relationships and presents difficulty in friendships.
So what’s the path out of this? The first step is awareness. Do you see yourself in the Pretender Pattern?
Take each pattern and make a journal entry about each core trait answering how the behavior shows up in your life.
The next step is to get support.
You didn’t come by this pattern accidentally. It is the result of being exposed to a dysfunctional or toxic dynamic. And it won’t change until you undo your programming. The APP you downloaded isn’t working anymore (if it ever did). And it’s time for an upgrade.

Of course, that’s why we’ve created our programs over at www.LoveCoachHeidi.Com I want to help you break free from this pattern and discover your true Self. We have a step by step system to overcome this patterning.
If you’d like to set up a complimentary consultation, you can do that over at the site.

Overcoming Codependency: The pleaser attachment personality pattern

In Coming to America, there’s a scene where Eddie Murphy is about to marry his prescribed bride. Before the “I dos”, the groom wants to make sure the bride is a good fit. So, he whisks her “backstage” to ask some questions.

She starts, “All of my life I have been trained to serve you.”

He answers, “I know, But I’d like to know what you like.”

She says, ‘Whatever you like.”

“What kind of music do you like?”

“Whatever kind of music you like.”

As he points out that he knows she has been trained to like whatever he likes and do whatever he wants, he eventually has her barking like a dog.
The scene is supposed to be funny, but it speaks of a deep seeded problem that many codependents face and that is the pattern of people pleasing.
Pleasing others isn’t inherently wrong. It’s a wonderful thing to want to make others happy and comfortable.

But then it falters into the land of self sacrifice and self betrayal in favor of others, it becomes a big problem.
When you grow up in a dysfunctional family, one that is addicted, abusive, absent, narcissistic, etc, you take on a way f being in order to survive, thrive, connect or cope in that family. Especially, in a hustle to get love or at least not get hurt, you ask, “Who do I need to be?” And you become that. I call those Attachment Personality Patterns. It’s programming that allows you to find a way to function in the dysfunction.

One of the 8 patterns is that of the Pleaser.

Pleasers are bred to make others happy and keep the peace. These aren’t bad traits. But pleasers are in one sided relationships where their behavior os not reciprocated. Pleasers become resentful an passive aggressive.

It’s important to remember that Patterns aren’t Pathology. You can change your patterning and become healthier , achieving balanced, mutually beneficial relationships.

Here are the 5 core traits of a Pleaser Personality.

Core Trait #1. Pleasers have unbalanced relationships. Pleasers give more than they receive. In an attempt to endear themselves to others, they say yes when mean no. They tend to take on more than others and do not ask others to help. They feel that asking for others to meet their needs will take them out of favor.

Core Trait #2 Pleasers Have difficulty making decisions and overvalue the opinions of others.
A pleaser will often need the input of others before committing to a path of action. They don’t simply consider themselves when making decisions; they want to check with everyone else to make sure it’s good for them too. If everyone else agrees that it is a good decision, then they’ll likely do it, even if they are still unsure themselves.

Core Trait #3. Pleasers will give up personal truths or desires to avoid rocking the boat or disapproval. They’ll go with the flow to avoid confrontation. If a pleaser has an unpopular opinion, they will keep it to themselves.

Core Trait #4 Pleasers feel overly responsible for the emotions of others and work hard to mitigate the feeling of others. Like the fixer, they Pleaser is an empathy and able to feel others emotions and have a sixth sense as to what others need. However, Fixers are not afraid to experience being out of rapport with another person if they believe it will help them. Meaning, a Fixer may call out a loved one to help them, where a Pleaser won’t want to upset anyone. So, they are more likely to do what they can to ensure others feel good all the time (even at their own expense.) A Fixer can be a hero (actually helping save the day) where a Pleaser is more likely to be an Enabler to keep the peace.

Core Trait #5 Pleasers are passive aggressive. Because confrontation is not something a pleaser is willing to do, when the resentment from their unbalanced relationships builds,, they will behave in passive aggressive ways to let the person know they are hurt without outright sating it. Like the withholder, they may withhold attention, affection, approval, etc. Triangulating (playing people against each other), playing the victim, or avoiding any interaction at all.

So what’s the path out of this behavior?

Awareness is always the first step. Once you become aware, you open yourself up to having a choice. You can choose to get into codependency recovery and enable yourself to have the mutually beneficial, respectful relationships you deserve.
Of course, we would love to have you join us in LYFE School. That’s our codependency recovery program which is a step by step system to undo your patterning and find your true Self.

To find out more about LYFE School, visit www.LoveCoachHeidi.Com
Coach Heidi

Understanding Codependency: The Clinger Attachment Personality Pattern.

There’s a funny portrayal of the clinger personality in the movie Wedding Crashers. The lead character attracts the affection of a young woman who comes on strong and never stops. She throws herself at him, uses her sexuality to enchant him and demands her be a couple with her. The funny thing is, at the end of the move, he realizes she really is the one even though for the first ¾ of their forced one sided relationship, he’s trying to escape her.
Such is the desperate reputation of Clingers: “One day, you will realize how much you love me and never leave me. And I’ll do anything to make that happen.”

In other movies, like Single White Female and Fatal Attraction, clingers are portrayed as dangerous, loose cannons, waiting to kill you should you have the audacity to reject them.

Such is the bad reputation of the Clinger: I’ll get you or I’ll get you back.

It’s all very black and white in those two depictions. But there is a gray area where people display an unhealthy attachment style that’s not so dramatic but perhaps equally as disturbing to the Clinger him/herself or the recipient.

Before we begin, what is an APP or Attachment Personality Pattern?

When you’re born into a family of dysfunction, one that is toxic, abusive, addicted, or alcoholic, you find a way to function in that dysfunction. You end up trying to find a way to survive, thrive, connect, or cope in that family of origin. And I call those are called attachment personality patterns. Essentially, they’re a form of codependency.

It’s important to remember, patterns are not pathology. Your personality is not fixed. You’re not the same person today that you were yesterday from the standpoint of personality. These patterns can be interrupted and replaced with healthier ways of relating.

Let’s get into the 5 core traits of a Clinger Attachment Personality Pattern:

Core trait #1. Clingers develop feelings/fall in love quickly and project a fantasy relationship onto others. Some may call this love at first sight. But a clinger will develop these feelings outside of romantic connections as well. They are quickly smitten with others and imagine soul mates. They will hold the fantasy of meeting the one and project those qualities onto others even when the qualities have yet to be demonstrated. They live more in the fantasy of the potential of the relationship than within the relationship itself. They believe in love at first sight. They make connections and see commonalities where none may be present. One says upon meeting, “I went to Ohio state.” and the Clinger says, “I have an aunt from Ohio!”

Core trait #2 Clinger personalities overshare. They share too much, too quickly.
In an attempt to foster connection and closeness, many Clingers will over share their feelings, thoughts, ideas, and most of all history. One may go to coffee with a Clinger and leave the 20 minute encounter with a full recount of the Clingers childhood trauma.

Clingers have a deep desire to be accepted and seen, and so in that vein, they share as much as they can about who they are to thwart rejection. The odd thing is that they actually create it in some cases through their fire hose approach to friendship or dating.

Core trait #3 Clinger Personalities are loyal to a fault.

Clingers believe the Devil they know is better than the Devil they don’t. Meaning, they would rather stay in a bad relationship or friendship than be alone. So, in order to avoid being alone or feeling rejected they will remain in harmful situations.

Core trait #4 Clinger Personalities do not have good sensory acuity and fail to read social cues. They do not recognize the unavailability of the people they are attracted to. They misread situations. For example, a Clinger may say, “This new guy I’m seeing is so honest. He is a real straight shooter! He told me he was seeing other people. And I love that about him.”

Or if one is giving obvious signs they aren’t interested, such as not returning texts or phone calls, the Clinger will make excuses for the behavior or they will wonder what’s wrong with them that they are making the other person do that behavior. They internalize others “bad” behavior and try to fix it.

Core trait #5 Clinger Personality seeks constant approval, affirmation, reassurance or praise.

Clingers will outright ask for constant reassurance.
They will say things like, “Do you love me?”
“Why do you love me?”
“Do you still want to be with me?”
“Why do you still want to be with me?”
“Where are we going in this relationship?”
“Do you think I’m attractive?”
“Do you think I’m fat, ugly, etc.”
“Does this outfit look good? What do you think I should wear?”
“Do you think I handled that okay?”
“Am I allowed to be upset?”

This results from a low self esteem and the Clinger searches to fix their poor self view via the approval of others.

Of course this behavior backfires and results in others seeing the Clinger ass needy and undesirable.

So, that is the way out of this behavior?

The first step is always awareness. Take a look at these five core traits, grab a journal and ask yourself how these core traits have shown up in your life. How do you behave in your relationships in regard to these core traits? What effect do you think being a Clinger has had on your relationships?

Who would you be if you have nothing to prove? What if you were lovable just as you are? How would you behave in relationships without the fear of abandonment?

As you can see, the core fear of the clinger is that they will be abandoned and rejected.

Step two, after cultivating awareness is to seek and participate in your own healing journey from codependency.
Of course, I would love to have you enroll in LYFE School which is our step by step system to uncover and eradicate codependency patterns.

If you would like more information, please feel free to schedule a complimentary consultation at www.LoveCoachHeidi.com

Coach Heidi