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  • Peter Bouloukos

The Downward Spiral of Codependency

Updated: Jun 19, 2022

The Downward Spiral of Codependency:

What happens when we manage people like things? They stop believing leadership and motivation is a personal choice. Most people think of leadership as a position and therefore do not see themselves as leaders. Until then, people think only those in positions of authority should decide what must be done. They have consented, perhaps unconsciously, to being controlled like a thing. Even if they perceive a need, they do not take the initiative to act. They wait to be told what to do by the person of "formal title," and then they respond as directed.

Consequently, they blame the formal leader or fellow co-workers when something goes wrong. They also give very little credit when things go well. They lose the ability to voice what is right and wrong.

Codependent Managers tend to thank employees for "cooperation and support" even though the staff takes zero initiative. This reluctance to take initiative or to act independently only fuels the Codependent Manager to direct or control the subordinates. Threatening punishment one day and then holding a "carrot and stick" above them the next. This, they believe, is what they must do in order to get followers to act. Each party's weakness reinforces and ultimately justifies the others behavior. The more this manager controls, the more he/she evokes behaviors that necessitate greater control and managing. The codependent culture that develops is eventually institutionalized to the point where nobody takes responsibility.

Over time, both leaders and followers confirm this type of "unconscious pact." They disempowered themselves by believing others must change before their own circumstances can improve. You will often discover the codependent manager to say one thing, but then do the complete other. Rules are not for them. This sometimes unconscious behavior role models poor decisions and inconsistent habits at best. This is the same cycle found in any human relationship...a parent to child is very common! This is a "silent conspiracy" and it is found everywhere. Whenever people hear this idea, they immediately look "outside themselves."

Perhaps you, too, are thinking that the people who really need to read this email are not reading it. That very thought reveals codependency.

If we look at this material through the weaknesses of another, we begin to disempower ourselves...empowering their weaknesses to continue to suck initiative, energy, and excitement from life and the work we enjoy everyday!

Many organizations are filled with bright, talented, kind, and creative people. Once the codependent spiral is in-place they feel straitjacketed, undervalued, and uninspired. They also can become complacent, contentious, cynics and complainers. They are frustrated and feel they DO NOT HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE THINGS...when in-fact THEY DO.

Most organizations suffer not "because they can not resolve their problems, but because they cannot see their problems."

Einstein said: The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the SAME LEVEL OF THINKING we were at when we created them." What do you think?

Success anywhere is a personal choice. Do the right things, at the right times, for the right reasons - good reasons. Never-ever-ever wait until someone tells you to do something. If you see anything needing to be addressed, be proactive, productive, and professional!

Fact? Your “job” anywhere is to be passionate, operate with integrity and to succeed for everyone around you as well as for yourself.

Yours in Success,

Peter Dean Bouloukos

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