Since they are so concerned with what others expect and are out of touch with their own needs, it is not surprising that codependents are confused about their boundaries. Boundaries are the physical, mental, and emotional limits that set us apart from other people. Internal boundaries enable us to draw a line of distinction and responsibility between our own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and those of others. Healthy people take responsibility for their own emotions and actions, but codependents often feel responsible for the thoughts and actions of others. External boundaries enable us to set limits on how we allow others to treat us. Codependents often allow others to hurt or abuse them or talk them into taking on too many responsibilities or activities because they are afraid to say no. This inability has been described like being in a room where the doorknob is on the outside of the door and the codependent is on the inside, powerless to set any protective limits. Anyone who wants to, can come in. Jason T. Li. Ph.D.
We change our behavior when the pain
of staying the same becomes greater
than the pain of changing.
Consequences give us the pain
that motivates us to change.