The Truth About Codependency - Transcript


0:00 - Introduction to Codependency
8:44 - Characteristics of Codependent People
18:35 - Impact of Unhealthy Sacrifices in Relationships
26:57 - The Importance of Honesty in Relationships
27:40 - Hidden Motivations Behind Relationships
28:48 - The High and Falsehood in Relationships
32:25 - Sweet Relief from Free Will
33:26 - The Reciprocity Question in Relationships
35:53 - Importance of Reciprocity in Relationships
36:27 - Knowing When to Seek Therapy
38:25 - Incomprehensibility of Relationships
40:15 - Addiction and Codependency
42:38 - Exploring Family Dynamics
43:39 - Understanding the Roots of Codependency
48:45 - Signs of Codependency in Slavery
52:00 - Evolution of Codependency for Survival
53:06 - Inherited Codependency from Parents

Long Summary

In this profound and introspective discussion, we delve deep into the intricate dynamics of codependency with a philosophical lens, acknowledging the complex nature of the topic. The conversation unfolds with the host sharing personal anecdotes and reflections, offering a nuanced exploration of codependent behavior and its manifestations in relationships. They highlight the blurred lines between love, pity, and responsibility in codependent dynamics, underlining the significance of reciprocity and authenticity in fostering healthy connections.

The exploration progresses to decode the signs and implications of codependency, drawing parallels between addictive tendencies and reliance on external validation in relationships. The host emphasizes the detrimental effects of aggressiveness and emotional manipulation that can accompany codependent behavior, shedding light on the importance of establishing boundaries and practicing sincerity in interactions. They pose thought-provoking questions and encourage listeners to introspect on their own behaviors, fostering a deeper understanding of the challenges inherent in maintaining balanced relationships.

As the conversation evolves, the host navigates through the roots of codependency, examining how childhood experiences and societal influences shape individuals' tendencies towards seeking validation through others. They unravel the intricate layers of codependent relationships, likening them to addictive patterns and transactions based on hidden motivations. The moral aspect of codependency is dissected, emphasizing the distinction between genuine care for others and using relationships as a means of meeting personal desires.

Further delving into the discussion, the speaker underscores the significance of honesty, reciprocity, and communication in fostering authentic connections, countering the exploitative nature of codependent relationships. The exploration touches on the seductive allure of evading personal responsibility by solely focusing on serving others, leading to a distorted sense of righteousness and control. The conversation challenges conventional perceptions of codependency, reframing it as a survival mechanism deeply ingrained in human behavior, akin to a slave mentality passed down through generations.

In a captivating and enlightening dialogue, the complexities of codependency are unraveled with historical insights, psychological analyses, and philosophical perspectives. The discussion pushes listeners to reevaluate their understanding of codependency, urging them to confront inherited behaviors and consider breaking free from entrenched patterns to cultivate healthier and more balanced relationships in the present day.


[0:00] Introduction to Codependency

[0:00] So, hi everybody, welcome. I had a question the other day regarding codependency, and so I've put some thought into it. So, I'm, of course, usual caveats, I'm no psychologist, no therapist, no expert, so this is all just amateur, uninformed, untrained ramblings, but I think that philosophically, there's some very useful stuff that we can talk about. So I learned something in sort of looking up this topic, and I really do want to thank the person who suggested that I dig into it. I thought codependency was sort of two-way, but it's not often. So this is general characteristics of codependent people are, if you have an exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions of others, right? So if you're involved, you know, the I can fix her kind of thing, if you've got a chaotic person, or oftentimes it's sort of male to female, it can be female to male, if you've got that kind of messy person on your hands. The typical thing would be a woman whose husband's a drunk, and she takes care of him, she cleans him up, she calls in sick when he's got a hangover and pretends that he's unconscious from some ailment, and so an exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions of others.

[1:16] That's sort of one. Another is if you confuse love and pity, right? If you think that the two are the same. So if there's someone who's really flailing and not getting what they want and you pour your energies into trying to help them to get them to the next level and so on. Like back in the day, I had a girlfriend and I funded, I wrote, directed and funded, sorry, I wrote, produced, she directed and funded a movie to sort of try and get her media career going.

[1:49] And that was sort of a rescue situation. And I might as well have flushed the money down the toilet with the exception that I got out of the relationship. So I guess that was good. so if somebody's flailing around and you just want to save them and help them and get them to the next level and and all of that avert catastrophe and so on if you think pity and love are similar then you could be codependent and if you feel like it's the me plus i talked about way back in the day with the robin williams presentation.

[2:22] So if you generally feel like you have to do more than your share in general all the time. Now, of course, there's times in relationships where you do more than your share, and there are times in your relationship where the other person does more than their share, right? So, of course, after my wife gave birth to my lovely daughter, I did quite a bit of work that she wasn't doing because she was up feeding, and I would be up sort of feeding sometimes as well. but I did a lot more sort of work in all of that. When I have a big project going on, sometimes my wife will pitch in more. So of course, there's a sort of tidal back and forth of extra effort in relationships. But if you're doing more than your share all the time, and this is kind of early in the dating sphere or the dating scenario where a guy says, well, I got to plan the date. I got to pay for the date. She's got to have a wonderful time. And she just, you know, the woman just has to show up and look pretty. Now, there's nothing wrong with that in a sort of short-term courtship situation, but when does the woman provide more in return?

[3:24] Generally, the man woos and then provides the income and stability, and then the woman then, in return, she raises the kids, runs the household, does all of that extra effort as well. Also, of course, as the woman gets older, oftentimes she will take care of elderly relatives, and that's her sort of doing more from that standpoint so along with the martyrdom comes the victimhood right so you do so much for people you do things for other people and you think you're being kind and generous but it turns out you're just building up expectations so the woman who you know takes care of her family takes care of her family and then if her efforts aren't recognized and praised on a fairly continual basis She gets hurt, upset, and often sort of hostile, negative, and passive aggressive. So if your efforts aren't lauded and rewarded, then you become hurt. Now, I don't think that's particularly unhealthy as a whole. If somebody is not recognizing your contributions, this is the back to, again, a sort of relationship I had in my 20s, where the woman said, you have to do half the housework. And I'm like, well, I'm paying most of the bills. so I'm not doing half the housework if I'm paying most of the bills and that was to be upset by that I think was quite healthy.

[4:38] So, codependents also have a kind of addiction to relationships. These are the people, they can't be alone, they get a huge high when they get into a relationship, and they can't stand the idea of being alone.

[4:54] It's appalling terror. It's like you're dangling them off a balcony. And these are the people who stay in relationships because even though no matter how bad it is because being alone is just appalling i don't know if you've ever been around someone like this it's really really a terrible situation to see someone in which is i remember my mom had a friend over who was kind of drunk and you know i wanted to go to bed my mom wanted to go to bed but this woman like wouldn't leave uh just couldn't stand being alone kept making jokes was really you know know kind of clinging and desperate there's a dark void at the heart of the soul that people will do almost anything to avoid and that's really really tough so if you have a very very significant need for approval and recognition to the point where you'll compromise your virtues anything for praise you know the guy who really really wants you is the guy you go with like we can always think of i can remember this in high school we can always think of a really great pretty girl who ends up with a guy who's like, what? You could have chosen anyone and you choose this guy? And he tends to be the guy who just goes the hardest, goes the strongest, doesn't want to meet her halfway and just kind of overwhelms her. So if you have an extreme need for approval, recognition, praise, flattery, then that can be a problem as well.

[6:12] Also, if you feel guilty or bad to assert yourself, to assert yourself is just bad. You're going to feel shame a guilt it's wrong it's bad it's negative it's destructive in some way to assert yourself that could be a sign of again in an amateur sense what what could be called codependence if you lack trusted yourself you you you think that whatever you want must be wrong if you're easily prone to the attack called selfishness right that if you assert your own needs you're being selfish. That's often a maternal to a son kind of thing, right? So that's not particularly good. Along with the addiction to relationships is a terror sort of fear, a terror of being abandoned or alone. If you have difficulty identifying feelings, if you're conforming to the needs of others, then you're overwhelming the... Emotion is fear of anxiety, attack, rejection, and so on. So you have difficulty identifying your own feelings because your own feelings are almost always in reaction to others.

[7:22] Problems with intimacy and boundaries, chronic anger, the people who just blow up, like they give and they give and they give, but their hair trigger temper. Continual lying and dishonesty, difficulty making decisions, poor communications, these kinds of things. So I think that codependency is an addiction to proximity at the expense of integrity. You just want people around, you need people around, and it doesn't particularly matter or there's no particular reference to objective standards. There certainly is no demand for reciprocity. And I think relationships wherein there's not a demand for reciprocity tend to become pretty toxic. Because where there's no demand for reciprocity, there tends to be inevitably exploitation, which kills love and kills intimacy. So here's a questionnaire. I think it's interesting. Is it comprehensive? Well, what do I know? I'm just a podcaster. But there's a questionnaire to identify signs of codependency. So I'll just read this off and you can, I will put this in the show notes, you can sort of run through this yourself.

[8:26] So he says, this condition, codependency, appears to run in different degrees, whereby the intensity of symptoms are on a spectrum of severity, as opposed to an all or nothing scale. Please note that only a qualified professional can make a diagnosis of codependency. Not everyone experiencing these symptoms suffers from codependency.

[8:44] Characteristics of Codependent People

[8:45] Again, it's just that we're using a semi-technical term in an obviously amateur fashion. One, do you keep quiet to avoid arguments? Now, I think this is the most useful when thinking of childhood to parents, because I would argue that the seeds of codependency are sown in the child-parent relationship. Do you keep quiet to avoid arguments? Number one. Number two, are you always worried about others' opinions of you?

[9:15] Three, have you ever lived with someone with an alcohol or drug problem? Four, have you ever lived with someone who hits or belittles you? Five, are the opinions of others more important than your own? Six, do you have difficulty adjusting to changes at work or home? Seven, do you feel rejected when a significant other or significant others spend time with friends? Eight, do you doubt your ability to be who you want to be? Nine, are you uncomfortable expressing your true feelings to others? Ten, have you ever felt inadequate? Now, I think we've all felt inadequate from time to time, particularly you start a new job or something like that, but I think this would be probably on a more continual basis. Eleven, do you feel like a bad person when you make a mistake? Twelve, do you have difficulty taking compliments or gifts?

[10:08] Thirteen, do you feel humiliation when your child or spouse makes a mistake? 14. Do you think people in your life would go downhill without your constant efforts? 15. Do you frequently wish someone could help you get things done? 16. Do you have difficulty talking to people in authority, such as the police or your boss? 17. Are you confused about who you are or where you are going with your life? 18. Do you have trouble saying no when asked for help? 19. Do you have trouble asking for help? 20. Do you have so many things going at once that you can't do justice to any of them? And I assume that would be because you can't say no. To anything. So, that's sort of the typical sort of questionnaire and ways of looking at it. Now, of course, I want to add my own special philosophy spice to this. So, I'll tell you what I think codependency is. Again, obviously, amateur fashion, why it exists, and what purpose it serves. Because something, it's pretty widespread, this codependency issue. It's pretty widespread. And I would view somebody, like, let's say there's some pretty girl on Instagram, she posts all these bikini pics, and she's kind of obsessed with how many likes she gets. I would view that as a codependent relationship, because you're addicted to, outside stimuli, not internal morality, not internal integrity.

[11:35] And codependency, and she will get upset if people don't like this, and there's a haughtiness that comes out of it. We think of codependency as a kind of enslavement, but codependency also has a highly aggressive side to it as well, which is as an addict. So we think of the addict as enslaved to the drug. You're a heroin addict, you're enslaved to the drug. But the truth of the matter with addiction is not the obvious enslavement, but the more subtle enslavement. What's the more subtle enslavement? Well, if you are a drug addict, then other people are enslaved to your addiction.

[12:14] Drug addicts are foundationally parasitical. They rely upon a functioning society, which they can't really participate in. So somebody who's a severe drug addict is relying on other people having stuff that they can steal. They rely on the welfare state so that there's a forcible transfer of wealth to them. They rely on socialized health care or subsidized health care so that they can get the medical care that they need. And all of the services that are provided to the drug addicts must be provided by people who aren't drug addicts. So, of course, it can't be universalized and it's fundamentally parasitical. So we think of the drug addict as bad.

[12:49] Being enslaved, what's often missed is the degree to which the drug addict enslaves others, right? The degree to which the drug addict enslaves others. This, of course, is around theft, but it's also around the emotional terrorism that drug addicts do in order to get the money sometimes or to get the resources or to avoid responsibility. There's a lot of rage and aggression in the supposed victimization, and you play off the two. It's like Schrodinger's victim, right? The drug addict is a victim when that will get additional resources. The drug addict is aggressive when aggression will get them additional resources. So it's whatever twisting manipulation they need to engage in in order to acquire the resources they will pursue. And so be very, very careful. The poor do this as well, which is the poor will play the victim when it comes to getting sympathy. And then they're very aggressive if somebody provides them responsibility and that's how you know if somebody genuinely feels sad is if you withhold resources they don't immediately sort of get angry then the sadness when those emotions flip on a dime it's just manipulation there's no authentic feeling I don't know if you've ever had I'm sure you have of course you've had those authentic sorrows.

[14:05] Where I remember doing an exercise in theater school where I ended up crying so hard that somebody could have given me a million dollars, I wouldn't have been able to stop. And those sort of genuine feelings where, of course, we all know the people who are like, they're sort of very, very sad. And then if they don't get what they want, they flip to anger, the tears dry up, and so on. So somebody has a question here. Do codependent people try to take other people's identity? I don't think so. It is an adaptation strategy called pleasing others with the expectation of resources from the pleasing. It's a way of conforming to other people's expectations so that you get resources from them through falsehood, through falsehood, through lying, through falsifying your thoughts, experiences, and ideas in order to please others.

[15:00] In order to please others, so that you can get their resources. So I would view, again, it's an addiction to a false transactional relationship. So to me, a guy who is addicted to, he's a nymphomaniac or he's a sex addict, so what he does is, you know, he'll go to the gym obsessively, he'll put on markers of wealth, and he'll, you know, sort of study these negging Riz maneuvers and so on that exist on the sort of trash planet of the manosphere or trash aspects of the manosphere planet. And so he'll go and he'll lie and pretend to be something he's not. He'll pretend he'll dangle commitment just to have sex with the woman. And so that's kind of an addict, except he's addicted to people, not substances. He's addicted to some kind of feedback from people, some kind of resources from people. So, it's a transaction which is dishonest in its foundation.

[16:03] So, he pretends that he's available, he pretends that he wants to settle down, he pretends that he's something he's not, I'm a pilot, or, you know, if he's in a relationship, he'll pretend he's not, and if he just got out of a relationship, he'll pretend it's a little further, and the girls do this too, right? Women do this too, like I'm ready to settle down and all of that. I've had my fun, I'm ready to settle down, as opposed to, well, I'm not as attractive as I used to be, so I need to find a beta sim to take care of the alpha's kids, or whatever it is, right? So to me, the codependency is a form of addiction to resources provided by other people that you get through falsification. And the falsification usually has a moral element to it. So a typical example would be a mother who is supposedly generous...

[16:52] To her children, but the moment that they have an idea or a perspective that they don't like, she gets angry, right? So she's not generous to them. She's controlling them. She's using them for her own ego gratification. And when they don't do what she wants, in other words, if they assert independence, then they get angry. I mean, I remember with my mother when, you know, she would come in for this sort of, oh, kiss goodnight and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And it's like, okay, When I was getting a bit old, she would get angry when I said, you know, I'm a bit old for this and I'm just going to go to bed. And so it would be angry. So it wasn't for me, right? When you pretend that something is for others when it's actually for you, to me, that's the foundation of codependency. You pretend it's for others, but really, it's for you. So my mother would pretend that me, you know, coming into Kiss Goodnight and all of that, she would pretend that that was for me because she was there to please me, but she was actually, it was for her. So then when I didn't want it anymore because I was getting older, then she would get angry or upset or hostile. And what that means is that the sentimentality of coming in for a Kiss Goodnight is something that makes her feel better, and it doesn't matter So she's using me to deliver dopamine to herself, and she says it's for me, and, you know, I guess there were times when it was okay. So she says it's for me, but it's actually for her.

[18:21] So the woman who sacrifices herself for her children, she should do that on the basis of that which is best for her children. And she should be soliciting their feedback and making sure that they say what they want, so she's providing what they want.

[18:35] Impact of Unhealthy Sacrifices in Relationships

[18:35] As opposed to the mother who, quote, sacrifices, but it turns out it's for her sense of self-righteousness, it's to control the children, it's to build up guilt and obligation. And if the children want something different from what the mother is offering, and she gets angry, that to me would be codependent. She's addicted to getting...

[18:57] Dopamine from interacting with her children while claiming that it's because she cares about her children when she, in fact, only cares about the dopamine, right? The old, will you still love me tomorrow song, right? I mean, the guy who pretends to care about a woman when he just wants the dopamine of sex and orgasm, but he pretends to care about her when he only cares about himself. The way codependency was described here definitely fits me. All right. Does a middle-aged man who who buys women cars and houses to receive sex and affection, count as codependent. I think we'd have to be a bit more specific about that. So if it's a straight-up transaction, I don't think that it is codependent. Codependent has to have in it a falsehood. So obviously, I, quote, sacrifice a lot for my children, my child, right? I didn't write books for like 10 years, pretty much, because I was parenting. Parenting so i did all of that but i don't do that and now say that my daughter owes me something because she doesn't i chose to be a father i chose to stay at home with my daughter and so.

[20:06] I owed her interaction i mean it wasn't like some big debt that i had to pay but i owed her interaction and so i did that because well it was my obligation as a parent and also because it was was great fun as a human being right so that's i think an honest interaction she doesn't owe me because i was the one who chose to become a father i don't it doesn't accumulate obligations on her part for me to be a father but if on the other hand i did all of that with a an unspoken obligation that i was generating on her part well now you have to obey me and now you have to take care of me when I get old, and you owe me, and if you don't provide me resources, then that's selfish, right? So then I'm, to me, enmeshed in something that is false and exploitive. Then it wouldn't be for the pleasure of a company, it would be in order to gain rewards. Now, this is challenging, of course, right? Because we don't want to be in the situation of Kantian ethics, right? So we We don't, sorry, right, like that's an argument. We don't want to be in the situation of Kantian ethics.

[21:18] Because if we do nice things for people and there's an expectation of reciprocity, that's healthy. Because if you don't have an expectation of reciprocity, that's not good, right? So if my wife does nice things for me, and I never do anything nice for my wife, it's certainly not codependent of her to have a problem with that, right? So it's reasonable to want reciprocity, and it's healthy to want reciprocity, but it's important to be honest about it, right? That's the big thing. You have to be honest about it in order for it to be moral. So if the mother says, well, here's the thing. I'm going to spend time with you. I'm going to make your lunch and I'm going to play Monopoly with you and I'm going to take you to the doctors. I'm doing all of this and you then have to take care of me when I get old or you have to do whatever I say and not voice any disagreement.

[22:23] So that would be crazy, right? Like if you said that openly, right? Like, mom, my tummy hurts. I think I need to go to the doctor. Well, okay, I'll take you to the doctor, but you have to take care of me when I get old. And you're six, so you can agree to that. If you heard a parent saying that, that would be awful, right? That would be a terrible thing. And so if you are honest about it, and it sounds insane, plain that to me would be in the realm of codependency like if you were like this woman a friend of my mother's who you know was making endless jokes i remember the jokes she made about canada's newspaper called the globe and mail and she said ah the grope and fail you know just these kinds of like cheesy bad jokes and like literally holding on to my arm her eyes pleading like don't go to bed you know and i just go home you know and and that sort of so if she were to say i don't care that you are, I don't know, a 13-year-old kid. You've got to stay up and chat with me because I can't stand my own company. I can't stand being alone. You have to stay up until 3 in the morning with this drunk woman in her 40s because, you know, like that would be crazy, right? So she can't be honest about what she needs. Well, of course, if you say to a friend, you know.

[23:45] I've helped you move the last two times. Like if you say, can you help me move? And he says, no. I say, well, look, I mean, I did actually help you move the last two times. And I think it would be, I think it's fair and reasonable to come and help me move if you can, right? And well, that's not a crazy thing to say, right? So if you have, if you can be honest about the interaction, then that's great. So the woman, and there's lots of different ways to be dishonest about your relationship. So if the woman who says, oh, my husband's a drunk, it's so terrible, it's so embarrassing, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, then all she does is complain about the relationship. But that's not honest because she stays in the relationship. So she's not being honest about the secondary gains, right? So secondary gains, you know, like in economics, there's the visible benefit and then there's the hidden cost, right? The government spends $5 million generating some jobs, but then you see those jobs, you don't see all the jobs that weren't created because the government took $5 million from productive people, blah, blah, blah, right? So in the same way that you have to look for the hidden costs, not just the visible benefits in economics, right? The seen versus the unseen, which is really the essence of economics, which is what makes it kind of an IQ question. Like anybody who says there's nothing but benefits does not understand economics at all, right? So in the same way as you look not just at the visible.

[25:03] Benefits but the hidden costs in relationships the economics in a sense are not just the visible costs but the hidden benefits right so anyone says well we got to spend five the government's going to spend five billion dollars and create all these jobs and we just have the economy net positive these jobs so it's just it's all benefit it's all plus it's all good they're lying i mean they're just lying straight i mean that's not even they're mistaken like they're just, they're just lying it's like all the people who say well you should definitely just buy a house you should just buy a house because otherwise you're just throwing your money away renting like there's only one decision buy a house right and it's like but no that's not even close to the only decision and that's not even close to the only decision point so they're just it's lying it's manipulative and it usually has to do with trying to sell you something that can't stand scrutiny when people just pretend all there is is these benefits oh look at that sorry bitcoin coin just popped up 94.5 Canadian. Anyway, just happened to notice that. So in the same way in relationships, when people complain, complain, complain, oh, my husband, he's mean, he's a drunk, he's this, he's that, the other. So they're complaining about the relationship and they're lying because they're not answering the question. The question isn't, why are you with him?

[26:19] That's not the question. I mean, it's not the most interesting question. The most interesting question is not why are you with him? The most interesting question is, why did you choose him? Why did you choose him? And you've heard me, of course, in my call-in shows, ask this question a million times. So the woman who says, oh, my husband are drunk. He's just mean. He's terrible. It doesn't work. Okay. So she's talking about the costs, but she's not talking about the hidden benefits. And that's as false, again, as talking about the benefits without talking about the hidden costs of government programs. And so to me, the codependency is when the woman can't say—.

[26:57] The Importance of Honesty in Relationships

[26:57] Honest relationship would be, he is a drunk, he is mean, he is unemployed, but my self-esteem is so in the toilet that I think this is the best I can do, and I'm absolutely terrified to leave him because I don't feel like I have an identity, because all I do is manipulate others by providing them benefits that serve me, right? So the honesty is the opposite of the codependency.

[27:31] The codependency is playing the victim and blaming others, which is not talking about the hidden motivations behind relationships, right?

[27:40] Hidden Motivations Behind Relationships

[27:40] The hidden motivations behind relationships. This happens, of course, with people who complain about the sort of two tempestuous areas of childhood, which is the terrible twos and the mid-teens, right? And they They say, oh, you know, my kid's just got this real temper, just blows up for no reason, blah, blah, blah. And it's like, well, whenever I've talked to people about that in detail, there's always a history of aggression in the family. That is what the child is modeling his behavior off, right? I mean, I was talking to a fellow who did a long call and show last night with a fellow whose son is hitting himself in the head. But it turns out that the son, unfortunately, has seen direct physical violence between the parents. And so it doesn't come out of nowhere. And so, to me, the codependence is lying about the hidden benefits of a relationship and using other people to deliver some sort of happiness or at least relief from a negative from other people. And, of course, you see this in relationships all the time, which is you meet, oh, this is the greatest person ever. This is the best person. He's my person.

[28:48] The High and Falsehood in Relationships

[28:49] She's the love of my life. But then there's this high, right, when the first and first takes, first takes herald, when it's a high.

[28:54] And then there's a falsehood, and in the relationship, and I think we've all been in that situation where somebody is riding a real high because they met someone, right, somebody, I mean, I had this a couple of months ago. Somebody I knew was on a real high meeting someone, and I won't get into any particular details, but there were significant red flags in the relationship. Significant red flags. And what happens is you say something. Actually, I said I spent an hour with the person, hour and a half, saying here's all the things that I consider to be red flags. And there's just this resentment. Right.

[29:34] Just like you're taking away my drug how dare you and so the high then turns into not just the pursuit of the high like all addictions go from the pursuit of the high to the avoidance of the low right so you're high yeah you are so great to get the heroin i guess in your veins and then you just have to take the heroin to avoid the withdrawal and it's the same thing with relationships right that you you get involved in these fairly toxic relationships and initially there's a high like a relief from loneliness and a fusion and a union, and then you don't end up chasing the high, or you end up not chasing the high, you end up avoiding the hangover, like the isolation and the loneliness, because those toxic relationships hollow you out in the same way that when you take too much, well, if you take drugs that elevate your happy joy chemicals, then when you stop taking those drugs, you get the crash. And when you take relationships to avoid dealing with isolation or loneliness or sadness or trauma or sorrow, and then that hollows you out and then you're less capable of dealing with those emotions so you get really wedded to that relationship so i'll i have more to talk about in a slightly different context but i just wanted to see if this generally makes sense and is of value and.

[30:49] If there's any sort of questions or comments so far good helpful useful so yeah does a middle-aged man who buys women cars and houses to receive sex and affection count as codependent it's not.

[31:01] Codependent if you're honest about it like i know they don't like me and but i buy them stuff and i get sex and they pretend to like me and that's enough right somebody says codependent people like myself tend to end up in relationships with narcissists even the data points to this as a symbiotic relationship your thoughts right right so you pretend to be serving the narcissist when you are in fact serving yourself and that's the falsehood to me at the root of being codependent right so the solution to codependence is the solution to just about everything that's corrupt the solution to codependence is honesty and universalism right so if serving others is a virtue then others should serve you can this be universalized can I serve my wife at the same time as she's serving me can I serve her I mean obviously there's overlap and so on but for the most part self-sacrifice requires someone to be collecting and there is a sweet relief from free will being a codependent this is sort of the second part there's sort of three parts i wanted to get to the second part is there's a sweet relief from free will being codependent because all you do instead of making your own choices your own decisions your own values your own progress your own goals what do you do well all you do is you scan other people.

[32:25] Sweet Relief from Free Will

[32:26] For what they need and provide it for that feeling of self-righteousness, control and accumulated obligation, like you can bully them.

[32:34] So it's a sweet relief from the sometimes appalling responsibility in life of free will and self-ownership. It's a sweet relief from that to simply scan other people, serve their needs, and feel like a good, victimized, exploited person. It's mildly masochistic, right? So can it be universalized? Well, no, it can't be universalized. But is it seductive to avoid free will by serving others? Absolutely. Because then you don't have to define your life for yourself. All you have to do is serve other people and accumulate resentment.

[33:09] Somebody says, I see that happening a lot with pets. Pet owners aggressively cuddling their dog or cat when it's obvious the animal does not like it. Yeah, that's a very, very good point. I hadn't thought of that, but that's a very, very good point. Would you say codependent people mask transactional relationships as non-transactional relationships? That's a bit abstract, and I may have misunderstood that.

[33:26] The Reciprocity Question in Relationships

[33:26] But codependent people mask well all relationships are transactional there's nothing wrong with that i mean you guys are here to hopefully get some wisdom i'm here to explain something and and provide a show and we hope to be win-win all adult relationships are transactional but i think that, what happens with codependent people is they won't talk about the hidden benefits And what they do is, right, that's the big question or problem. Is it reciprocal? So, of course, by reciprocal, what I mean is, does she also work to provide you what you want, if you have some particular preference or something that you like? like. So, my wife does a lot for me, and, you know, honestly, I mean, there's a couple of thoughts I have when I wake up. Hey, good to still be alive. It's always a good thing to think in the morning, and what can I do to help the world today, and what can I do to make my family's lives better today, right? That's sort of a thing that I work with as a whole.

[34:33] So, I think that if your wife likes the date night, that's fine, but what does she do to make you happy? I don't like, and maybe this is more universal, but I'll just sort of tell you straight up. I don't like any woman to tell me what my role as a man is. I've never liked that. I don't like any man to tell me what my role as a man is. But the problem is, like a real man would. A man's role is, that's not my role, that's your role. It's like, you know, you're not a dude, so maybe you shouldn't be telling me what a dude should be or should do or what the role of a dude is, right? I mean, or if she's comfortable saying that your job as a man is to plan dates and take me out on dates, then is she willing to also accept that you can define...

[35:29] Her role as a woman is. As a woman, you must do X, Y, and Z, right? That's the question. That's the question. And if she is willing to have you define what a woman should and must do, as a woman, in other words, if she's willing to let you define what a woman is and what a woman should do, well, that's fine.

[35:53] Importance of Reciprocity in Relationships

[35:54] But I'm going to go out on a limb here and I'm going to guess, and probably do more than guess, that she can tell you what a man should do, right? So she can tell you what a man should do, but I'm going to be pretty sure that you can't tell her what her role and job as a woman is to do. So again, that's the reciprocity thing that I think is important. That's the reciprocity thing that I think is important. All right, let me get to, Two, at what point is it advisable for someone to go to therapy?

[36:27] Knowing When to Seek Therapy

[36:27] Well, I think when your habits are interfering with productive and sustainable and healthy activities of the realm of work and or love.

[36:36] Wouldn't codependency then be on the narcissistic spectrum? I don't think so. But again, I'm no expert in this, so you might want to look that up or ask an expert. The conversation is making me think how it's important to be upfront about the hidden benefits I get out of the relationships in my life. Yeah, you don't want the relationships to be completely incomprehensible, right? And this is what happens is that there's something that's foundationally incomprehensible about how people talk about their relationships. And that incomprehensibility is a sign that something toxic and manipulative is going on. So, of course, the people who are on the receiving end of money spent by the government for, let's say, the government spends the aforementioned $5 million to create jobs, the people who are getting that money, they want to tell you that it's all benefit and no cost. It's the most wonderful thing. It's all benefit. It's no cost.

[37:32] And that's manipulative because they just, they want the money. And you've all heard this argument like, well, we need to raise the minimum wage, right? I think what in some places has gone to like 30 bucks, which is just, but because they want to get people on UBI and so they're making, actually having jobs, right? The reason they want to raise the minimum wage, it's sort of two major reasons. One is that they want to cover up how bad the government schools are because they've had you for 12 years and you can't even make, you're not even worth 20 bucks an hour or 15 bucks an hour, 10 bucks an hour. So that's number one. But number two is they want people to be replaced by machines so that those people end up receiving government money, right? They end up receiving government money rather than paying taxes. Any government that wants to grow has to get you to stop working. Any government, or if you're going to work, which is the case for a lot of women, at least work for the government. So the relationships are kind of incomprehensible for a lot of people.

[38:25] Incomprehensibility of Relationships

[38:25] You see some guy, and she's with a guy who's terrible. Or you see some guy who's with a girl who's terrible, and they won't tell you why they're there. They'll play the victim. And then when you say, well, why did you choose him? They'll just make up stuff. And this lying is foundational to codependency. So they'll just make up stuff.

[38:43] So some guy who's terrible, and you say, well, why are you with him? Well, he was wonderful in the beginning. there was absolutely no sign and he just changed. And now I have kids and we have a life together and I've got to sort of push through for the sake of the kids and all of that. I mean, this is all a lie. I mean, if there's one thing, like we could not have survived as a species if women couldn't choose reliable men, right? Like we are only here. Forget about how big our brains are. That's also essential. But we could not have survived as a species if women could not choose reliable men. So any woman who says I couldn't choose a reliable man is lying this has been my sort of foundational belief since long before the show and I've had many conversations about this with women over the years of course you've heard them in the call-in shows but even just I just I just can't I can't stand it when people lie about that I can't stand it because it sends all the wrong signals to everyone so a woman who chooses an unreliable man a woman who chooses a bad man is an addict and addiction i think is an aspect or maybe even the largest fear in which codependency which is addiction to relationships when not addiction to proximity at the expense of integrity.

[40:00] Like if someone says to you like the equivalent to me a woman who says oh the guy abandoned me or the guy turned out to be mean or bad or inconstant or lazy bum or whatever right so to me See you next time.

[40:15] Addiction and Codependency

[40:16] That has as much credibility if you say to someone who's like in the later stages of heroin addiction and they've lost half their teeth and their house and their marriage and their job or whatever living on the streets and you say well why are you an addict and they say well i'm i just i made i mean the honest answer is i made a whole series of bad decisions, and i ended up addicted right it's on me i mean yes it's true that addicts come from abusive households as a whole but that doesn't mean that everyone who's abused becomes an addict because some people make better choices. Now, if somebody who's a heroin addict and is in the later stages of the addiction and may not be long for this world, if they say, well, you know, it's weird. This doesn't make any sense to me. There's no way I should have ended up here.

[40:58] Because heroin was just totally fantastic when I first took it. And it was fantastic for quite a while. Like it was the most wonderful, like a universal hug from God. Like it was the most wonderful thing. This heroin was the greatest thing. And then it just kind of mysteriously turned on me. Like the highs got less, and then I began to have horrifying experiences and terrifying physical pain when I didn't have heroin. So it's weird. I don't understand it. It started off wonderful and then went to hell. Well, I mean, welcome to all addictions. So when people say, oh, he was wonderful at the beginning, and there's no way I could possibly have figured out that he was a bad guy. Well, you know, as I mentioned in the show, relatively recently, there's no way we could have developed the big brain to play the victim if women had been unable to choose good men. Because the good men would not have provided, the women would not have been able to feed their kids, and we all would have died off. So the one thing, there's lots of things that women are great at, but what women are the greatest at is figuring out who's going to stick around. Because if they can't figure that out, the women who couldn't figure that out, those genes died off like a million years ago, like long gone, they're long gone.

[42:15] So, it's sort of like the people who say, well, I mean, I ate this food, it was furry and tasted like hell, but there was absolutely no way for me to figure out that it was bad for me. Now I've got this terrible stomach cramp and there was just no way. So, yeah, that's just lying. And the lying is the addiction. All addicts lie and codependents lie about all of this. All right.

[42:38] Exploring Family Dynamics

[42:38] Sorry, sir, somebody says, sorry for the incomplete thought regarding my mother saying me and and my wife were codependent, but I got angry when I asked her to talk about my childhood trauma. I am asking if that could be codependent on my mom's part. Her and my dad would often point out that I was codependent with my wife, but the moment I brought up childhood, they reacted like they had been caught stealing from a shop. Red-handed. Oh, you'd like to talk, but you have a bad cough, so apologies. Okay, okay. So, I mean, the word codependent is often thrown around as kind of an insult, and parents have no right to complain about this on the part of their children, right because if you are a parent and let's say you raised a child who could legitimately by some expert be described as codependent if you did that then that's on you right i mean as a child of course as an adult child it's your job to kind of fix this over time but your parents can't complain that you were just mysteriously codependent and who could possibly know how this happened, and they're criticizing you from a distance.

[43:39] Understanding the Roots of Codependency

[43:39] So I'm happy if anybody has any sort of comments or questions to talk about with regards to codependency, I'd like to sort of bring the third act of the play to its conclusion so that I can sort of talk about the why, because I'm always fascinated by the why. I don't take anything in the human mind as a given. It is all adapted. So the question is, why is there such a thing as codependency? And I won't sort of keep pausing. If there's something you want to mention, you can just unmute and talk and we can take it from there. So yeah, the question is, why is there such a thing as codependency? It's a very, very big question. So, I want you to think of slavery, right? So, just remember, like, slavery has been anywhere from sort of 1% to, if you count serfdom as slavery, 45% in the Roman Empire, it was often 20 to 30% of people were slaves, right? Right. And you could make the case that women have their own subservience that was a little bit higher because of their dependence upon male resources and the constant disabling of women through pregnancy and breastfeeding and all of that and having to run after toddlers.

[44:53] So if we look at, you know, Nietzschean master morality and slave morality. Right. So what would help you be a slave? What would help you to be a slave? Well, a tendency to feel guilty when asserting yourself. Would that help you? Like, emotional things that say, don't assert yourself.

[45:16] Does that help you to be a slave? Well, sure. Absolutely. Absolutely. It helps you, right, to not assert yourself. Because if you assert yourself as a slave, you can get killed or sold somewhere else or beaten or something like that. A tendency, oh, a tendency to do more than your share all the time. Does that help you be a slave? So remember, being a slave was a perfectly valid way to survive and reproduce in the past. I'm not talking morally. I'm just talking about biologically. In other words, you always risk being sold into slavery, like you lose a battle and you get sold into slavery a lot of times, if you don't just get killed, right? So a human being, particularly women, but men as well, always face the risk of either being born into slavery or becoming slaves, right? I mean, as we talked about Plato, when he ran for office in Syracuse, he ended up being sold into slavery, right? So if you are a slave, should you do more than your share, that's fair all the time? Well, of course, because if you don't, right, if you run your master's bath and then you say, okay, come on, man, I've run your bath for the last three nights. It's time for you to run my bath. Well, good luck, right? Not getting beaten, sold, or killed.

[46:30] So, an exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions of others. Sure. Sure. You have to care about the master. The master doesn't have to care about you. An unhealthy dependence on relationships. Well, sure. The codependent will do anything to hold on to a relationship to avoid the feeling of abandonment. Well, if you're a slave and no one has any use for you, you get turned out, you become homeless, starving, a beggar, or whatever, right? You're done. So yes, you have to really focus on relationships and so on, right?

[47:01] And a compelling need to control others. Absolutely. Now that might seem counterintuitive, but if you've grown up with a volatile parent, you know exactly what I'm talking about. You need to control the mood of your parents. And you do that through generosity, manipulation, appeasement, lying. Oh, you look wonderful in that jacket, master, whatever, right? I mean, that's what you do. If you've got a volatile, aggressive person who has control and power over you, then what you desperately want to do is to control the master, right? So that the master doesn't beat you, the master doesn't, I mean, if you're a female and attractive or whatever, just a female, he rapes you or sells you or whatever it is, right? A lack Lack of trust in yourself. Well, of course, if you're a slave, you have to conform to the will and wishes of your masters because that's how you survive. So you can't trust yourself. All you can do is like water being poured into any fashionable container. You have to wrap yourself around the needs of others, right? Difficulty identifying feelings. Well, sure, because your feeling is to serve. And you must serve and you must kind of blank out your own feelings in order to serve the master so that you survive, right? Problems with boundaries. Well, of course, the master will order you to do anything and you kind of have to do it or you get beaten, killed, sold, tossed out or whatever, right?

[48:14] Chronic anger for sure yeah so deep down of course there's the chronic anger lying and dishonesty yeah i mean to be a slave is to lie right to be a slave is to lie and the blacks in america of course have a phrase for this they have more than one phrase but the phrase of course as you know from was it harriet beecher stowe's famous novel uncle tom's cabin that if a black is perceived to be sucking up to the power structure they call the black person and Uncle Tom, right?

[48:45] Signs of Codependency in Slavery

[48:45] That you're only pretending to like it in order for the master to throw you, you know, kibbles or whatever, right? So yeah, lying in dishonesty, you can't express your anger, you can't express your frustration, you can't have any boundaries, you can't have your own free will, there's no point identifying your emotions, and you have to lie and appraise your master, right? So this is the whole journey of Winston Smith in 1984, that he ends up loving Big Brother. Difficulty making decisions, well yeah, of course you have difficulty making decisions because your decisions are made by your master. And if you make your own decisions, your master is just going to overwrite your decisions, right? So, of course, right?

[49:26] So let's talk about the questionnaire. So questionnaire to identify signs of codependency. And I would change this to questionnaire to identify useful habits for slaves. slaves, right? So, do you keep quiet to avoid arguments? Well, as a slave, of course. Of course you do, right? Are you always worried about others' opinions of you? Well, as a slave, you have to be. The master doesn't care about the slave's opinion of the master, but the master's opinion really matters to the slave. Are the opinions of others more important than your own? Well, as a slave, absolutely. That would have to be the case, right?

[50:00] Do you doubt your ability to be who you want to be? Well, of course, and you have to doubt that ability, and you have to crush your desire to be who you want to be, right? Are you uncomfortable expressing your true feelings to others? Well, slaves would be, of course, right? Do you feel inadequate? Well, sure, you have to feel lower or lesser as a slave. Do you feel like a bad person when you make a mistake? Well, when the master makes a mistake, the slave has to ignore it. When the slave makes a mistake, the master can beat him. So yes, of course, you feel bad when you make a mistake, right? Do you have difficulty taking compliments or gifts? Well, sure, because as a slave, you shouldn't get them and you don't deserve them, right? Do you feel humiliation when your child or spouse makes a mistake? Well, of course, right? So if you are a slave and you're married and your wife makes a mistake, you'll get punished as well. So you do feel bad when that happens, right? Do you think people in your life would go downhill without your constant efforts? Well, the slave, of course, has to have that perception that they're necessary to the life of the master and have to worship the master. That's the best way to be a slave and so on, right? Do you frequently wish someone would help you get things done.

[51:00] Well, of course, slaves always want other people, but they don't have any control to get things done, right? Do you have difficulty talking to people in authority, such as the police or your boss? Well, if you're a slave, of course you do, right? Are you confused about who you are or where you're going with your life? Well, sure, if you're a slave, then you are what the master tells you to do and where you're going with your life is what the master tells you to do. Do you have trouble saying no when asked for help?

[51:23] Well, the slave can't say no, right? The master says, come here and do this. The slave doesn't say, well, maybe later I've got something of my own like you just have to do it right do you have trouble asking for help sure so a slave who asks for help becomes less valuable as a slave right because then you need two slaves to do the job of one do you have so many things going on at once that you can't do justice to any of them that of course is the issue with the slave and so on have you ever lived with someone who hits or belittles you well again that would be a slave experience so yeah so i just sort of wanted to point out that the codependency to me would have a perfectly valid obviously immoral right obviously slavery is evil and immoral.

[52:00] Evolution of Codependency for Survival

[52:00] But why does codependency exist? Because it is necessary for survival as a slave. And I think if we look at it from that standpoint, I think we get some quite, useful information about it. And we can understand that this mindset has evolved for the very specific reason of allowing the slave to stay alive and to reproduce. Or to put Put in another way, the slaves who didn't adopt codependency as their primary mindset rarely survived to reproduction.

[52:33] So I wanted to point that out, like there's not a mystery. I think there's not much of a mystery as to why this exists as a whole. All right, so that's my sort of major thought on codependency, because I did have somebody who wanted at least my thoughts on it. So parents who raise children to be codependent are slave parents who have the instinct to raise their children in this mindset because slavery is generally inherited. I mean, maybe you could win your freedom from time to time, But slavery is generally inherited. If your parents are slaves, then you'll be a slave.

[53:06] Inherited Codependency from Parents

[53:06] So the parents who are raising their children, according to this mindset, are raising their children to survive in the very common human institution throughout most of human history of slavery, right? Everybody was a slave, everybody knew slaves, a lot of societies were built on between, you know, 10 to 45% enslavement or more in other areas. You think of the agricultural concerns, I mean, the typical with the antebellum South in America where you have, you know, 90% of the people on the farm would be slaves, right? Right. So raising children to lie, to manipulate, to self-pity, to self-erase in someone, these would be foundational survival skills for slaves. And so, of course, the challenge is if you were born a slave, you didn't usually become a freeman.

[53:53] But we, of course, have the option in the modern world to no longer be slaves. That means challenging some of this codependent mindset and working for more freedom. All right. So that's what I wanted to mention. I really, really appreciate it dropping by. Of course, if you find this kind of information helpful, slash donate to help out the show would be greatly, greatly appreciated. And I will see you guys later. And don't forget to everybody who donates this month, the slash donate gets the Peaceful Parenting book, audio book, and access to the Peaceful Parenting AI. All right. Sorry, somebody had a low. Thanks, everyone. Thank you very much. Appreciate you dropping by. Have yourself a lovely afternoon. Lots of love from up here.

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