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Codependent Behaviors That Hurt Your Finances

We all want others to like us. However, there some cases in which our efforts to control the environment, and desires for others to like us, become mixed up to the point where we believe we have more control over situations than we do. Additionally, codependency often results in behaviors that are harmful to the codependent person. Concentrating too much on what others want, and trying making other people like you and whether or not it’s the healthy thing to do isn’t just bad for your own emotional health, but it can also be bad for your finances.

Here are a two behaviors that can cause problems with your finances when unchecked:

1. Ignoring Your Needs and Trying to Please Others All the Time

While it’s one thing to be helpful to others, it’s quite another to completely ignore your own needs all the time in an effort to try to please others. When you continually spend money in an effort to fulfill others’ needs, while ignoring your own, it’s easy to run low on funds. Especially since it’s easy to justify spending money on something for someone else than it is to spend money on yourself.

But it’s not just about spending money directly. How far are you willing to drive somewhere for someone? Do you give up inordinate amounts of time to do things for others, when you could be working, or improving yourself? In some cases, you might run yourself ragged, and miss out on opportunities to earn money, if you are always catering to others. While you do want to help, you also don’t want to completely neglect yourself, or get into debt to help meet others’ needs.

Failure to Say No

Much of the time, it’s hard to say no to your children [3] or your spouse, or to others. It’s hard to say no, whether it’s a friend inviting you out for dinner, or your child asking for the latest electronic toy. Saying no is an important part of keeping your finances in order. Sometimes, you just have to say no, even if you want to please the other person. Many of us feel that saying no will lead the other person to like us less.

It can be especially hard to say no to a spouse. I used to have a hard time saying no when my husband wanted to buy something using credit. I’d rationalize it by saying that we could just pay it off soon. But the problem, especially when we first married, was that we didn’t have the money to pay off the credit card. Purchases soon started adding up. I didn’t want to be a wet blanket, so I had a hard time pointing out that we didn’t really have the money, and that we should save up.

Now, though, we talk about purchases ahead of time, and when we need to save up for something, I tell my husband straight up that we have to wait.

In the end, it’s important to recognize when you are trying so hard to be someone else, and please someone else so that they’ll like you, that you are damaging your own finances. It’s important to recognize when this is an issue, and make the necessary changes so that you aren’t putting your finances at risk.