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“As a high-functioning codependent, I was so busy helping and controlling other people that I was never vulnerable myself in a real way.” – Terri Cole


Are you endlessly giving and doing for all the people all the time?

Do people come to you when they need something because they know you’ll get it done, no matter what?

If you are nodding your head, you might just be a high-functioning codependent, and this episode is for you.

I am covering what high-functioning codependency is, the considerable cost of being a high-functioning codependent (on you, your relationships, and others), and sharing my own experiences with these disordered relational behaviors– both personally and professionally.


  • 4:00 The definition of high-functioning codependency
  • The costs 
    • 10:10 Trying to control can reduce the quality of your time with loved ones
    • 11:45 It can be difficult to rest and spend time in solitude. 
    • 12:15 You may lose your feeling of identity
    • 13:35 Over-giving can cause resentment and emotional exhaustion can come from over-giving
    • 14:15 High-functioning codependents may enable others to under-function

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    1. Hi Kim- I talk about this a little more in this episode on creating emotional safety in relationships. (You can also read the blog here.)

      I feel you because before my many years of therapy, I was attached to my “yum yuck” – my right and wrong of all things. I was really attached to my need to be right (because it felt safer when I was in control of things) and having things done in the way I wanted. But it was exhausting and bad for all of my relationships because it is an intimacy blocker.

      My advice is to get curious instead, which I go into in more detail in the emotional safety episode. I hope that helps ❤️

        1. Hi Kim- this is the episode where I interviewed Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunter, the creators of Imago Therapy.

          I don’t have a guide for finding a couple’s therapist, unfortunately. You could try looking at The Gottman Institute to begin. Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Gottman are both relationship experts and have created a system just for couples, and therapists can train in this method. They also have a lot of resources on their website (and have published numerous books). If Imago Therapy resonates with you, you can also try a search for couple’s therapists who specialize in that.

          I am wishing you the best!

  1. I can total relate to everything you talked about today. One thing for me personally that I have tried to overcome, is a feeling of guilt when I do not go over and beyond for others or put myself last on the to do list.
    I can see the control aspect you talked about for sure, its like I can't feel good unless "you" feel good.
    As the oldest child of 4 and the only girl, I was expected to help my Mother with my younger brothers. If I wanted to do my own thing, I was shamed for being "selfish". Any suggestions on how to release my guilt when its not even appropriate? Where is the line for achieving balance between selfcare and others-care?

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