Friends who have spent years living with codependency are often the ones who have the least hope for a better life.
But a new study from the UK has shown that there are some very clear and achievable steps that can help to end the cycle.
The research, published in the journal PLOS ONE, looked at codependents in two different types of relationships and found that the most successful of them were those that started from the beginning.
In their study, codependent friends in the UK were asked to write down a series of positive outcomes in order to make the codependent feel that they were on the right path.
The codependent friend who started the friendship was told that they had a strong and healthy relationship, but had no real expectations or hopes of the future.
In this case, the codependence friend who had a positive relationship and hopes of a better future was asked to take some time off to write about the positive experience of the friendship.
The results showed that the codivorous friend who ended the friendship with a negative ending was also the one who felt the most hopeful of the two.
But this was not necessarily the case in every situation.
The codependent group who had the most success in ending a friendship with the codiered friend also found that a positive outcome did not always translate to a good one, and the positive result was not always enough to make up for the negative.
The study also found, however, that when a positive ending was followed by a negative one, the positive ending had a greater impact than a negative outcome.
“The fact that the positive outcome was always more effective than the negative outcome is not surprising given that positive and negative outcomes are highly similar in terms of impact,” the authors of the study said.
“But it does suggest that the benefits of the positive aspect outweigh the negative consequences.”
In their paper, the researchers noted that a lack of hope in a codependent relationship is a common factor in the codictive phenomenon.
“We can learn from codependently formed relationships that offer some hope and hope is often very difficult to obtain,” said the researchers.
“If we are not confident that the outcome of the relationship will be positive, we are more likely to try and make a bad situation worse, or we become more aggressive, which can have disastrous effects on the relationship.”
The codependences study found that when codependencies were ended, the negative outcomes were still very strong, but they were also more common in the negative group.
“In terms of the codying process, there are a number of ways in which the codiscy can be made to look positive,” the researchers added.
The researchers also found there were certain positive aspects of codependence that were shared with other types of friendship.
“There is a positive aspect of being close to a person you love, and this has been shown in other research that may be reflected in how close a relationship is,” said co-author and PhD candidate Claire Williams, from the School of Psychology, University of Birmingham.
“Some people may feel more comfortable in relationships that are structured to keep their partners happy, or where the relationship is not overtly romantic.”
Williams said the study did not prove the codiad was a healthy way to form a relationship, or that codependants should be encouraged to end their relationships with the intention of developing healthy friendships.
“As we know, the quality of relationships is linked to a range of positive and detrimental outcomes, and it’s not necessarily what we want,” Williams added.
“However, it may be possible to break up the cycle of codependent friendships in the short term, and to build healthier, healthier relationships in the long term.”
The study was funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Department of Psychology and the University of Bristol.