Episode #46: Tips for Dismantling Codependent Holiday

OMG, I hate this time of year. The gift giving is so stressful, I never have enough time to prepare properly, my family is insane, and I feel like such a disappointment! HELP!”. If you have a holiday script like the one above, you are likely on your way to creating anxiety and misery for yourself. Winding ourselves up with “not enough” thoughts and “I’m so stressed” exclamations every 15 minutes is a formula for unhappiness during the season and depression come January.

BUT WAIT… it doesn’t have to be like that!

As we mentioned in Episode 45, Part 1 of our Holiday Special (if you haven’t had a chance to listen to it, make sure you check it out here), the holiday season has a way of triggering codependent patterns of behaviors that seem to arise out of nowhere, changing us from our regular successful and competent adults to emotionally turbulent teens. We forget about the intention of the season and begin to strive to meet the expectations and needs of others, losing ourselves in what we should be doing, rather than doing what we want to do. The good news is, it is possible to change your internal holiday script and have a wonderful festive season despite the triggers we face.

In today’s episode, we continue navigating the intricacies of the holiday season and arm you with some tips and tricks you can use to prevent codependent behavior patterns from spoiling your holiday season. Tune in to make sure you don’t miss out on the gems we share this week!

If you want to know more about Anne & Heather’s work with dismantling dysfunctions, check out:


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  • [01:29] Episode Introduction and Overview
  • [02:27] Why Holiday Season Triggers Self-Protective Behaviors: Recap
  • [07:04] How to Avoid Codependent Holiday Season  
  • [25:04] Episode Gem
  • [26:56] Episode Wrap Up



  • Like it or not, your buttons are your sensitivities, and you have to stop blaming the button pusher. These triggers reveal your insecurity, fear, low self-esteem, or unmet needs. Just because a family member is out of line doesn’t mean you have to react to them. Their behavior is usually motivated by what they want to feel and sometimes has nothing to do with us.
  • Remind yourself not to get pulled into drama. Don’t let your emotional reaction add fuel to the fire. The less energy you put into caretaking the feelings of others when they act out, the better you will feel. If you go into the mediator role, you will adapt, and possibility disappear into coping strategies, likely drinking and eating.
  • The season is meant to be fun, not something to hate. And while it can be easy to get wrapped up in all the logistics the season requires, constantly ticking things off to-do lists, don’t lose yourself and what your goal is. You want to enjoy, to celebrate, not to be the Grinch. Remember all the things you enjoy doing and notice when you are saying “I’m too old, or it’s too cold.”
  • If you are struggling in relationships because you or others are using the codependent behaviors, you are not alone. Contact us for more information on how we can help.




"Deciding to compensate for poor performance instead of managing it is an act of self- disempowerment."
episode 18 quote tile 2 - "When acting from the Victim Leadership Persona, our power and sense of personal agency is taken away by seeing situations through a  lens of helplessness."
episode 18 quote tile 2 - "When acting from the Victim Leadership Persona, our power and sense of personal agency is taken away by seeing situations through a  lens of helplessness."
episode 18 quote tile 3 - "Self-disempowerment starts from within. Leaders need to recognize when they are keeping their self-esteem low."

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