Episode #48: Tips for Dismantling the Devaluing Codependent Dysfunction

How do you react when your friend or partner starts a conversation with: “You won’t believe how stupid I am”? Trust us, we’ve been there too, and our first reaction is to jump in and affirm them that they are great, intelligent, wonderful and definitely not stupid. Negative self-talk is one of the most common strategies of people who suffer from the Devaluing Codependent Dysfunction.

This disarming strategy has a way of triggering a desire to protect those who use it from themselves. As we contradict their negative descriptions of themselves, we find ourselves arguing for them while they disparage themselves. Friends or family members who use this tactic cause us to stop expecting much from them and cause us to do things to make them feel better. It’s like they can’t help themselves from constantly comparing themselves and coming up short.

In this episode, we start our series of the four Submissive Codependent Strategies used in relationships, starting with a deep dive into the Devaluing Codependent Dysfunction. We talk about how it manifests in relationships and reveal that it is actually a survival coping strategy used by certain personality types because they got stuck in their development. We’ll also recount many stories (our own and of our client’s) and share tips and tricks for dismantling this dysfunction. You might recognize yourself, your partner, or your boss in this session, so make sure you listen. Tune in to make sure you don’t miss out on the gems we share this week!

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  • [02:22] Episode Introduction and Overview
  • [03:23] What Is the Devaluing Codependent Dysfunction?
  • [13:53] Behaviors of the Strategy
  • [27:09] Tips for Dismantling the Strategy
  • [40:51] Episode Gem
  • [41:59] Episode Wrap Up



  • Devaluing Codependents are on a perpetual quest to discover what’s wrong with them to explain why they think so little of themselves. Exploring their faults in minute detail seems more compelling to them than building self-awareness and confidence. They’re more likely to get down on themselves for not being confident than to use affirmations to build confidence. The search for their fatal flaw absorbs them, as do all their perceived imperfections and inadequacies.
  • People who use the Devaluing Codependent Strategy expect others to contradict them and tell them they are better than how they are describing themselves. When they present a devalued version of themselves it’s automatic that one would jump in and try to get them to see themselves realistically. But their power is in getting others to take care of them and do things for them that they say they are incapable of doing.
  • Devaluing Codependents have little tolerance for anxiety and interpersonal tension and avoid situations that are likely to cause it. They feel victimized by the demands of others, believing that others expect too much of them when they perceive themselves as always doing for and giving to others.
  • If you are struggling in relationships because you or others are using the Devaluing Dysfunctional Codependent Strategy, 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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