Episode #49: Tips for Dismantling the Dismissing Codependent Dysfunction

It’s not uncommon for certain personalities to believe they are the smartest person in the room. But being in a relationship with someone like this is exhausting. Not surprising, those in a relationship with a Dismissing Codependent become fatigued by their arrogance, condescension, and superiority. And when they try to confront it, well, the Dismissing Codependent simply disappears behind their wall, unreachable and untouchable making their partner even more furious.

Dismissive Codependents create psychological safety for themselves by acting independently within their relationships. These people want to be left alone to do their own thing and are afraid that if they engage too much with people, they will get bogged down unnecessarily. They keep themselves emotionally isolated for fear of being hurt, rejected, or devalued. While the Dismissing Codependent wants to be in a relationship, they don’t share themselves with their partner, nor demonstrate any interest in what their partner wants to share, which can lead to resentment and further relationship problems.

In this episode, we continue our series of the four Submissive Codependent Strategies used in relationships, deep diving into the Dismissing 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 clients) 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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  • [02:08] Episode Introduction and Overview
  • [03:12] What Is the Dismissive Codependent Dysfunction?
  • [13:38] Behaviors of the Strategy
  • [28:15] Tips for Dismantling the Strategy
  • [45:30] Episode Gem
  • [46:54] Episode Wrap Up



  • Dismissive Codependents primary relationship is the pursuit of knowledge and expertise with relationships taking second place. They spend more time in their inner world than in the external where we, of course, engage with and relate to others. They don’t see the point of putting energy into relationships in an area where they don’t feel competent.
  • Feeling incompetent frustrates their need to be knowledgeable which means that if they are asked about their feelings, they immediately go behind their wall, adopting an indifferent, aloof persona that uses dismissing tactics to communicate to the other person, they are not at all interested in this topic. Others feel shut down, dismissed and confused about their reactions.
  • The Dismissive Codependent has an aura of arrogance that makes getting close to them seem improbable. They are detached, act superior, and are argumentative for no other reason but to stop others from expressing feelings or to keep them at a distance. They express their negative opinions about the ideas of others directly and, at times, forcefully.
  • If you are struggling in relationships because you or others are using the Dismissing 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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