Codependency & Conversation
I am still working through my codependency after three years of therapy.
I have been able to let go of controlling behaviors reasonably well and recognize a lot of the codependent symptoms before they get out of control. The one thing, however, that remains to get me down more than anything is my inability to talk easily with other people.
My conversation is so wrapped in fear that I steer away from being open and honest with people or from letting anyone get close, or even hear my opinions or anything to do with me.
It means that I am lonely a lot of the time and envious of others who are able to relax into conversation and not feel the need to run away.
My question is, how do I learn better communication skills? All of the books I have read make it sound so easy, but nothing seems to work.
This is not a codependency issue. It may be anxiety related to fear of judgment, however, it’s difficult to tell from your inquiry.
It’s pretty hard to learn communication skills from a book, because you have to practice by actually doing it. A workshop in public speaking would be helpful. This is particularly hard for most of us to do, but with practice the fear diminishes.
You shouldn’t open yourself to everyone. People have to earn your trust so keep the conversation light and general.
Codependents have difficulty setting boundaries, so start slowly. Inquire about the other person first and see if you can establish any common ground. The conversation begins from there.
The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll feel.