Many of us are familiar with the "ACA Characteristics" or "Laundry List" of ACA behaviors.
Here is a more in depth description of behaviors resulting from being brought up in a "dysfunctional family". A dysfunctional family is a family system based on "denial" or "shame-based rules" in which there is always an avoidance of confrontation and inability to resolve conflict.
Codependent characteristics and attitudes:
* think and feel responsible for other people.
* feel pity when other people have a problem.
* feel compelled to help that person solve the problem.
* feel angry when your help isn't effective.
* find themselves doing more than their fair share of the work.
* over commit themselves.
* feel victimized, unappreciated, and used.
* come from repressed families.
* get defensive when others criticize them.
* reject compliments or praise.
* take things personally.
* have been victims of sexual or emotional abuse.
* feel like victims.
* get artificial feelings of self-worth from helping others.
* wish other people would like and love them
* become afraid to let themselves be who they are.
* appear rigid and controlled.
* feel terribly anxious about problems and people.
* lose sleep over problems or other people's behavior.
* feel unable to quit thinking and worrying about other people or problems
* become afraid to allow events to happen naturally.
* think they know best how things should turn out.
* try to control events and people through coercion and advice-giving.
* pretend circumstances aren't as bad as they are.
* go to doctors and get tranquilizers.
* become workaholics.
* don't feel happy, content, or peaceful with themselves.
* feel terribly threatened by the loss of any person they think provides their happiness.
* don't love themselves.
* often seek love from people incapable of loving.
* don't take time to see if other people are good for them.
* look to relationships to provide all their good feelings.
* stay in relationships that don't work.
* tolerate abuse to keep people loving them.
* don't say what they mean.
* take themselves too seriously.
* gauge their words carefully to achieve a desired effect.
* try to say what they think will please people.
* avoid talking about themselves.
* gradually increase their tolerance until they can tolerate and do things they said they never would.
* let others hurt them.
Lack of Trust
* try to trust untrustworthy people.
* are afraid of their own anger.
* are afraid to make other people feel anger.
* repress their angry feelings.
* do mean and nasty things to get even.
* feel increasing amounts of anger, resentment, and bitterness.
* are caretakers in the bedroom.
* withdraw emotionally from their partner.
* reduce sex to a technical act.
* have strong sexual fantasies about other people.
* consider or have an extramarital affair.
* being extremely responsible.
* become martyrs, sacrificing their happiness.
* find it difficult to have fun and be spontaneous.
* stay loyal to people even when it hurts.
Check out the Orange County ACA website at: Orange County Adult Children