Recovered Life
The Recovered Life Show
Are you a codependent gift giver?

Are you a codependent gift giver?

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Kristina Dennis (00:00):
Been doing this for a long time. If you've been the over-gift giver, you're the one who researches to every list and you're giving gifts to the mailman and all of the people that are in your life, and you're doing it to the detriment of yourself. In other words, you don't have the money and you don't have the time and you're starting to, you know, be a Glink toward people because you've put this expectation. That's a big screech stop, stop right there and start doing some inventory, figure out why you're having these feelings or what are the actual feelings that are showing up and then start sitting back and going, okay, what is my motive? Is it to solve somebody else's problem.

Introduction (00:42):
You're listening to the recovered life show the show that helps people in recovery live their best recovered lives. And here is your host Damon, Frank,

Damon Frank (00:52):
Welcome back to the recovered life show. I'm pleased to be joined today by Christina, Dennis covered life contributor, codependency and recovery coach. How you doing today, Christina? I am great.

Kristina Dennis (01:04):
Thank you for having me, Damon. I

Damon Frank (01:06):
Always love having you on the show because we talk about really important topics. And we talk a lot about codependency and the feelings of co-dependency. And I was having a conversation with you on the phone the other day. And we were talking about black Friday. We were talking about shopping and the whole stress of buying for the holidays and the relation between that and codependency. And, you know, I wanted to kind of dive into that on this episode and really talk about, you know, what, you know, what that whole stress, what is that about as far as a codependent lens of overbuying and over-committing financially on the holidays?

Kristina Dennis (01:47):
Absolutely. Well, I think that the holiday gift giving can be one of the biggest slippery slopes for co-dependence who are trying to not be codependent in their behaviors anymore because commercialism, as well as expectations, bring us to that place where we feel like we are not enough, unless we over-give, we are.

Damon Frank (02:14):
Yeah. You know, I, I, you know, right now we're in the heart of it like black Friday, doesn't it seem like everything is designed to try to push people almost from a guilty way, especially Brack black Friday. It's like, you have to really overspend and you have to over-commit and you have to do it now and you have to do it this weekend and you know, and you better do a lot of it.

Kristina Dennis (02:37):
Right? And I mean, for a codependent, it's very difficult to not feel like they're going to measure up. But when you have commercialism, when you have past give gift giving histories, in which you've gone over the top, you're going to feel like it's your job to go out and get the most expensive gift or the biggest gift or the most perfect gift for that person. It has become almost, uh, almost sacrilegious to not be able to be good at gift giving. If you look around, everybody has a top 10 list of what to purchase every, you know, communication that's out there is based around us solving our relationship issues through gift giving. It's impossible to do it.

Damon Frank (03:22):
You, you said it solving our relationships through gift giving and you know, what is the tie in there with codependency and this overspending? Because I think when you, when you talk about codependency, you're really inevitably talking about relationships. Right? Right. So what is, what is that tying in, in, in what do people who have identified themselves as possibly codependent or have traits of codependency? How does this relate to over-giving in the holidays?

Kristina Dennis (03:50):
Absolutely. Well, first and foremost, you have to figure out what your motivations are for the gift giving as a codependent, we usually depend on others, opinions of us to create our own value. So if you have gotten a hit from giving a perfect gift in the past, or you have become quote, generous, you know, with your gift giving, oh, you always give the most perfect gift. You may feel like you're actually having withdrawal symptoms. If you stop partaking in that kind of behavior, it is so difficult to separate what is the expectation and what we are doing and what our motives are. So absolutely check your motives. Why are you giving the gift? Is it to look perfect?

Damon Frank (04:36):
I love the, I love the check, your motives, uh, philosophy, because I think everybody has had that feeling of giving something and the person that receives it just loves it. Right? Yes. And I, and I don't think what you're saying is, is that don't give people things that they're going to love, obviously, as a gift, we want to give something that people like, but it's that feeling that you've just gone too far or this obsession. Right. And I, and I've been there. I have to admit that I've been there before, where I felt like, oh, you know, what kind of obsessed that I've got to get the perfect gift that it got. And, and, you know, really probably if I look at that, it might tie into a past time where I did that and got some sort of acknowledgement for it and really felt that like, oh, wow, that's important that I knocked this out of the park all the time.

Damon Frank (05:25):
When does it, um, you know, can you talk about some of the feelings that go along with this? Because you know, when we talk about, uh, feelings and codependency and gift giving and overspending, there's all different kinds of stuff that's going on. You know, I know when people think about money, they have a lot of fear, right? We have a lot of fear, but at the same time, co-dependencies codependent. People have fear that they're not going to please other people, right? So it feels like this is all, all these feelings are kind of jumbled in together.

Kristina Dennis (05:53):
And it's the worst situation for a codependent to be in when you start having awareness. Um, for instance, many codependents would consider themselves generous. I'm just being generous, but we're doing it from a place of trying to control the other person, trying to move their body to a certain place, expecting a reaction, you know, and it's all about trying to, to, uh, be seen as better than we are the problem with co-dependent who does this over and over again. And I'll speak for my terms. The problem was that if I was giving these extravagant gifts that painted this picture of me being clever and smart and generous and just an over the top, doesn't she know she, you know, she knows exactly what to get me. Oh my gosh, I can't believe you're doing it. I was making the gift giving about me. All right. I wanted to have the shiny lights and all of the credit. And I absolutely was creating this false premise of myself. So ...

Recovered Life
The Recovered Life Show
Information you need to live your best-recovered life. Join host Damon Frank as he brings you addiction recovery stories, news, expert perspectives, and features about life in sobriety and addiction recovery.