The key to happiness is meeting our needs. Although codependents are very good at meeting the needs of other people, many are clueless about their own needs. They have problems identifying, expressing, and fulfilling their needs and wants. They’re usually very attuned to other people and may even anticipate their needs and desires. Over the years, they become so used to accommodating others that they lose the connection to their own needs and wants.
This pattern starts in childhood, when our needs, especially emotional needs, were ignored or shamed. As children, we had to adapt to the needs of our parents, who may have been physically or mentally ill, addicted, or just emotionally or physically unavailable. Some of us had to adapt to the wants and expectations of a selfish or controlling parent just to survive. After a while, rather than be disappointed or shamed for not getting our needs met, we tune them out.