Sorry to say this, but codependents are irredeemable people-pleasers. They will overlook almost anything to gain approval, even from people who abuse them.
In a twisted kind of way, codependent people promote abuse by validating people with bad behavior patterns. They are classic "enablers" because they will never see a fault in people who clearly need to be called out on their behavior.
That makes codependents a narcissist's wet dream. They can attract these personality types in drones.
Narcissists are larger-than-life individuals who can never have too much attention. They also have a grotesque lack of empathy. Codependent people can avoid many traps narcissists set up for their unsuspecting victims and here are some ideas to make this happen.
1. Have Authentic Thoughts
One reason a narcissist looks fine from a codependent's point of view is that the latter sees things with rose-colored glasses. They see what could be as opposed to what is.
They see the narcissist's need for attention as justified rather than the mental problem it really is. But with authentic thinking, a codependent person will understand that indulging a narcissist will encourage their bad behavior towards them.
2. Wash Away The Shame
Codependence is usually based on shame. These people feel that they have something to hide, which makes them less judgmental of bad people with the logic that they are deeply flawed as well.
But getting rid of this shame creates a sense of dignity and self-respect, and that makes a codependent person less likely to allow a narcissist or any other person to take them for a ride without their putting up a fight.
3. Growing Intolerant To Entitlement
Narcissists have a strong sense of entitlement. They believe everyone should care about nothing else but their endless needs. So, saying no to a narcissist's endless list of demands starts with a decision to say no to a desire to support entitlement.
4. Distinguish Between Arrogance And Confidence
A codependent person has a hard time identifying arrogance. A trait narcissists have in abundance. Therefore, someone who is overcoming co-dependence needs to learn to see arrogance and say no to it.
By understanding that arrogance is a cover for insecurity, a codependent person will not find it charming anymore. There is a difference between confidence and arrogance, and codependent people sometimes miss it.
5. Setting Boundaries
Everyone should have boundaries for the sake of peace of mind. It is important to let people know where a relationship with them begins or ends. Letting people know you are not an extension of them, just as they are not an extension of you is important. Setting boundaries will make it easier to understand that a narcissist is trying to take advantage of you.
6. Lose The Envy
A codependent person often admires what others can accomplish as opposed to what they themselves can attain. Things get worse from there as they also start accepting it when people minimize what they can achieve.
This vicious circle ruins their ambitions and their ability to achieve great things in life. But with self-esteem and an attempt to focus on clear life goals, a codependent person can stand up to demeaning words from narcissists that result in feelings of envy.
7. Oppose Exploitation
Codependents have a problem noticing that people are exploiting them. And even when they do, they don't always have the courage to speak up against it. But overcoming codependency comes with a clearer understanding of what exploitation is and a stronger willingness to speak against it.
Being a codependent person makes you easy prey for a narcissist because you will never see their faults. And there is nothing a narcissist loves more than that, except maybe the ability to abuse others without suffering any consequences. But there are ways around this, as we have seen above. Know one thing: codependency can be done away with, but narcissism is incurable.