The more I beat myself up, the more uncomfortable I am.
The more uncomfortable I am, the less I am able to connect with others.
The less I connect with others, the more isolated I feel.
The more isolated I feel, the more I beat myself up.
I thought I was the only one who lived within that cycle. Because of my codependency, I would assess what people around me expected me to be, and become that person. This was not too difficult to achieve if I was with one other person, or even in a group of people that I usually saw together. However, when two of these people or groups came together, it was impossible to be what I perceived was expected of me by both parties. This brought on anxiety that was overwhelming, and so I avoided situations that might put me in the midst of other people.
Yet it never occurred to me that how I behaved should not be determined by what others expected or wanted.