The symptoms of codependency and codependent behavior often revolve around an excessive, compulsive need to take care of other people at the expense of oneself. When a codependent person recognizes that another person feels sad or upset, for example, he or she will then feel those same emotions rather than simple empathy, and will attempt to immediately resolve the problem. The main signs of codependency involve sacrificing one's own happiness and well being, and viewing oneself as being a completely selfless person, all in the perceived service of another.
An excessive need to please others is another one of the most common symptoms of codependency. Though codependent behavior is most often associated with romantic relationships, it can occur in any type of relationship, such as friendships, familial relationships, or interactions in the workplace. A person who is codependent will not want to voice a differing opinion due to the need to please other people, and because of a fear of rejection. If two people are deciding on something fun to do, for example, the codependent person will generally just go along with whatever the other person wants to do, refusing to voice displeasure even if he or she is not interested in the activity.
The need to control others can be one of the signs of codependency, which may seem strange when compared with the symptoms above. However, the person who is codependent will often give advice without being asked, or will attempt to tell others how they "should" be behaving or feeling. If the other person does not take the advice, the person who is codependent will often feel angry and rejected; it is important for a codependent person to feel needed in every relationship they are in. In addition, frequently giving gifts or doing things for other people is another one of the symptoms of codependency; people will expect to be recognized and appreciated for their efforts.
Symptoms of codependency may also involve staying in harmful relationships, such as with an abusive person. Codependency is characterized by negatively impacting one's own life, but many people who behave in a codependent manner do not recognize the behavior in themselves. They may not be able to make decisions or recognize how they feel feel in a situation. These are just a few of the many possible symptoms of codependency; anyone who is concerned about this behavior in themselves may be able to find help by visiting a psychologist or attending a support group.