ACOA’s often transfer behaviour learned in childhood into other adult spheres of life. In true codependency style these often confuse and confound us.
Some of these are;
- We confuse our boss or supervisor with our alcoholic parents and have similar relationship patterns, behaviors, and reactions that are carryovers from childhood.
- We confuse our co-workers with our siblings or our alcoholic parents and repeat childhood reactions in those working relationships.
- We expect lavish praise and acknowledgment from our boss for our efforts on the job.
- Authority figures scare us and we feel afraid when we need to talk to them.
- We get a negative gut reaction when dealing with someone who has the physical characteristics or mannerisms of our alcoholic parent.
- We have felt isolated and different from everyone around us, but we don’t really know why.
- We lose our temper when things upset us rather than dealing with problems productively.
- We busy ourselves with our co-workers’ jobs, often telling them how to do their work.
- We can get hurt feelings when co-workers do things socially together without asking us, even though we have not made an effort to get to know them and join in the social life.
- We are afraid to make the first move to get to know a co-worker better, thinking they will not like us or approve of us.
- We usually do not know how to ask for what we want or need on the job, even for little things.
- We do not know how to speak up for ourselves when someone has said or done something inappropriate. We try desperately to avoid face-to-face confrontations.
- We are sensitive and can get extremely upset with any form of criticism of our work.
- We want to be in charge of every project or activity, feeling more comfortable when we are in control of every detail, rather than letting others be responsible.
- We may be the workplace “clown” to cover up our insecurities or to get attention from others.
- We are people-pleasers and may take on extra work, or our co-worker’s tasks, in order to be liked and receive approval from others.
- We do not know how to be assertive in getting our needs met or expressing a concern. We may have to repeatedly rehearse our comments before delivering them.
- We have felt that we do not deserve a raise, promotion, better workspace, or a better job.
- We do not know how to set boundaries, and we let others interrupt us. We can accept more work without knowing how to say ‘no’ appropriately.
- We are perfectionists about our own work and expect others to be the same and have the same work ethics and values.
- We become workaholics because it gives us a feeling of self-worth we did not get as a child.
- We may jump from job to job, looking for the perfect position as the substitute for the secure and nurturing home environment we did not have.
- We get upset when people do things that affect us or our work without asking us first.
- We have a high tolerance for workplace dysfunction and tend to stick it out in an unhappy job because we lack the self-esteem to leave.
After the ACOA laundry list of characterisation.