My Life As a Border Collie: Freedom from Codependency Book Overview

By Nancy L. Johnston

This is an extremely practical book which has some wonderful insights as to times when a person can work too hard, do too much, or be too enthusiastic, and create additional stress and self-depletion. The basic traits are shown on the following page in the form of a chart that can printed and used as a ready reference. The healthy levels of the trait are shown on the left, and less healthy overuse of the trait shown on the right. The comparisons with traits of the energetic and lovable border-collie are especially enlightening. Don’t let the term “codependency” in the sub-title deter you from the feeling you would related to this book. The practical insights are very applicable to the everyday stress that is often experienced by some of the very hardest-working, dedicated people in the world!

Internal Focus (SELF) External Focus (OTHER)
I can learn new tricks.
Very Smart. Powerful Emotions
All I want to do is watch you.
Ardent, Loyal, Attachment, Sacrifice, Fears Abandonment
Keep me busy! Keep me busy!
Thorough, Reliable, Work focus, Approval, Esteem, Self-Sacrifice
Is there anything I can do for you?
Serving to Servitude, Giving, Needed, Fixing, Caretaking.
I want to be good.
Abdication of Self, Be Good, Avoid Conflict, Fear Failure
Please don’t be mad at me.
Strong Emotions: animals, music, reading, movies. Fear
I want what you want/what you’ve got.
Flexible, Negotiate, Compromise, Impress Others, Self-Betrayal
What’s everyone doing? You all okay?
Number of People at same time. Control, Satisfy all, Tend, Lead
Woof! Woof! What’s going on?
Excitement moves to radical reactivity, Extremes. Loss of Self
You want me to stop. I don’t want to.
Persistent, Tough, Strong Go too Far, Rigid, Compulsive, Control
I can be quite pleased with little things.
Inspired, Energetic, Enthusiastic, Pleased by Little, Gets Hurt
Love you dearly. Follow you anywhere.
Interpersonal Control. Fix Things for Others, Wanting Approval