<p>Psychology experts, I am curious about this. Disclaimer: this question comes from watching a reality TV show. I am watching clips of "Ruby" (a show about a very overweight woman) and in one of the clips, she and some other women are in a group therapy session. One of the women starts to set up pillows for another woman who has not arrived yet (I think they are all sitting on the floor but I am not sure) and the therapist starts calling this woman who is fixing the pillows "codependent" and talking about how she uses caring for other people to avoid her own issues.</p>

<p>This struck me as not really "codependent" -- I have read a little about this (a long time ago, admittedly) because of some substance abuse issues in my extended family, and my understanding is that codependency means enabling someone else to continue in an addiction (cleaning up the empty wine bottles, for example). But is overly helpful behavior in general "codependent"?</p>

<p>I'd call that being polite and thoughtful. </p>

<p>Of course, we don't know this person and maybe the therapist was seeing it as part of a larger pattern? It still seems like a stretch to me.</p>