Portrait of disappointed mature businessswoman thinking over something

Enabling is rescuing your loved ones so that they do not experience the painful consequences of their irresponsible decisions. Enabling is anything that stands in the way of persons experiencing the natural consequences of their own behavior.

Here are six common characteristics of an enabler:

1. Works for self-improvement.

“If I were a better parent/grandparent/friend, my loved one wouldn’t be doing this.”

2. Changes the environment to accommodate the person with the problem.

“Let’s change schools and get our child away from those troublemakers.”

3. Takes on the whole world in defense of a loved one.

“The whole legal system is corrupt, and my child/grandchild/friend is getting unjust treatment.”

4. Their pain increases.

Because the loved one is still acting irresponsibly, the enabler’s pain and frustration deepens.

5. Communications deteriorate.

Because the issues are unresolved, defenses are high. Both the enabler and the loved one are often deluded about reality.

6. Enabling is habit-forming.

The enabler keeps offering the same kind of help. Sometimes the enabler derives such deep satisfaction from “rescuing” someone that he or she never assesses whether the assistance is helping or hurting the loved one..
Have you ever struggled with ENABLING? If so, how have you overcome that issue?

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