Stop enabling behavior and learn how to help people by changing. Learn how to stop enabling an addict, children, anyone – but before you do this, you have to know that there is a fine line between enabling and helping.
You should give help to someone who needs it. You are enabling a person when you’re helping them and they’re perfectly capable of doing it for themselves.
If you are in a dysfunctional relationship or
living with an alcoholic/addict
or there is an illness or an addiction in the family it is easy to find yourself taking care of everyone, and making sure that everything is handled. You have to identify when you're enabling and when you're actually helping and change your behavior.
Why enabling is a problem?
When a sick person gets better, or a drug addict or alcoholic goes into treatment enabling behavior prevents the person from living a normal life. They become dependent on the enabler and at the same time, they resent their dependency.
If the dysfunctional person is actively gambling, drinking, doing drugs, dropping out of school – or what ever the dysfunction is, and enabler may call in sick for them, drive them to appointments etc. and this prevents the person from having to deal with the consequences of their behavior. In other words enabling allows the dysfunctional person to stay dysfunctional.
Why keep enabling?
Keeping enabling can be temporarily helpful because it avoids confrontation. It also avoids negative consequences which may not only effect the dysfunctional person but may also affect the enabler as well. For example: you fear that if your husband does not call in sick to work he may lose his job – and it may not be the first time. But your enabling is only postponing the inevitable. He may not lose his job now, but eventually he will.
When you enable another person you also have control over them. There is a false sense of importance that this person needs you. This is very common in a
– and well-meaning parents, friends, and strangers can also get caught up in it too.
Why change enabling behavior?
It is very frustrating for an enabler as well as for the person being “helped”. There is anger and resentment on both sides, often resulting in
Give help when it is needed – not necessarily when it is wanted.
Point the person in the right direction to get help, but have them do the work themselves.
Remember “enabling is disabling” You’re doing more harm than good.