Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Enabling Behavior

Enabling behavior is something we do because of love. It's only natural to want to help our loved ones; however, when it comes to some things, helping is like throwing fuel on a fire.

To enable is to make things possible. It is supplying the means, knowledge, or opportunity to be or do something.

In it's true form, enabling behavior is a positive thing. It is human instinct to reach out and help someone we love when they are down or having problems. However, when we apply it to behavior and things such as addiction, financial trouble due to poor choices, and codependency, enabling behaviors have the reverse effect of what is intended.

Some examples are-

Repeatedly bailing them out of jail, financial problems, or other "problems" they get themselves into

Giving them "one more chance" - ...over and over again

Ignoring the problem - because they get defensive when you bring it up or you hope that it will magically go away

Joining them in the behavior when you know it's a problem for them - drinking, gambling, etc

Joining them in blaming others for their feelings and/or problems

Accepting their excuses and rationalizations - "I'm destroying myself with alcohol because I'm depressed."

Keeping the peace; believing a lack of conflict will help

Doing for them what they should do for themselves

Softening or removing the consequences of their behavior

Repeatedly coming to the "Rescue"

If you think that you may be an enabler, you may find the following link insightful:

1 comment:

Iris Grace said...

Funny and interesting! kiss u!

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