Enabling is one of those misguided behaviors that keeps the enabled person from experiencing the full impact and consequences of their behavior. Enabling is not helping or supporting. In fact it is hindering and constraining. It is interfering with another person’s responsibility to be doing things they should be doing for themselves It is relatively easy to lapse into enabling behavior.

Enabling is most often associated with the behavior of parents, siblings or friends towards addicts. You might believe if you don’t help, the outcome for everyone involved will be far worse. Maybe you excuse troubling behavior, lend money, or assist in other ways. It is easy for an enabler to excuse an addict’s behavior and life choices. Enablers often tell themselves that they are actually helping the addict.

But it’s important to realize enabling doesn’t help.

Over time it can have a damaging effect on your loved one and others around them. It’s often easy for someone to blame others–relatives or friends, teachers, yourself, family or employers for the addict’s behavior.

Enabling comes in several shapes and sizes if your enabling is directed towards addicts or addictive behavior.

Enablers often bail addicts out of trouble (pays off debts, fixes tickets, hires lawyers, provides jobs.(Gives the addict unearned or undeserved. “Sees the problem” as caused by something else–broken home, insecurity, shyness, loneliness, a different disease.

Do you enable other people?

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