A lot of well-meaning people repeatedly bail others out of trouble. And a lot of people have learned to bully, pout and manipulate rather than learn to be independent, take responsibility for their actions and stand on their own two feet. Rewarding bad behaviour actually helps train people to be that way. Sometimes we need to take a different approach to help people learn to care for themselves.
Enabling is when your actions enable – in other words, make it possible – for someone to continue their self-destructive lifestyle. It is not a gift, although it may be done out of love. Enabling can actually hurt the person you are trying to help and also ruin your relationship with them. There's an expression -- give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life.
If you think you may be enabling through your actions, or if you see the effects of enabling in your family, you may benefit from talking with a trained therapist who can help you set boundaries. It’s important to ensure that our efforts to help are not inadvertently making things worse. Call me today and let’s set up an appointment to talk about your struggles with enabling behaviour and what you can do to really help.