Enabling & Enabling Behaviors

Old 02-04-2005, 01:54 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Morning Glory
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Enabling & Enabling Behaviors

Enabling & Enabling Behaviors


Denying the problem exists.

Ignoring the person I have a concern about.

Criticizing or putting down.

Checking up on or watching another's behavior.

Taking on another's financial or psychological behavior.

Helping someone out of a crisis they created, thereby alleviating their pain.

Letting someone's behavior control me or my response to them.

Stewing about a problem.

Trying to fix up, or do too much for another by giving him/her a feeling of being helpless to care for him/herself.

Reacting verbally to what another person says or taking it personally and withdrawing.

Explaining and defending other's actions to him/herself and other.

Letting another project his unhappiness on me and allowing myself to feel guilty.

Telling the person I am concerned about to either shape up or use his/her willpower to change.

Using blame, shame, or guilt to control another.

Trying to control someone by anger or being silent.

Not being honest and open about my feelings.

To keep from enabling, we need to share in a direct, loving way our concern about another's behavior and how it affects us, without attacking that person. If we are paying someone's debts or bailing them out of a difficulty, it is fairly easy for us to see that as enabling. The emotional kind of enabling is more subtle and takes much longer to see. Someone who feels guilty can make a good enabler. I could not see or understand detachment or enabling until I had made amends in my own life.

Enabling Behaviors

Denying: "He/she is not an alcoholic or drug abuser"
As a result:
Expecting the alcoholic/addict to control his/her addiction;
Accepting blame.

Using with the alcoholic/addict.

Justifying the use by agreeing with the rationalization of the alcoholic/addict, e.g., "His/her job puts him/her under a lot of pressure.

Keeping feelings inside.

Avoiding problems: Keeping the peace, believing lack of conflict makes a good relationship.

Minimizing: "It's not so bad....things will get better when..."

Protecting...the image of the alcoholic/addict;
...the alcoholic/addict from pain;
...myself from pain.

Avoiding by tranquilizing feelings with tranquilizers, food, work.

Blaming, criticizing, lecturing.

Taking over responsibilities.

Feeling superior: Treating the alcoholic/addict like a child.

Controlling: "Let's skip the office party this year".

Enduring: "This too shall pass".

Waiting: "God will take care of it"


YOU have the RIGHT to be YOU.

YOU have the RIGHT to put YOURSELF first.

YOU have the RIGHT to be SAFE.

YOU have the RIGHT to LOVE and be LOVED.

YOU have the RIGHT to be TREATED with RESPECT.

YOU have the RIGHT to be HUMAN ---- not PERFECT.

YOU have the RIGHT to be ANGRY and PROTEST if you are treated UNFAIRLY or ABUSIVELY by anyone.

YOU have the RIGHT to your own PRIVACY.

YOU have the RIGHT to have your own OPINIONS, to EXPRESS them, and to be taken SERIOUSLY.

YOU have the RIGHT to EARN and CONTROL your OWN money.

YOU have the RIGHT to ASK QUESTIONS about ANYTHING that affects YOUR LIFE.

YOU have the RIGHT to make DECISIONS that affect YOU.

YOU have the RIGHT to GROW and CHANGE, and this includes changing your MIND.

YOU have the RIGHT to say NO.


YOU have the RIGHT NOT to be RESPONSIBLE for other adults' problems.

YOU have the RIGHT not to be LIKED by everyone.

Old 02-04-2005, 02:08 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Grace Under Fire
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Another world
Posts: 536
Thanks M.G.

I think you should sticky this.
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Old 02-04-2005, 06:52 PM
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Caring for the 3 little bears
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Oz
Posts: 509
MG, thanks. Needed that today. Well, need that every day. I will add this to my fridge! Maybe even take it to work too!

I see myself in so many of these things it is such a good reminder of the work i need to do. For MY sake and also for my children's sake. I don't want them to end up learning how to enable from me!!!

Thanks again!
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Old 02-04-2005, 08:42 PM
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Queen of one liners
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Location: walking beside you! Not in front of you.
Posts: 658
Thank you MG. I can always use reminders of the behaviors I choose to leave behind.

As I keep turning pages in my life, I find I still can slip right back in to old behaviors so easily. Sometimes, they just have a different name today. LOL
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