Friday, March 16, 2012
"In the true sense of the word, to enable is to supply with the means, knowledge, or opportunity to be or do something -- to make feasible or possible.
In it's true form, then, Enabling behavior means something positive. It's our natural instinct to reach out and help someone we love when they are down or having problems." (http://www.internet-of-the-mind.com/enabling_behavior.html)
That being said, I'm an enabler. But there is a dark side to enabling ... when your behaviour allows others to continue their unhealthy behaviour. Sound familiar? All too, I'm sure.
When we're little, our parents "enable" us, encourage us, and then bail us out when we make mistakes. Maybe that's not always wise, however. If we learn as little ones that someone else will always "Fix" our problems, we never learn to face them on our own. Then, another bad behaviour emerges, in the form of control. If you are one who hates confrontations, and will do just about anything to avoid them, you can be manipulated into "fixing" issues for others, rather than having to draw lines in the sand, over which you will not step. It's a vicious circle.
It's never too late to sit down and take stock, and having recognized where you are unhealthily enabling someone, put a stop to it. Both you and the other person will be better for it. Get the monkey off your back, and hand it over to the one who needs to deal with it. Not easy, I'm not trying to tell you it is.
My challenge to you is to examine yourself, your life, and take steps toward being more healthy, and less a victim of your own good intentions.