Healthy Helping Versus Enabling

Spotted on my Saturday walk.

Spotted on my Saturday walk.

Do you love to help others? Good.

Do you sometimes help others in a way that is hurtful to you or them? Not so good.

What is enabling?

Enabling is when your help for someone results in their not feeling the consequences of their decision making. You rescue them from feeling stuck, getting in trouble or even from them not knowing what to do.

There are extreme examples of enabling/rescuing like:

  • Bankrolling your 27 year old adult unemployed child who smokes pot 8 hours a day and lives in your basement.
  • Calling in sick for an alcoholic boyfriend who has passed out (again).
  • “Helping” your boyfriend buy a new Camaro when he can’t keep a job.

And not so extreme

  • Covering for a “friend” at work who messed up and forgot to finish their work project (for the 100th time!).
  • “Helping” your son with his homework by, kinda’ doing it yourself.
  • “Helping” your spouse clean the kitchen because it is quicker if you just do it, even though he has agreed to start sharing housework.
  • Looking the other way when an employee you like, or a babysitter, is lame in the job performance area (“She has so much going on, poor thing…”)

Give Away Girls  BEWARE:

There is no need to go all ball busting on people to get them to shape up or ship out.  I mean, it is still okay to help grandma with her groceries when she is crossing the street.  GAG girls LOVE to be helpful. (We need that in our world.)

However, alot of times they end up doing more than their share, sacrifice too much for others, and end up resenting themselves into a tiny, angry corner. Or worse, they relish the sacrifice and martyrdom secretly for some self-esteem fulfillment. (DANGER!) That doesn’t help them or the people that should be doing the stuff they are supposed to do anyway. How are they going to learn?

Make your best decisions now in your relationships. It will do yourself good as well as benefit those you love and care about.

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