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.

Meet Nellie: Comes With Daily Dose of Allegra

Meet Nellie. I ran into her owner on the street yesterday in front of my house. My kids were selling cartoons and Nellie’s owner sweetly agreed to pay $1 for my son’s brilliant cartoon drawing. Nellie’s owner appeared looked about 27. We fawned over her dog. “She’s so cute!”

“Yes, I love her,” the owner said.”Problem is, I am allergic to dogs. I have to take Allegra every 24 hours because I am so allergic.” How can someone so allergic to dogs have a dog?

Oh, you know …  I met this guy and he wanted to commit to us having a dog together. I went along with it and then he left. So now I am stuck with the dog. Good thing I love her.”

Good thing she loves her is right. And what are the long-term effects of an Allegra pill daily for the next 15 or so years? Uh oh.

GAG Girls Beware
Don’t agree to anything in romance that you will regret if the other person decides to not pull their weight. You can get saddled with lots of unforeseen consequences. Talk can be just that — all talk.

Nellie is adorable, though. And my son was grateful for the buck.