About Enabling

      Since the 1980s, enabling has gained a new meaning: behavior in one per-son which hinders an able person from taking responsibility for filling their own needs. The classic example is a wife calling her hung-over mate's boss to make an excuse for him not coming in to work. Another example is an over-protective parent who is scared to let their child take safe, growthful risks.

        Though well-intentioned short-term, enabling prevents the person from developing self-sufficiency and self-confidence long term. Doing this compulsively can be called rescuing, which is often a symptom of codependence (relationship addiction). Often, the enabler gains something by hindering the other person.

        Enablers usually survived low-nurturance childhoods who are unaware of being controlled by well-meaning false selves. Their ruling subselves may also choose a "helpless" Victim role and unconsciously invite others to enable them. Symptoms of enabling are (a) compulsively avoiding self-responsibility, (b) hin-dering it in others, (c) fearing confrontations and conflicts, and (d) denying or justifying these choices. Asserting and enforcing respectful limits, "Tough Love," and "interventions" are empowering alternatives to enabling

More detail