A great topic and I am posting on my Coached2Success sight. I happen to agree with the Stein article.
So many are just trying to help people they care about. So many cross a line and DO NOT HELP, but enable the one they care about to continue with unhealthy behaviour.
In helping professions, and I include mine in this group, enabling is something we must be acutely aware of.
For caring people, read this article to help you understand whether you are helping or ENABLING!!
Enabling versus Helping – By Jackie Stein
By Jacqlyn Stein 3 Mins Read
Am I enabling or helping and what is the difference?
This is a question I have been asked by clients many times. It is also a question I have asked myself. We can all think of fact patterns that we would consider enabling. However, sometimes the answer is not so clear. Sometimes the answer is, “it depends.” On what does it depend? Usually on a wider set of facts than the specific action we might take.
Your daughter is sleeping off a busy party night. If you want to wake her in the morning before school so she makes the choice to go or not to go, is that enabling or helping? What if you go so far as to drive her to school so she won’t be late? Is that enabling her or helping her? What if she has her own apartment and you call her every morning to make sure she is getting up to go to school? Is that enabling or helping? What if you paid for school and will be reimbursed the tuition if she keeps a passing grade but if she fails it will cause you a significant hardship? There is no right or wrong answer here. The answer will be different depending upon your own frame of reference. But it IS worth talking about.
Your husband passed out on the couch last night. This is not the first time this has happened. He needs to “come to” or he will not get to work and may get fired. Do you wake him to get to work? Can the family afford that consequence? Does it matter if he is the sole breadwinner in the house? What if you are the primary breadwinner? If he gets fired, how will that affect the family’s monthly bills? In this case who will ultimately suffer the consequences – your husband or the whole family?