An enabler is a person who often takes responsibility for their loved one’s actions and emotions. They may focus their time and energy on covering those areas where their loved one may be underperforming.
Let’s break this down a little here- we teach our kids to make their beds, when they don’t do it and we do it everyday for them (age permitting) are we helping teach them or are we enabling them to not have to learn?
Often this maybe known as people pleasing. We believe we are doing the right thing by others and ourselves, however in reality we are sacrificing their growth and our happiness.
How do we break this cycle?
Swap enabling (or disempowerment) for EMPOWERMENT!
But empowering someone doesn’t mean solving or covering up problems. Rather, when you empower someone, you do one or more of the following to help them succeed or change on their own:
- give them tools
- help them access resources
- teach them skills
When a pattern of enabling characterises a relationship, it’s fairly common for resentment, or feelings of anger and disappointment, to develop.
Your resentment may be directed more toward your loved one, toward the situation, both, or even yourself. You might feel hurt and angry about spending so much time trying to help someone who doesn’t seem to appreciate you. You may feel obligated to continue helping even when you don’t want to.
Resentment can damage your emotional well-being, but it can also help you realise the situation may not be healthy.
If you can see you are enabling patterns, behaviours or traits you do not wish to have, set clear boundaries, say no - remember that someones life path and journey is not for you to rescue them.
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