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Co-dependent no more
Published on: November 20, 2010 |

Are you making your loved one WORSE? By: YourWebMom

“Enabling” can be defined as reacting to another in a way that shields him/her from experiencing the full consequences of behaviors or choices.

Enabling behavior differs from “helping” in that it permits the other person to be dependent and irresponsible, rather than independent and “adult.”

Here are 11 destructive actions of enablers:

1.      PROTECTION from natural consequences of behavior.

2.      KEEPING SECRETS about behavior from others in order to keep peace.

3.      MAKING EXCUSES for the behavior. (She’s tired, hurting, discouraged, had a rough childhood….)

4.      BAILING HER OUT of trouble. (Paying debts, fixing tickets, paying lawyers, finding/providing jobs.)

5.      BLAMING OTHERS for the dependent person’s choices/behaviors. (It’s always someone else’s fault: Friends, teachers, employers, family, self.)

6.      SEEING THE PROBLEM AS THE RESULT OF SOMETHING ELSE. (Shyness, adolescence, loneliness, child, broken home.)

7.      AVOIDING a chemically dependent person in order to keep peace. (Out-of-sight, out-of-mind.)


9.      ATTEMPTING TO CONTROL. (Planning activities, choosing friends, getting job interviews.)

10.  MAKING THREATS that have no follow-through or consistency.

11.  TAKING CARE OF the chemically dependent person. (Doing what s/he should be expected to for themselves.)

If you fit these descriptions, it may be time to take a step back and get some help and perspective. Read a good book, attend a Celebrate Recovery group, and/or get some counseling.

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