An enabler is one that enables another to achieve an end; especially: one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (as substance abuse) by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior.
Before you move on to your next post feeling some peculiar air of superiority, please note that while the definition cites substance abuse as a self-destructive behavior, it doesn’t disqualify the many of you (yes, YOU!) that enable friends and family members financially, as well! It’s one thing to assist someone who may find themselves in a bind from time to time, but it’s another to allow people to become another line item on your own struggling budget.
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Not only is helping them, actually hurting them, but it may be hurting you, as well.
Singer & actor turned author, Tyrese, put it best while on tour to promote his new book, How To Get Out of Your Own Way. His words echo in my mind still daily: “Sometimes to help someone, you have to stop helping them.”
So simple, yet so remarkably powerful. And yet, I know how it goes. We feel obligated to help family and friends who are in a financial bind. After all, isn’t it the noble thing to do? It might be if it weren’t for the fact that nobility can often create an inability in a person to figure “it” out on their own. Financially speaking, “it” can be a number of circumstances from how to earn their own income and manage their own money wisely to how to decipher between their own wants and needs, pay their own bills on time and essentially how to hustle
So, how can you tell if you are enabling someone in your life? Answer “Yes” or “No” to the following 12 questions: