Enabling Behaviors to Avoid

The following are enabling behaviors:

  1. Not talking about family problems.
  2. Withdrawing from the relationship
  3. Giving permission to be the chemically dependent person to withdraw from the family, and family responsibilities.
  4. Accepting the blame for problems in our relationship (not making waves).
  5. Buying into the game of “I can’t please you, therefore, I don’t need to be responsible”.
  6. Acting as a buffer between:
    • parent and child
    • spouse and child
    • spouse and mate
  7. Protecting the chemically dependent person from problems.
  8. Denying that the problem exists, not looking at the connection between the drug use and abuse, and what’s happening to the family.
  9. Accepting guilt and not feeling good enough about myself to say “I COUNT”.
  10. Enabling attitudes and behavior:
    • insecurity
    • hostility/anger
    • resentments
    • shame/guilt
    • self-pity
    • pleading
    • warped personal lives
    • blaming
    • degradation
    • bargaining
    • belittling
    • condescension
    • dependency/love
    • fear/anxiety/frustration
    • lack of understanding of the disease
    • threats I wouldn’t carry out

Family Enabling:

  1. Trying to control the chemically dependent person’s behavior.
  2. Covering up:
    • behavior
    • bad checks
    • discarded value system
  3. Enabling take the form of survival.
  4. Family resistant to change.
  5. Must permit the alcoholic/addict to see and feel his/her sickness.

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