- What does the dictionary say?
- 1 a : to provide with the means or opportunity: training that enables people to earn a living
- b : to make possible, practical, or easy: a deal that would enable passage of a new law
- c : to cause to operate: software that enables the keyboard
- 2 : to give legal power, capacity, or sanction to: a law enabling admission of a state
- From Urban Dictionary
Shielding a person from the consequences of a destructive behavior; Allowing a person's destructive behavior to persist by managing or minimizing the ill-effects of the behavior.”Enabling” vs. “Empowering”Enabling: supporting a person's behavior that (repeatedly/habitually) instigates a negative or destructive resultEmpowering: supporting a person's ability or effort in a positive or progressive endeavorEnabling can be as destructive as the behavior itself . . . a person enabling a destructive behavior is motivated by their need to do so and is gratified by reinforcing their superiority or control over that person; An “enabler” holds a person in an inferior state by denying them the motivation to change and therefore, the opportunity to grow.
- What does enabling mean to you? How does that relate to the definitions we just read?
- Did you understand/head you heard of enabling before you came to Al-Anon?
- What are some ways in which you have enabled others' dysfunction/addiction/behavior?
- How can we (especially as parents) distinguish between supporting, helping, empowering, and enabling?
- Can we look at our motivations, expectations, fears?
- Let Go and Let God
- How Important is it?
- Detaching with love
- Clarity: “mine or not mine?”
- “When in doubt, don’t”
- Serenity prayer (knowing the difference)
- “Al-Anon pause”
- What are healthy ways to be supportive without enabling?
We read from or discussed these resources:
- Courage to Change, Jan 5 and Feb 1.
- How Al-Anon Works, chapter 26, “A Mother Lets Go And Lets God”.
- Wikipedia article “Enabling“.
- Psychology Today blog, “Are you empowering or enabling?“
- Hazelden Betty Ford, “What is enabling?“
- Through an Al-Anon Filter blog, “Helping or enabling?“
- In All Our Affairs – p. 76 “Choosing not to enable”
Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Music from the show
Katy Perry: Circle the Drain
Jason Mraz: Beautiful Mess
Reba McEntire – She Can't Save Him