What Is An Enabler Behavior And How To Stop It?

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Have you ever seen a person in a party or social space encouraging those things that should not be allowed? For example, have you seen those people selling drugs or alcohol without permission at parties or have you ever seen schoolmates encouraging each other to cheat or family members hiding their kid’s misbehavior in order to protect them from punishment even after knowing that they are doing wrong?

This is what enabler behavior looks like! An enabler personality encourages or supports someone to do things that should not be allowed. Enable behavior pretends like there’s not a problem, helps people cover their mistakes, or allows them to do things instead of calling them out.

In this blog, let’s understand what enabler behavior is and how to stop it. So, let’s get started!

What is an Enabler Personality?

An enabler is someone who continuously supports or encourages someone to act in ways that potentially cause harm to someone. In short, an enabler personality supports or encourages unhealthy tendencies. For example, an enabler might support someone else’s consumption of alcohol or substance use, self-harm, unlawful action, or manipulation even after knowing the consequences.

Enabling behaviors can be commonly seen in codependent relationships. Psychological factors leading to enabling behavior can be low self-esteem, avoidance coping, attachment issues, fear of abandonment, empathy, sense of responsibility, learned behavior, or cognitive distortions.

Characteristics of an Enabler Personality

Below listed are some of the characteristics of an enabler personality:

An enabler personality ignores or tolerates problematic behavior.
An enabler personality provides financial assistance as well.
An enabler personality covers up mistakes by making excuses.
An enabler personality takes more responsibilities.
An enabler personality tries to diffuse conflicts.
An enabler personality brushes things off.
An enabler personality denies problematic behaviors.
An enabler personality struggles with their own needs.
An enabler personality does not follow through with
An enabler personality does not know how to maintain boundaries.

Signs of Enabler Behavior

Enabler behavior can be spotted in different ways in different situations such as:

1. An enabler personality makes excuses.

An enabler personality makes excuses or covers up for the person they want to support. They unhealthily support wrong behavior or actions by justifying or acknowledging them through their excuses.

2. An enabler personality ignores their own needs.

When an enabler supports or encourages someone to be involved in harmful actions, they get so focused on their needs that they tend to ignore their personal needs. For example, in a codependent relationship, one partner actively contributes to the relationship knowing that the other person won’t be able to do much.

3. An enabler personality avoids conflict.

Instead of setting healthy boundaries or making understanding, an enabler personality tries to avoid conflict at all costs and sometimes pretends that they didn’t find anything problematic in the particular situation.

For example, you might have seen some parents helping their children with homework or examinations knowing that such behaviors are not promoting learning at all. Such parents avoid conflict and support their children without setting healthy boundaries.

4. An enabler personality is a responsible personality.

An enabler takes responsibility for all unhealthy actions or behaviors even knowing the consequences of doing so. For example, in a relationship, you might see them doing chores, completing important work, and running errands without asking for support.

5. An enabler personality struggles with resentment.

An enabler personality is so focused on fulfilling their loved one’s needs that they ignore their own needs. Consequently, at some point, they feel underappreciated which results in feelings of resentment. This process is a never-ending cycle because, at the same time, it becomes difficult to stop enabling behavior.

Causes of Enabler Behavior

Enable behavior is an unintentional type of behavior that stems from devotion, love, affection, or desire to help everyone. It’s a fact that 80% of couples are unaware that they are into enabling behavior. Codependency is responsible for building enabling behaviors. Below listed are the other common causes of enabling behavior:

Childhood rejection, abuse, or neglect
Dismissive or other negative parenting style adopted by parents
History of personality disorders such as dependent personality
Overprotective personality
Anxious or insecure attachment style
Fear of conflict
Misplaced loyalty
Unrealistic optimism

How to Stop Being an Enabler Personality?

Do you identify yourself as an enabler personality… well if yes, now, you might be clear why you adopted an enabler personality. If not, it’s okay; we have got your back. Let a mental health professional help you find out the root cause and help you find the right strategies to stop being an enabler personality.

To connect with an experienced and certified mental health professional through online platforms, click below:

Therapy link

Here are some of the effective ways to stop being an enabler:

Acknowledge your personal issues: The first ever step to stop being an enabler is to acknowledge your issues and identify problematic signs or behaviors leading to an enabler personality. You can begin the process by jotting down your symptoms associated with unhealthy habits. Think about the reason why you have started doing so and work with a professional to heal from unresolved issues.
Set healthy boundaries: The second step is to set healthy boundaries that help you reach your goals or build a successful relationship. Begin the process by clearing your abilities and responsibilities. For example, if you’re constantly helping your child with school work, clear them that you will not be responsible for the consequences.
Learn to say no: Saying no is the most difficult thing to do especially when you’re in a co-dependent relationship. However, focus on your emotional needs and avoid doing things that make you cross boundaries or lead to harmful consequences.
Empower positive behaviors within: Understand there’s a line between helping others and crossing boundaries every time they need your help. Take the help of positive behaviors and make your relationship healthy.

How to Avoid an Enabler Personality?

If you identify your loved one as an enabler personality, here’s what you can do to stop them being an enabler and establish a healthy and successful relationship with them:

1. Communicate with them openly: Having a loved one involved in enabling behaviors is one of the most challenging things to resolve on your own. However, you can do it effectively by making them understand. Look for the right time, communicate problematic behaviors in front of them, and provide them some space and time to understand.

2. Encourage them to speak out: Before communicating with them, think about the causes, maybe they were neglected during childhood, or perhaps they are struggling with a personality disorder. While communicating with them, be an active listener, let them speak out, understand their emotions, and support them.

3. Establish healthy boundaries with them: Openly set healthy boundaries with your loved ones so that you can help them avoid problematic behaviors. Extend your support and help them through their recovery phase.

4. Learn to say no and acknowledge problematic behaviors within In some cases, we are the reason behind problematic behaviors. Therefore, make some positive changes within, start taking responsibility, look after each other’s needs, and face your consequences instead of passing them.

5. Support them and seek professional help: If you think your loved one might be dealing with unresolved trauma, childhood abuse, or personality disorder, connect with a mental health professional to support them.

I hope this blog helps you understand what is an enabler personality and how to stop being an enabler. Comment down and share your queries through the same or you can also write to us at Calm Sage. For more such content, connect with us through all social media platforms.

Thanks for reading!

The post What Is An Enabler Behavior And How To Stop It? appeared first on Calm Sage – Your Guide to Mental and Emotional Well-being.

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