Are You Empowering or Enabling? | Psychology Today
Those who habitually enable dysfunctional behavior are often referred to as co-dependent. It’s a telling word, because an enabler’s self-esteem is often dependent on his or her ability and willingness to “help” in inappropriate ways. This “help” allows the enabler to feel in control of an unmanageable situation. The reality, though, is that enabling not only doesn’t help, but it actively causes harm and makes the situation worse.
By stepping in to “solve” the addict’s problems, the enabler takes away any motivation for the addict to take responsibility for his or her own actions. Without that motivation, there is little reason for the addict to change. Enablers help addicts dig themselves deeper into trouble.