Are You Helping or Enabling? 10 Questions to Ask Yourself

                    Trish Frye

By Trish Frye

The following are 10 questions that you might ask yourself before making an “am I helping or enabling” decision:

1. Will doing (or not doing ) this, help my loved one stay sick? Sometimes our best intentions allow the disease of addiction to continue.

2. Am I considering my needs first? When we compromise our own needs in order to make others comfortable, we not only compromising ourselves, but our loved ones as well.

3. Am I compromising my personal values? Standing behind our values is the single most important thing we can do for ourselves and our loved ones. Everything else is negotiable. Compromising our values is not.

4. What are my expectations? Having expectations is a guaranteed set-up for resentments.

5. Do I want to do it? It is not wrong to want to help our loved ones. It is okay to do nice things for them. Doing something out of the kindness of our own hearts is one thing. Doing something to avoid fear, discomfort, rejection or guilt is another thing.

6. Is this something they are able to do for themselves? There is a big difference between not being capable and being uncomfortable.

7. Whose responsibility is this? It is important to allow our loved ones to experience the natural consequences of their actions. By doing so, we empower them to grow and take responsibility for themselves. Not only will you be giving them the opportunity to learn a lesson, they will also get to experience their own successes.

8. Have I checked with an accountability partner (sponsor, counselor) before making my decision? Often those people can offer a different perspective, providing us with a clearer vision on which to base our decisions.

9. Have we been here before? According to Albert Einstein, doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is practicing insanity.

10. Have I taken time to think and pray about this? Making an immediate decision sets us up to make an emotional decision. Actions based on prayer and meditation rather than emotion are always more productive.