Enabling Addiction (10 Signs You Could Be Enabling Someone)


so many people get stuck on the idea
that enabling just means giving people money or buying them things but enabling
is so much more than that so in this video I’m going to give you the top ten
ways that you could be enabling not even aware that you’re doing it because these
things don’t even involve money at all if this is your first time joining us
welcome I’m amber Hollingsworth Master addiction counselor and you are watching
put the shovel down the youtube channel dedicated to helping families understand
the psychology of addiction so you can recover your loved one and get your life
back on track now if that sounds like something you
need to do consider subscribing alright let’s go through our list I’m gonna give
you those ten things now and all of these things are more like emotional
things because like I said before you give you can give someone the emotional
currency to continue to justify and be able to make these bad decisions over
and over and over again okay number one you might be enabling if you are making
excuses for the person so for example if you know that the person has
stayed up all night drinking and using drugs and can’t function well enough to
go to work the next day and you’re calling in because you just desperately
don’t want them to lose that job because if you know if they lose that job it’s
gonna get really bad or you’re calling the school because you know they have
now missed that day past the ten days or however many days it is that they’re
allowed to be absent you’re calling the school and you’re making an excuse for
them basically you’re trying to sort of run interference for them definitely an
enabling behavior number two you are harping on them about the
responsibilities you keep nagging and nagging and nagging and you make sure
they do their homework you make sure they stop by and pay that bill you make
sure they call their mother on her birthday and say happy birthday now of
course everyone given a reminder you know is being helpful but nagging
and just staying on top of it on top of and on top of it that’s definitely a
whole other level of something and the problem the reason why I put that in
enabling category is because you might just get them to do that and when they
do those things it just adds to the false reality that their life is
manageable so it’s like you’re getting them to be functional just enough to
convince them that they got this under control and that enables more about
decisions number three fixing their mistakes like paying their
tickets like bailing them out of jail like paying they’re really exorbitantly
high car insurance now those are all ways that we think about fixing mistakes
that involve money but there are ways that we fix their mistakes by covering
up for them so like before we talked about running interference if someone’s
like damage control trying to help before the problem happens this is sort
of the same thing but doing it on the back end of the problem so you can you
know if you’re addict or alcoholic has done a lot of damage to a
relationship you can kind of run interference on the backend by trying to
fix that you can try to fix things by asking their teacher to give them extra
credit so anytime you’re going in and you’re fixing some of the problems that
they’ve caused definitely enabling number four now
number four is similar to the one previous to that but it’s just taking it
to a whole other level so not only are you kind of going in run interference
and trying to like smooth things over for someone but in number four you’re
flat-out lying for the person not just trying to sort of bend the truth a
little bit but when you’re just lying you don’t want people to find out about
this sometimes it’s because you’re trying to protect your loved one and
sometimes honestly it’s because you’re trying to protect yourself because you
don’t want to deal with the hassle or the heartache of it now I’m definitely a
big proponent that it’s not your job to necessarily go out
and tell the whole world or shout it from the rooftops
but it’s also not your job to lie for the person number five not holding the
boundaries that you have very clearly set so if you have already set
boundaries that says if this then that and you’re just not doing it
definitely enabling now I want to give you another little word on that topic
because I’m usually against setting these hardcore like black and white no
tolerance lines in the sand kind of rules because of this very thing because
what you’re going to do is you’re going to back yourself into a corner and
you’re either going to find yourself in a situation where you’re not going to be
able to back up something that you said you’re going to do or you’re not going
to want to do that which is going to make you look like a
liar and like you’re inconsistent and then they just basically blow you off
anytime you say something like that ever again or you’re gonna have to back it up
and do what you said even though you really don’t feel like the situation’s
pertinent or you’re not emotionally ready to do that so be very very careful
about any of those if-then statements that you put out there those of you that
know me pretty well you’ve seen one of these videos you know that I am NOT a
fan of the home contracts I’ve got some videos on that be sure and check them
out because I know that might sound a little confusing to you and you’ve
probably been told the opposite of that before number six
making any kind of decisions out of guilt fear or shame those are making
decisions because you’re trying to avoid something particularly a negative
feeling and it’s a desperate kind of decision-making when you find yourself
doing that you’re probably making enabling decisions number seven
putting the addict or the alcoholics needs above not just your own but
everyone else in the house so let’s say it’s your spouse or let’s say it’s your
kid and their other siblings in the house or their other kids in the house
or just whoever else is in the family that’s really close and you’re putting
their needs ahead of everyone else’s like when it’s Christmas Day or it’s the
big event it’s somebody’s birthday dinner and the addict or the alcoholic
hasn’t shown up and you’re literally holding everybody you’re holding
Christmas hostage waiting for this person to come home because I want you to
think about this when they come home it’s not gonna be a good scene because
they might miss it altogether they might be really late they may be intoxicated
you know you’re letting that run the show
and I know it’s really hard not to cuz inside you’re in such a difficult place
it’s like it’s hard to even celebrate things or care about things but to the
best that you can make sure that you’re trying to keep the family as balanced as
you possibly can number eight minimizing or justifying
their behaviors I know that lots of times when you’re dealing with someone
the addiction problem they do have difficult things in their life and they
may have other mental health concerns like depression anxiety insecurity
self-esteem stresses and I totally get that I’m not saying like oh that’s not
it at all it’s an excuse what I am saying is yeah they probably do have
that and yeah it may be super likely that they’re using substances to
medicate some kind of situation like that but you cannot minimize it or keep
allowing it to happen because you feel really bad for them about it and mostly
because it’s a really ineffective strategy to solve that problem
so definitely don’t fall into the pity party you’re not helping them any number
9 if you’re still not sure and you’re not and you’re doing something I’m sure
well is that enabling is it not enabling here’s the simple easy formula for you
if you’re working harder to solve their problems than they’re working then
you’re enabling and if you’re not sure if you’re working harder than they’re
working I just want you to stop and do a little self check if you feel a
resentment inside because you have done all these things and you don’t feel
appreciated and you don’t feel reciprocated and you don’t feel they’re
even trying for themselves then you’re definitely in this category and lastly
number 10 and some of y’all know how I feel about this and this is to me this
is the Big Mama the big cat daddy it is you are allowing them to make you the
bad guy many of you know that I feel like that is the number one thing that
you can do to enable someone and they’re so good at it you know they can do
something really out of bounds they can do something really hurtful they can do
something really wrong and they have this ninja like way of like turning it
on you and making you the bad guy turning you into a screaming raving lunatic
crazy person and then all of a sudden you’re the bad guy
and then they get to justify continued bad decisions now if you’re watching
this video and you’re thinking to yourself okay amber I know I’m enabling
like I didn’t even need this video to know that I just don’t know how to stop
I’m gonna give you a couple of resources here number one I have a whole playlist
on this channel about how to have healthy boundaries with someone that has
an addiction problem either in active addiction or in early recovery
definitely check that out I’ll put it on the screen at the end of this video for
you and there’s a second playlist that’s titled helping versus enabling which is
another really good one and I’ll also put that one up here for you at the end
of the video and if you think you just need something even a little bit more
than that you need some one-on-one help guidance coaching you can always book a
session with one of our family resource experts this is what we do all day every
day and you may have a situation on your hands you’re like yeah I get it but
there’s this one little part of this story that I just need you to hear and I
need some special guidance on it you can find a link for how to do that in the
description below okay see you next time and make sure you check out those
playlists I’m gonna put them right up here on the screen for you

2 thoughts on “Enabling Addiction (10 Signs You Could Be Enabling Someone)

  1. For more information about Helping vs. Enabling….Watch this next: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLaaJWwIpP_zYdP4Ag0K018GOsG7uyAYro

  2. You always seem to know what video is resonating with me each week! I know exactly who I'm sending this to 😉

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