Is it compassion or enabling????
Compassion that only says “yes” is no longer compassion but well-intentioned enabling. Helping others with compassion is offering a hand up to those who want to do better and show it by their actions and their attitude. Enabling can look alike lot helping. Enabling looks like keeping people in a comfort zone or status quo shielding them from natural negative consequences of poor choice on more than one a occasion. For example, a sister loves her brother but knows he has a gambling problem. With the knowledge of his behavior and its negative impact on his and her life she continues to bail him out of jail and pay his rent month after month. This is enabling.
When the default response is “yes” to destructive behavior, it affirms destructive behaviors which makes people’s lives worse, not better.
I’ve seen this in my own life. You accommodate poor behavior from loved ones for one reason- because you love them. I learned a couple of things:
The others persons needs were valid
Helping others is okay as long as they have other concrete ways/ideas to support themselves long term
It takes courage to disengage from enabling and you will have to grieve the relationship as it was when you enter a healthier space
Repeated rescues do not help the other person without accountability on both parts
People cannot gain confidence in their own ability if someone is always rescuing them
Your voice matters and you should speak up for what is right for me and love people, you can do both
We all have experienced dysfunction in relationships but I believe we can create new narratives for healthy relationships with intentional effort and clear definition. We were designed for beneficial interdependence. If people are not ready to do the work of being responsible they should not expect other people to take blow after blow from punches filled with pain! All of us need to deal with negative behaviors in our lives so that we can heal and relate to others in a healthy way. Having open and honest communication plus loving boundary setting creates space for new ways of being with folks. These moments are not easy but it can be done and we will appreciate the defining moments that bring us into a better space.
In all types of relationships, people have moral agency and must be held accountable for the decisions they make. Such accountability is also compassion.
Compassion and common sense says, “It is not okay, to live being pummeled by others because you choose to grow beyond irresponsibility or pain. Help also comes in the form of saying no.
It is not compassionate to allow :
Verbal abuse Emotional abuse Lying Cheating Manipulation Religious abuse Familial abuse
It is hard to go through tough situations but I have found the only way out is through.
It is not compassionate to allow people to constantly disregard your feelings and your experiences because they are not ready to make a decision to live emotionally healthy. If you enable others, ask yourself, "What is it in me that needs to be healed?" People who have struggled with codependency can struggle with enabling because they assist others to continue in destructive behaviors. As you heal you can help others appropriately with a hand up instead of a hand out that hurts them and you.
Faux-compassion says, “I love you but not enough to stop you in this course of action that will ruin your life, hurt others and deteriorate the fabric of family, friendships or business.
It is perfectly okay to honor the experiences of others without becoming a pin cushion that leaves you dazed, hurt and disrespected.
You should also keep in mind that you may not be able to help. In offering your help to anyone be moved by compassion and led by wisdom. If you cannot help at the time honor your capacity, honor their experience, pray, and give space for both sides to figure out what type of journey is best for all.
I strongly believe we are called to help others in different capacities but we are never called to behaviors that leave us in bondage. Heal the places in you that need to be needed in the wrong way so that you can take responsibility for how you show up in your relationships.
Love others, help others and live liberated my friend! It's all possible.
. Coach Kim
Coming soon: Emotional Expose' the Podcast