Q:

What is an enabler personality?

A:

According to Psych Central, an enabler personality causes one to voluntarily take on and suffer the consequences of someone else's behavior. In most cases, this term is used when loved ones with an enabler personality cover or bail out drug addicts, alcoholics, gamblers and compulsive eaters. However, it can be used in other situations as well. Enablers often make it easier for the destructive behavior to continue, notes Internet Therapist.

Enabling begins when a well-intentioned person tries to help out by taking on the responsibilities and problems of another. Examples of enabling include loaning money to an addict, making excuses for the person, fulfilling commitments, repairing property and bailing the offender out of jail. Psych Central states that in the later stages of enabling, the enabler takes on more and more responsibility, which can cause resentment and may lead to a breakdown of the family unit.

Enabling prevents the person engaging in destructive behavior from feeling or experiencing the consequences of his own actions, says Psych Central. This can be extremely damaging as negative consequences are usually the driving force behind change. Enabling actually prevents the person from changing and can prolong the duration of an addiction or similar illness.

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