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8 Signs You Crossed the Line from Supportive to an Enabler

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Why Being an Enabler is a Problem (Versus Being Supportive)

If you or someone you know enables a loved one’s behavior, there is likely a good reason for it. Most enablers think if they don’t help, the situation will worsen. However, it only encourages their negative behavior, which is the worst possible solution.

While you might think that enabling helps the person, it has the opposite effect. Enabling causes problems for the people around your loved one. Plus, they don’t see the consequences of their behaviors, making it nearly impossible for them to want to get help.

Your loved ones will never want to do better if you continually jump in to save them. They will think that the people in their life owe them special treatment and they don’t have to do anything to improve their situation. Every time you enable, you contribute to the problem.

Your loved ones will never learn to do things for themselves. They will never see their potential or know what they can when you cater to their every need and desire.


When your loved one constantly seems to have drama and hardship in their life, it could be their way to seek attention. They might start making decisions that cause disaster as a way to inflict drama on themselves. If you run to them every time they call or fall apart, they’ll know the perfect way to get your support.

How to Stop Being an Enabler (While Learning to Remain Supportive)

If these signs helped you recognize that you’re an enabler, you could make a change. To stop being an enabler, start with the following actions:

  • Speak up and acknowledge the issue
  • Encourage your loved one to get help
  • Set and enforce boundaries
  • Say no sometimes
  • Get therapy for yourself to overcome enabling behavior

Final Thoughts on Signs You Crossed the Line from Supportive to an Enabler

Being an enabler doesn’t mean you agree with your loved one’s behavior. However, it teaches the person that their behavior is okay and you’ll always be there to fix the problems. If you have crossed the line from supportive to an enabler, you must correct your actions.

Don’t be afraid you’ll hurt your loved ones because you only want what’s best for them. It’s more important that you speak up, set boundaries, and stay supportive to help them overcome their issues. You might struggle to be firm at first, but it’ll get more manageable, and it’s well worth it.

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