Sunday, April 29, 2012

Empowerment vs. Enabling

I don't believe it's possible to empower and enable at the same time.

You are either someone who empowers others to be their best and take responsibility for themselves or you are someone who thrives on enabling people to stay the way they are so that you can satisfy your need to be needed, wanted and appreciated.

When I see someone enabling another it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

The lengths that some people will go to keep others helpless is a bit disturbing.

What's worse is when the person being enabled is bathing in the attention.


Some might think empowerment is heartless, cruel and cold.

I disagree.

I believe that when we empower someone regardless of their background, health issues and the other myriad of stuff we humans have in our past and present, we are loving them enough to show them how to love themselves.

The people who use their story to break every rule are going to continue doing it until someone empowers them to stop.

The people who use their illness to get everything they want are going to continue using that excuse until someone empowers them to take responsibility for their own well-being.

It is interesting to see someone ignore their own boundaries and limitations simply because someone 'less fortunate' is needy.  The victim story gets played and people fall at their feet as though they are key players in that story.

Why do we do this?  Why do we ignore what is best for us in the name of 'being nice'.  This is not empowering? 

My take is simple.  When someone else is hurting because of their story, the victim inside of us wants them to stop hurting and so we will give up our commonsense and our own needs simply to stop that persons pain.  But not because we want what is best for them.  Truthfully, it is because we ourselves are in so much pain that we cannot take the pain of another.

True empowerment is when you can keep your needs, morals and values in tact while uplifting another person into a space where they can do the same.

Getting clear on who you are and what you will and will not accept makes it easy to empower yourself and others.  It makes it easy to get what you want out of life.

A world full of empowered people is a very good thing.


  1. Truly. Give me the encouragement to continue on without you.

  2. Very well said!! Enabling is crippling to everyone involved. I wish more people understood this concept. Melanie beatie has excellent books on co-dependancy.

  3. My dad made a great comment the other day: "At some point a person has to participate in their own rescue". That may become my favorite catch-phrase on enabling!


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