You could be suffering from enabler’s guilt without knowing what is causing your fear, anxiety, or depression. THE GOOD NEWS: It doesn’t have to be that way. Once you recognize what’s going on, you can take steps to change it, reclaim your power, and rebuild your life.
Do you ever feel that, somehow, it’s your job to make other people happy? Where do you think you got that idea? Who taught you that?
HIGHLIGHTS OF TODAY’S EPISODE:
- What enabler’s guilt is
- How enabler’s guilt is similar to survivor’s guilt and witness guilt
- Why guilt and feeling guilty are not the same
- How you came to believe other people are more important than you are
- Steps to rethink your guilt and reclaim your power
Those answers are a good start on how you may have come to have enabler’s guilt. In episode 196, I talked about people pleasing in depth. That’s part of it. Add to that the concept of The Fawning Response and you’ll understand more fully the underpinnings of my concept of “Enabler’s Guilt.”
You’ve likely heard of Survivor’s Guilt which happens when people believe they have done something wrong by surviving a traumatic or tragic event when others didn’t. Think of that as a parallel concept to Enabler’s Guilt….especially if you have already determined that you have, at times at least, been an enabler of a Hijackal, a difficult, toxic person. Here’s my definition of enabling to help:
“Enabling is when you usually step in to fix, solve, excuse, rationalize, justify, or make the consequences go away for the poor choices of others.” Familiar? Do you know an enabler? Are you one? Enabling often comes with codependence… another unhealthy approach to relationships.
If you are experiencing enabler’s guilt, or need insights and strategies to handle a relationship with a Hijackal, I’m here to help.
I wish you well.
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