It’s one thing to be understanding, and then it’s another to be just an enabler. Do you understand your partner’s bad behavior, or are you an enabler?
We all have bouts of bad times in our lives when we lose who we are. Life is a battle; it’s a constant struggle to be happy and to just live.
When you have empathy, it is a heck of a lot easier to understand someone’s self-hatred, self-doubt, and self-worth.
As an empathetic person, it just comes naturally to want to help those who are suffering emotionally.
I often say that empathy is a double-edged sword because, despite the noble traits, it can also easily be used for ignoble purposes.
It is important to have some moral intelligence and know the difference between you being understanding of a hurt person’s feelings or just being an enabler of someone’s bad traits.
We all have it rough in life.
ALL OF US.
No one has a monopoly on pain.
No sex, no age, no race of people, no religious group, no political group, no culture, no nation, NO ONE PERSON has a monopoly on pain.
Yes, some people seem to have it a bit harder in life than others, but that is just the cards life handed to them, and I can guarantee you that the person who is lashing out at people because of their past has someone just like them who also had a hard life but overcame it.
A bad toxic past is not an excuse to not be a good person when other people have done so and shown that it is possible to be a good person.
In this article, I want to explore what it is to be understanding and what it is to be an enabler and hopefully help you make a better decision about what you are doing for the toxic person in your life.
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Are You Understanding Or Are You An Enabler?
What Does It Mean To Be Understanding?
To truncate this defintion to the best of my abilities, understanding is to be someone who has a mind that can accept that others simultaneously think differently from us but still share so many of our values, for the good and the bad.
Being understanding of others is a great tool not only for helping others but also for us not to get so personally connected to nasty people when they do us wrong.
Understanding that not everyone is at a certain level of thinking allows us to deal with the nasty action, take it in stride and move on.
In other words, it helps us to be adults about it.
Being understanding is a great skill that very few ever learn or even master.
What Is It To Be An Enabler?
And enabler, in layman’s terms, is a yes man on steroids. Everything that a narcissist or toxic person does is amazing. An enabler is a hype-man, they are a right hand, and they are just as bad as the toxic person.
Now, what distinguishes the enabler from a flying monkey is the enabler’s ability to think.
They know all too well what is right and wrong, but they play along and stroke the toxic person’s insanity flames because it is entertaining to them.
They will see a narcissist/toxic person go out their way to sabotage someone’s life and sit back and watch while eating popcorn.
These people are not virtuous, and they enjoy, just as much as the toxic person, seeing others suffer and knowing all too well that they could stop but choose not to stop it.
The Morally Ignorant: Not Understanding Or An Enabler
There is a third class of people that can fit nicely between these two. And this class of person is called the “morally ignorant.”
This person can see the wrongs that the toxic person is doing; they may want to help stop the toxic person from doing something bad but they don’t know what to say or how to handle it.
And because they lack the insight on how to curtail this situation, they will stand by and watch.
They don’t watch with glee.
Some will watch, hoping the person sees through the charade.
But they will stand by and say nothing because they don’t know what to do.
They are the morally ignorant.
Neither good or bad, they just sit right between each of these moral abstractions.
Are You An Enabler?
Given my definitions above, only you will be able to answer this question.
Are You Understanding?
If you understand a toxic person, you will see that they need help, but if you see them going out of their way to destroy a life, you will tell that life to stay away from the toxic person.
You are not afraid of their anger, nor are you incapable of doing the right thing even if you will be ridiculed.
To be understanding means you see the toxic person for what they are, but you will also not let them harm others because of the pain they go through.
As an understanding person, you will try and help them become better people, but you will not stand by and allow them to denigrate others around them.
Are You An Enabler?
If you are an enabler, you see the toxic person for what they are.
You see what they are trying to do to someone’s life, and you sit by and say nothing.
Not out of fear, but you want to see the narcissists destroy that person’s life.
It causes you glee to see others suffer and suffer at the hands of the narcissist/toxic person.
When someone catches wind of what the toxic person is doing, you then swoop in and defend the narcissist by saying the person just doesn’t understand them and that they aren’t as bad as they think they are.
This is the main objective of an enabler. To throw shades of doubt at anyone who may question the toxic person’s motive.
Are You Morally Ignorant?
You see what the toxic person is doing, and you know that you should and could say something, but the fear of revenge from the toxic person coupled with the ignorance of what you should say or do, weighs down on you.
You hate that you see the wrongs that they do, but you feel incapable of doing anything because you doubt yourself.
Your ignorance keeps you from voicing what is so blatantly obvious to you.
Doing The Right Thing Has Never Been Easy
It is not easy doing the right thing.
This is not to sway you from the path of doing the right thing, but to show you that it is not easy and that it does require insight that is not typical in most people.
All I can say is that we must learn to treat people as we would like to be treated. And must learn to place ourselves in the shoes of others.
Ask yourself, if someone was using you, would you want someone to stand by and say nothing, or would you like someone to tell you?
The world is full of nasty people, they are a dime and a penny a dozen.
Let’s try and be something that not only we would want others to be, but be that which the world desperately needs.
So which one are you?