Enabling situations are complicated and those receiving the help often become angry and resentful when the helpful person stops helping. The best way is not to put yourself in a helping situation to begin with, however if you’ve already done this and are wondering how to remove yourself you might begin by having an honest discussion with the person. Let them know that you meant to be helpful but now realize how dependent they’ve become on your assistance and offer to help find them other options for assistance. The difficulty here is that the individual, now dependent, is not going to want to make any changes because they’ve been pampered by your help. Know that their desire not to change is their choice. They must make a choice to make changes in their life to accommodate the change of you not being there constantly. In the long term independence is better than dependence. Keep a stiff upper lip and make the changes you need to make the person you enabled will have to do the same. After all, they lived independently before you arrived on the scene.

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About Pamela Wilson

PAMELA D. WILSON, MS, BS/BA, NCG, CSA helps caregivers and aging adults solve caregiving problems and manage caregiving needs through online programs, live support groups, and an extensive caregiving library that includes articles, podcasts, videos, and webinars.

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