Posted by: Marie | August 11, 2010

(376) Neurotic enabling

Post #376
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, March 3, 2010]

A couple of months ago, I read a post on the “Psychology, Philosophy and Real Life” blog titled “Empowerment Tools: Let Go of Harmful Misconceptions”. I subscribed to the comments.

Today, a new comment appeared on the post – the comment was written by the post’s author, Dr. George Simon in response to a reader’s comment. Dr. Simon’s response really struck home for me in relation to how I’m dealing with Mark:

“Hi, Cathy. Thanks for the question. Let’s see if I can answer it in a helpful way.

“When someone gives what appears a rational explanation (rationalizes) for behavior (e.g., ‘my parents fought and I don’t want that in my life’), that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve given you all (or possibly even the primary reason) for the motivation behind their behavior. Besides, when it come to reckoning with behavior and developing one’s character, the ‘reasons’ for a behavior are irrelevant. If a behavior presents a problem, it needs to be corrected.

“Also, be careful about using the term ‘defensively’ when describing how people react. This implies either that another person has actually attacked the person or that the person at least perceives that another has attacked them. Seeing yourself as an attacker simply because you confront issues is a sure way to eventually succumb to manipulation tactics.

“Neurotics try way too hard to ‘understand.’ The person dealing with a disturbed character does not need ‘insight’ into their behavior, and the disturbed character already has insight. Trying to ‘understand’ too much inevitably fosters ‘enabling.’

“Lastly, there are two kinds of fighting: constructive and destructive. Sometimes we need to stand up for a noble cause or principle, provided we do so with discipline and without malice. Such fighting is often constructive. Fighting for only something we want and without care about the impact on others is almost always destructive.”

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