Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers advice for maintaining your mental health.

Don't Enable Abuse or Evil!

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Sep 5, 2013 9:24 PM

It's painful and it's risky not to enable people's bad, harmful behaviors. However, it's more dangerous, and even disrespectful towards oneself, the other and the world, to allow continued abuse of one sort or another.

Don't continue to allow the doctor-husband to abuse alcohol or drugs just because he hasn't been "caught" and denies that the substance interferes with his performance. Don't be afraid of leaving him alone or being alone yourself or hampering his career. That's not love. It's unhealthy dependency.

Don't allow the mean spouse or bully to rage verbally or worse, demeaning others and getting away with saying or doing harmful things. Leave the room, the house, the class, the school or the town, whatever is necessary to feel safe and send a message. It's not being "nice." It's helping someone be obnoxious. Care about that violent person to force growth, not perpetuate violence.

Don't let manipulative, invasive relatives destroy your pride, privacy or closest relationships. Set boundaries. Treat them in a way which changes things by showing them you can't be controlled. When they move your furniture or do your laundry without your permission, ask them to do so much "work" they tire of it or do it to them, too. When they pry or gossip viciously, make it back-fire. It's better that they become embarrassed or confronted than that they learn it's OK to act out continually.

If a country gasses it's people, then, or cuts off their hands, or starves them to death, do we love the world and respect ourselves and our peers so little that we turn a blind eye to evil and enable more violence than any society can bear?

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