Post # 1
Between being a good friend and enabling someone? Let’s say you have a friend, a really good friend, who is constantly making poor decisions and getting into hot water (not drugs or alcohol…More like finances, bad relationships, etc). How do you know you’re being a good friend and not enabling this kind of behavior?
Post # 3
@jb20: An example would be when observing your friend’s financial disasters over and over lend her an ear but don’t lend her any money. Being compassionate is one thing but giving money to someone who can’t manage it properly is enabling them to continue their bad spending habits.
Post # 4
For friends in which your good advice means nothing to them, you have to decide whether or not you’re ok with just listening to the same old problems over and over again because like you said they probably won’t listen and make poor life choices.
It doesn’t affect you directly so don’t worry about it too much, encourage, motivate, and inspire but don’t push them away.
Post # 5
@Sunfire: +1, exactly this.
Post # 6
I try really hard. But I almost feel like I just need a break. She is always falling apart, but she never tries to improve anything. She just looks for handouts and acts guilty about it. It’s frustrating.
@Sunfire: I never lend money. Ever. To anyone.
ETA: She doesn’t “act guilty”. She plays the victim.
Post # 7
@jb20: As the daughter of one alcoholic and one major enabler I have a hard time drawing lines sometimes too. But Sunfire’s example is spot on.
My sister does not manage her finances well. She gets this from our mom for sure. It’s like payday = we’re rich, but two days later = we can’t buy groceries. So my line is things like “I will babysit when you need to go to work or the doctor. I will not babysit when you want to go to Disneyland because you got paid.” She also makes bad decisions when it comes to her health (she’s diabetic). That one is harder to draw a line with. For me, recently, it’s been “I will drive to Las Vegas because you are in the ICU because you made stupid decisions. I will not lend you money to buy your meds because you already have plans to use the money you do have to go to the club this weekend.”
Post # 8
As a friend, maybe you can encourage her to get help. I used to be a wayward friend lol. Terrible relationship choices, awful with finances.
And I got help. Maybe you can recommend books on dating and money management? Maybe instead of just gossiping about her dating issues (which could be enabling), instead of listening you could say ‘That sounds weird to me….I know a lot of people who wouldn’t stand for this/would do this instead’ so that you can start putting her head in the right direction.
Just a thought 🙂
Post # 9
@jb20: You’re a smart lady. I had to learn my lesson about loaning money to perpetually broke friends the really hard way. Now if I can’t afford to give money as an outright gift I don’t give it any more.
Post # 10
Ack, I started a comment and then it got eaten 🙁
I have a friend like yours too and worry about the balance you mention. The best advice I’ve heard was from a mutual friend who has also spent time wondering about the same thing. She told me it is not my job as a friend to worry about someone else’s finances or love life…but it is my job as a friend to hear her out and provide appropriate support. I guess the ‘appropriate support’ part is where it gets tricky. It goes back to the situation a previous poster mentioned about being compasionate vs. giving money. I’ve learned with my friend that ‘appropriate support’ tends to be the more hands-off approach – in my case, listening to her complain about how difficult it is to find a job vs. emailing her job postings that she says she’s not qualified for (when she is. really.)