A Reformed Enabler


The following account is an excerpt from Humans: Instructions 

… So from now on, I cease to be the receptacle of your responsibilities, the sack of your guilt, the laundress of your remorse, the advocate of your faults, the wall of your lamentations, the depositary of your duties, who should solve your problems or spare a dime every time to fulfill your responsibilities. From now on, I declare all independent and self-sufficient adults. Everyone at my Mum’s house was speechless. From that day on, the family began to function better because everyone in the house knew exactly what it is that they needed to do. Be MEsponsible.

An empowering response to someone’s ‘story’ or plight, placed after listening, safety and empathy is: 

   “What are you going to do?” This question encourages problem solving and acknowledges the person’s self-governing ability to make their own decisions. It also shows your attentiveness, care, and respect. 


Another appropriate response is Referral. Referring (or encouraging) the person to see a professional is also one of the best ways you can effectively help someone who is vulnerable. You may know of a practitioner or an agency who could professionally help and share that information with them. A solid referral suggestion is always a General Practitioner. ‘Yes”, the Doctor’s office. They really are a ‘one stop shop’ offering a helping service to ALL people and ALL wellbeing conditions. It is then the person’s choice to do what they want with the helpful information you shared.

Try to avoid catastrophising the person’s circumstance (any further) for example: viewing their circumstance as considerably the worst or joining-in on their emotion (mirroring and transference), as this not only can contribute to enabling and disabling the person but can potentially raise their anxiety even further. Moreover, catastrophising may also result in emotional triggering for you. As it is for them, so it is for you – that one’s own personal safety and mental wellbeing is absolute. Offer appropriate means of assistance. But do not trade-in your own personal, emotional, and mental safety, nor be guilted or manipulated to emotionally, financially, and mentally rescue for example. Even our first responders have helping limitations if their own personal safety is deemed high risk. 

A person’s story will be sad; perhaps challenging for them, perhaps even tears of fury and frustration and hard to hear. It is a privileged position when a fellow human chooses you to tell. Your empathy, integrity and emotional intelligence is also needed in this space. 

It is a perceptive subject, as your response to help another is of course of your own discretion and design, influenced by such constructs as context, relationship, experience, religious and spiritual beliefs, expectation, how it makes you feel, financial capacity etc. 

Permission to have boundaries in the helping process. What these boundaries are is entirely up to you. But have them.

Being human with you 

Sandy 0439 060 150

Ref: https://humansinstructions.com