enabled with

madword

Senior Member
Chinese
<< Excessive quotation deleted. >>

“I once enabled with the best of them, telling myself the other person was going to do whatever the other person wanted to do, with or without me. I went ahead and enabled in part to prove the other person’s behavior didn’t affect me. That was a lie on my part to begin with. But the bigger lie—one I didn’t consciously realize I was telling myself and everyone else through my behavior—was that my enabling wasn’t hurting anyone.” (John Hoover)

How to understand the underlined part, especially the word "enabled". Also, I'm not sure what "them" refer to.


 
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  • quillerbee

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Hi madword, the verb "enable" has become a jargon word. It is used concerning people with self-destructive behaviours, such as alcoholism or drug-addiction. If my brother has an alcohol problem and I call his boss to make an excuse why he is late for work, then I make it easier for my brother to be an alcoholic, or I enable (or allow) him to be an alcoholic. Even though I think I am helping him, I am actually hurting him by not pushing him to change his life.

    The phrase "with the best of them" is a separate question.
     

    madword

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you for your intant help.
    Hi madword, the verb "enable" has become a jargon word. It is used concerning people with self-destructive behaviours, such as alcoholism or drug-addiction. If my brother has an alcohol problem and I call his boss to make an excuse why he is late for work, then I make it easier for my brother to be an alcoholic, or I enable (or allow) him to be an alcoholic. Even though I think I am helping him, I am actually hurting him by not pushing him to change his life.

    The phrase "with the best of them" is a separate question.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I'm familiar with "enable" as in "enable him to be an alcoholic"—but "enable" used as an intransitive verb, without any object, as it is in this quotation, puzzles me.
     

    quillerbee

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I'm familiar with "enable" as in "enable him to be an alcoholic"—but "enable" used as an intransitive verb, without any object, as it is in this quotation, puzzles me.
    Hi Parla, the object is understood, as one can be simply a driver. We know there is a car somewhere. The writer of the quote is talking about his tendency to accomodate everyone, even when it is not the best thing to do.
     
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