Since the 1980s, enabling has gained a new meaning: behavior in one per-son which hinders an able person from taking responsibility for filling their own needs. The classic example is a wife calling her hung-over mate's boss to make an excuse for him not coming in to work. Another example is an over-protective parent who is scared to let their child take safe, growthful risks.
Though well-intentioned short-term, enabling prevents the person from developing self-sufficiency and self-confidence long term. Doing this compulsively can be called rescuing, which is often a symptom of codependence (relationship addiction). Often, the enabler gains something by hindering the other person.
Enablers usually survived low-nurturance childhoods who are unaware of being controlled by well-meaning false selves. Their ruling subselves may also choose a "helpless" Victim role and unconsciously invite others to enable them. Symptoms of enabling are (a) compulsively avoiding self-responsibility, (b) hin-dering it in others, (c) fearing confrontations and conflicts, and (d) denying or justifying these choices. Asserting and enforcing respectful limits, "Tough Love," and "interventions" are empowering alternatives to enabling