Enabling Family and Friends

  1. Do you ever observe overly solicitous and pampering friends and relatives of utterly obnoxious, complaining, ungrateful, pains in you know whats, and wonder? Why? Why do they feed the bear? Why do they wait on this demanding, exasperating person hand and foot? It's bad for the person, society and the universe!
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    About Emergent, RN

    Joined: Dec '13; Posts: 2,363; Likes: 17,290

    15 Comments

  3. by   Penelope_Pitstop
    Bad shift?
  4. by   ICUman
    Because of patient satisfaction scores, which now includes the nurse pleasing the family members as well.

    Add in the family members and really the nurse is caring for dozens of patients each shift who gripe about every little thing.

    ETA: (I thought you meant at work)
    Last edit by ICUman on Apr 14
  5. by   canoehead
    I recently had a conversation with a family member, and pointed out that the patient was treating them badly, while they were bending over backwards to be helpful. I told them that it was OK to set boundaries, and it was OK to not tolerate bad behavior. I suggested leaving the room when there was screaming and cursing, for example. The family looked relieved when I said we would support them if they wanted to set some boundaries. I thought it was a great conversation because so often I see the enabling, but didn't realize that family might just be looking for permission to stop.
  6. by   Davey Do
    Quote from Emergent
    Do you ever observe overly solicitous and pampering friends and relatives of utterly obnoxious, complaining, ungrateful, pains in you know whats, and wonder? Why? Why do they feed the bear? Why do they wait on this demanding, exasperating person hand and foot? !
    Well, Emergent, before I married Belinda, I made her stick it in the wedding vows.

    You know: "I Belinda, take you, Davey Do to be my lawfully wedded husband to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, while you're being an utterly obnoxious, complaining, ungrateful, pain in the you know what until I've had all I can stands and I can't stands no more."

    Does this shed some light on the situation for you?
  7. by   JKL33
    Hmm...most of the time it seems like a fairly entrenched co-dependency that I won't even put a dent in during the course of the ED visit. It's a non-urgent can of worms.

    The great majority of the time I pretty much don't go there (suspected abuse notwithstanding). Displaying any sort of recognition is feeding it. Game face. Stay pleasant.
  8. by   Davey Do
    Quote from JKL33
    Hmm...most of the time it seems like a fairly entrenched co-dependency that I won't even put a dent in during the course of the ED visit.
    Yeah, but we co-dependents need to be identified ASAP.

    Perhaps we could have our own waiting room?

    wait-png
  9. by   Been there,done that
    Depends on the diagnosis. Family just wants the patient as comfortable as possible, in a cold hospital environment.
  10. by   CharleeFoxtrot
    How do you think ungrateful, obnoxious demanding entitled humans come into being? They are created by brow beaten well intentioned just happy someone loves me and they will only love me if I let them run roughshod all over me types.
  11. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Emergent
    Do you ever observe overly solicitous and pampering friends and relatives of utterly obnoxious, complaining, ungrateful, pains in you know whats, and wonder? Why? Why do they feed the bear? Why do they wait on this demanding, exasperating person hand and foot? It's bad for the person, society and the universe!
    Because he's in the hospital and that's what she assumes she's *supposed* to do? I've always tried to educate family members to let the patient do things himself -- as he's able, of course. Nevertheless, there are a few (usually wives) every year who insist upon feeding him, pulling up his blankee, holding the water glass for him and even (and this shocks me) wiping his butt. I haven't ever observed husbands doing this for their wives, but I suppose it does happen from time to time.
  12. by   wondern
    Very interesting observation, Ruby Vee. Thanks for shedding some light there.

    There's another thing to be grateful for today! So glad I can do that on my own.
  13. by   hawaiicarl
    They've been enabled since birth, how do you think they ended up that way?

    Cheers
  14. by   LibraSunCNM
    Yes, from time to time I wonder "why???" but then I realize if I gave emotional energy to every toxic family dynamic I encountered, I'd be drained of emotions real quick. I just feel sorry for them.

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