Friends Don’t Let Friends…What? The Fallacy of Permissiveness

No matter how old you get, peer pressure is still a big thing. It can be quite difficult to settle the line between having a fun time with friends and feeding their destructive or negative behavior. The trouble with having friends who have alcoholic tendencies or even are full blown alcoholics, friends have a hard time trying to find the balance of being a friend and crossing the line into being a caretaker of sorts.

After all, friends aren’t supposed to be the source of issues and it can be quite easy to just simply cut off contact since they aren’t really related to the troublesome person. However, for circles of friends that do enjoy a rather deep bond, distancing from the troublesome individual can be extremely difficult.

Fallacy of Permissiveness

Permissiveness refers to allowing a significant amount of freedom regarding a behavior or attitude. For a social setting, there are certain things that we go along with because it’s what’s “cool” or we do not want to offend. We also tend to believe that friends should be more accepting since they are not our relatives and therefore do not have the same strict standard of behavior that family members usually have.

The trouble with this permissiveness is the fact that it often ends up empowering and enabling truly bad or destructive behavior. There is a very good reason why a lot of people tend to do drugs in groups or even drink until they’re pretty much incapacitated. People tend to get carried away in the heat of the moment. It is a sort of social hysteria, if you care to think of this that way.

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How do you avoid falling into the fallacy of permissiveness?

Set Boundaries

It is always good to have set boundaries. If your friends are truly your friends, they will respect those boundaries. Before you guys go out to have a good time, be clear on what you think would be too many drinks or what sort of behavior will not be acceptable.

Do Not Feel like You Have to Save Your Friends

Often an alcoholic will try to find a truly sympathetic person to latch on to. They will try to manipulate that person into enabling their destructive behavior. Asking for “one more shot” or something as extreme as bailing them out of jail all feed into their bad habits.

Please Remember

If you truly cared about your friend, you will not feed their behavior. If your friends cared about you, they will not put you into a difficult position of enabling their selfish desires. So if you presently have anyone like this in your life, you must seriously consider getting them the help that they need.

What boundaries do you have to avoid the pitfall of permissiveness?

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