Accommodation versus Enabling: what’s the difference? Everything — if you ask a psychologist, philosopher, historian, forensic psychology analyst, or cunning linguist. The difference between making an accommodation and enabling is as different as comparing oranges to Cadillacs, as enabling reflects social strategizing while accommodating reflects a horizontal thinker’s desire to let a beneficiary know they are psychologically, physically, and emotionally valuable.
Vertical thinkers tend to make inappropriate social accommodations for people who are overtly prone to behaving in ways that are verbal, emotionally, or socially abusive to other human beings by habit.
Arguably, vertical thinkers (meaning people who place the social or emotional needs of an Abuser they seek to impress above the rights of others offer to abuse by proxy in order to win social favor with the abusive person or peer group who commands them to abuse others as well as themselves at their behest) truly believe they are making pragmatic ethical choices [despite overwhelming social welfare and physical healthcare evidence to the contrary].
The following article examines the word “accommodation” as it relates to parts of speech as well as illustrates a few risk examples when the essence of the meaning of the word is misunderstood or conflated with the spirit of enabling by gaslighting the word form’s spirit using doublespeak.
If you are not into academic discussion or debate about things like what the form of a word means by Platonic essence, do not worry. There’s loads of information to peruse that can help you right your thinking about whether or not capitulating to a socially aggressive and compulsively attention-seeking person’s irrational demands be met is a good idea or morally correct.
Simply glance through the terminology discussion and pop down to the bold section headlines explaining the difference between making an accommodation for a normal person — such as preparing a meal that is gluten-free in a safe kitchen environment free from cross-contamination in order to allow a guest to enjoy a meal you have cooked or provided with them if they are Celiac or medically intolerant of something like wheat — and facilitating the abuse of self and others for no purpose other than to gain favor with a morally insane and socially deplorable person who chooses to see how far they can push other people before their target breaks, physically collapses, or flat out runs out of time, psychological interest, and emotional fortitude to keep trying.
While the dictionary definition of the term accommodation has many meanings, hopefully one thing will be perfectly clear to any reader by or before the time they actually finish reading this post…
That ACCOMODATING to include a person in social activity has absolutely nothing to do with enabling abuse. Conversely, people who refuse to enable Abusers are simply not bad people, heartless, cold, immoral, or irrational in any way when and if they make a mindful and deliberate choice to refuse to assist or enable a toxic person who is likely to abuse them (as a hospitality provider by nature) or others who the Abuser and others like them tend to view on a social rubric as lessers.
What does the term accommodating mean?
Accommodation is a psychology term when used in the context of discussing making a lifestyle choice modification to accommodate the unique or special needs of a person, peer group, or specific type of individual.
In theory, it’s typically supposed to refer to a pro-social term, but when a Cluster B thinker or Narcissistic Abuse Enabler hears the term, they tend to take it out of context, striving to get their targeted gaslighting victims to believe that tolerating or willingly facilitating their own abuse is the same thing as being a gracious host, an accommodating person, or an unconditionally loving person, romantic partner, or family member.
Bear with us while we get a bit wordy and wax poetic and philosophical about the misappropriation of the term accommodation by psychologists, special education teachers, and those who seek to abuse the spirit of the law with regard to the term by abusing accommodating people and striving to make the idea of making an accommodation for other people’s health or well-being negative.
Accommodation as Noun, Verb, and Adjective
Accommodating is a mindful act of showing purposeful respect to another person. As such, the term accommodate has word use as a noun, verb, and adjective.
The goal of accommodating (meaning to accommodate — used as a verb) is to let everyone’s needs be met in a social group. With the goal of being able to mutually interact and share time, space, work tasks, or thoughts with others regardless of physical need for some form of modified ergonomic routine or social step in mind, people all around the world thrive in co-creative spaces, families, and workforces where the efforts of all are equally respected and valued without any one person needing to feel as if they are competing against their own team or pit fighting socially and physically against one another.
The WORD accommodation is a noun (when referring to a hotel or motel stay type of facility. A family may offer accommodations to an out of town traveler by offering them the opportunity to stay in their guest room, for instance, making the room geography coupled with their willingness to welcome the guest and show hospitality a Platonic word form “ACCOMMODATION” a token notion coupling a physical area with a vibe, spirit, or essence of gracious welcoming implied in its essence.
But making “accommodations” — that’s a different gist of the word or implicit phrase use entirely. Making accommodations or saying something like, “Accommodations have been made” ties the neural concept of accommodations (noun) with the verb concept of accommodating (verb) implicitly together with the behavior of the accommodating person.
Accommodating, with regard to action, is not the same word use implication when describing, for instance, a human being as being an Accommodating Person.
Accommodating people tend to have People Pleaser personality types, while a person who makes accommodations to acquiesce to the demands of others in order to avoid being personally targeted for abuse while simultaneous self-promoting tend to be Enablers.
Hear this now. There’s nothing wrong with making accommodations for a guest or to accommodate the wellness needs of another human being… unless you are asked to harm self or others in order to appease a vertical thinker.
Accommodating is a polite term to suggest a person is a gracious host. It’s oftentimes used sarcastically to insult people who strive to please everyone at the expense of themselves, but when it is not being used in a derogatory fashion it truly actually is a testament to spirit.
A host can be viewed as accommodating (used as an adjective) when they display evidence they were thinking of the comfort, care, and best interest needs of any guest or social companion. A host can communicate care without needing to leap to action, such as offering food or drink to a guest (meaning whether the guest accepts the token food or drink items or not is not contingent on the host having the right to having their hospitable or accommodating nature validated).
Accommodation as a Psychology Term
Accommodation. Making accommodations. Being an accommodating person.
All are appropriate uses of the term in a positive context with no amoral or immoral implication. People who accommodate use their own intrapersonal skillset about things like how to create a comfortable living space or event atmosphere to help themselves as much as others.
[Creating an office space for yourself and employees to enjoy is actually practical as much or more than it’s in any way a moral choice. Humans thrive when their needs are met, it’s that simple; if you design the office to ensure your own needs are met from a self-care aspect and others derive benefit, you have not necessarily done something moral by designing it, although one arguably is being moral by allowing others to view or utilize the space if you technically believe that eschewing exclusivity is a moral action, making sharing abundance a moral choice compared to more neutrally simply allowing functional access for a neutral moral purpose.]
But there’s a dark side to the art of accommodation, a slippery slope merging the needs of a host to sate the desires of those who they feel interested in or obligated to help or assist in life that must be discussed.
Accommodation, as a noun delineating the notion of a lifestyle habit or psychological practice, is typically used to describe one person or hospitable peer or peer group meeting the needs of a student, guest, or traveler. Accommodations refer to the physical structure of a place where humans stay or congregate, and accommodations within those living spaces or workplace areas are likely to include things like interior space designs to please and provide comfort for the user(s).
However, when discussing making accommodations for a person of interest to help them moderate or in some way emotionally and psychologically control their behavior, the term ACCOMMODATION becomes stipulative by definition.
Reciprocity is Key to Healthy Relationships
Here’s where the act of making accommodations to include others becomes a dicey moral as well as psycho-social proposition. Piaget, a famous psychology pioneer, described the process of modifying environment or communication style in order to meet the needs of a challenged or challenging person as a tandem process.
Tandem — as in a “reciprocal” process requiring the capitulation and interest of one or more parties — is a word that implies codependence without applying a moral judgment to quality, tone, or tenor of any social interaction or form of effective communication.
If you find yourself nervously singing “It Takes Two, Baby” in your own head and wondering whether or not you are an accommodating person or an Enabler, relax.
[If you are still reading this article, we can help with that. Relax — no one is being judgemental here… we’re simply having a homeschool discussion for the sake of establishing a common ground platform of intellectual and academic term definition for the sake of expanding and hopefully elevating everyone’s comprehension.]
In order for person A to have their needs met socially and emotionally as well as physically, they tend to require persons B, C, and D to change their own actions, habits, or lifestyle patterns.
When person A is something like physically disabled or handicapped, the changes all parties undertake when making a modification might be something as simple as adding a wheelchair ramp to the outside of a building, installing an elevator or chair lift for ascending stairs if compromised mobility is an issue, and ensuring furniture is arranged to allow free access to room spaces by wheelchair.
If, however, accommodations have to be made to tolerate a person with Cluster B, modifications tend to produce extreme distress in those who are functionally affected by the toxic thinker’s demands for special treatment.
If person A is abusive and incapable of horizontal thinking, they will see themselves on a vertical spectrum of social importance. Believing themselves to be entitled to better treatment than other humans, the expectation is that any person who serves them is actually lucky to have the chance to do so.
If you are the hospitality agent confronted by a narcissistic thinker, helping them or not is your choice. You have a right to say NO to unreasonable requests or demands that cause you or anyone else to suffer or go without in favor of the narcissistic person being able to (quite unappreciatively) have their own needs met.
Cluster B people are not capable of understanding when an accommodation is offered that it requires a tandem effort. Believe this assertion is correct or not, but understand that your opinion will not change the behavior of a narcissistic person regardless of how much you choose to engage in the use of magical thinking.
They expect the hospitality provider to offer effort with no respect, acknowledgment, or valuing of their effort made in return. Essentially, they want to steal from the poor and hoard, while denigrating any person or humanitarian peer group who by nature enjoys sharing goodwill, making a collaborative social effort to share time, and who go out of their way to make others feel appreciated.
If you bend over backward to please a person who is socially competitive by nature, it’s crucial to understand that the minute you tolerate or enable abuse of yourself or others that you have stopped being a morally neutral agent. If you keep trying to please because you seek validation or to manipulate the abuser’s behavior in a way that is pro-social, technically speaking that’s enabling while attention-seeking and self-promoting.
Are your reasons for enabling wholeheartedly narcissistic or immoral? No. But the fact of the matter is that when a Cluster B person bellows or abuses and is rewarded for their poor social behavior and mannerisms by having their own needs met at the direct and derivative expense of other humans, the Enabler actually played Pavlov to Piaget’s dog in the cosmic connotation of a grand psychology-based accommodation experiment.
The following sections include examples of accommodating gone awry. Before reacting to any verbal cue by a vertical thinker, consider the actual goal of the speaker.
Then, do what any rational, otherwise healthy, and morally sane Narcissistic Abuse victim in recovery would do. Go gray rock and observe.
If you make the same accommodation in your lifestyle routine for any person who requires your tandem participation to have their own needs met, chances are you are simply an accommodating person. However, if you seek to help an abusive person in order to prevent them from throwing a temper tantrum?
That’s being an ENABLER (even if and when that person happens to be an actual child or physical toddler).
Toxic Accommodations for a person with NPD
A person with NPD, for instance, is never a person capable of seeing someone offering them help or constructive criticism as something positive. If a new office worker is not alerted that the boss has NPD, for instance, they may be targeted for social harm for offering helpful and productive suggestions at a staff meeting. In order to accommodate the boss’ ego, staff may (wisely) warn the co-worker to make mental notes of all their ideas and suggestions, but to keep them private until such time the team can figure out a way to make the boss think they came up with the helpful, pro-social, company changing idea themselves.
The worker is left feeling like they are walking on eggshells and is functionally prohibited from being able to aspire without restriction in the workforce in exchange for being able to keep their job. Obviously, the Abuser is left feeling in total control and power while everyone at the office — suffering from financial and social abuse — suffers personal health and psycho-spiritual decline by “accommodating” the personality needs of the narcissistic social predator.
Those who choose to remain employed under the Aggressor are likely to have passive-aggressive, Covert Narcissist tendencies; those who seek gainful employment in a co-creative, supportive, and nurturing environment are likely to feel an overwhelming sense of relief and physical rebound of healthful spirit within days or weeks of leaving the job for a greener employment environment.
Toxic Accommodations for a person with BPD
A person with BPD may enjoy a fantastic run of social success while playing life of the party at the local bar, but when they arrive back at their home, their persistently terrorized family members are likely to report feeling like they are walking on eggshells, striving constantly to stop the Borderline from raging. Any little detail can set them off — what time a meal does or does not get on the table, where someone set their keys, who moved the cheese in the refrigerator, why did the phone ring during dinner (thanks, telemarketers).
There is no detail too small to incite their rage — someone changed lanes in front of them, a traffic light failed to turn green fast enough to suit their needs. If you have to ask for their help with anything? Try not to end up in a social position where you are forced to rely on them for anything. No matter how large or small the task, you will be forced to treat them as if whatever favor they did require epic heroism on their part. If you ask them to pull into the gas station to buy half-and-half for the morning coffee — knowing full well they drive right past it — expect never to hear the end of how much it inconvenienced them, how much of an effort it took to stop, how much it personally and professionally inconvenienced them, and that the cost of the item and their fuel is greater than the value of all the collected pots from the Ming Dynasty.
Even if you pay them for the cost of gas, the item, and the MANUAL LABOR at 500 times the fiscal worth or cost, you will never hear the end of it. The tale will be thrown in your face along with a laundry list of everything they ever did to allegedly help you — including but not limited to them letting YOU pay their way, wait on them hand and foot, and for letting YOU go out of your way to do all you can to accommodate their needs, wishes, and comfort. It’s abuse by exposure with this particular power, attention, and control seeking group.
In unhealthy relationships, co-dependent partners are likely to go out of their way to please the Alpha Abuser while they, as Beta Abusers themselves (meaning people who willingly enable the bad social and emotional behaviors of others), are likely to keep the Abuser on a pedestal, to position themselves in the role of caretaker for the deranged person or peer group, and to fantasize they are somehow better than people who refuse to behave like Enablers for their self-willing nature to play the martyr.
The Abuser ends up conditioned to rage to get their way while the Enabler teaches everyone who witnesses the pattern that the Abuser and the Enabler enact every day are either forced to accommodate the TWO of them or they will be targeted for social abuse and forced isolation. People who are aware of the Narcissistic Cycle of Abuse happening between vertical thinkers but are not vertical thinkers themselves are known as Collateral Damage Victims.
Toxic Accommodations for a person with HPD
Remember Great Aunt Edna who used to arrive for holiday dinners? Or Uncle Glenn — that fellow who always reminded the family of a bull in a china shop whenever he attended a family reunion?
You know — that grande dame or beer-swilling yokel who dominates every social environment they enter? Accommodating a person with HPD is always necessary for victim survival. After all, the drama kings and drama queens of the world expect all eyes to be on them, with their attention-seeking needs and demands fawned and busy-bodied over constantly.
People with HPD tend to go out of their way to force other people to make special accommodations for them at all times, no matter where they go. For instance, they may require a special pillow or something like water in a wine glass each time they leave the house, expecting dinner party hosts and restauranteurs to bow to their demand and acquiesce fast.
They will always tell you they are the most important person in the room — until you call them on the fact that they are behaving in ways that are socially invalidating other people’s fundamental human rights. If you don’t agree to silence yourself, expect them to go off.
The HPD will become exceptionally verbose and strive to attention suck while going on and on about how much they simply do everything for other people. The Martyr complex will be paraded around so obviously they might as well drag “The Buddy Christ” from Dogma around behind them. [It’s a statue.] Granted, no HPD martyrs themselves for the sake of others ever, in any way, actually.
What they do is conflate airing a long list of grievances about what they believe makes those in the world around them worthless or of lesser social and moral status than themselves with telling people that they are lucky the HPD person will even grant them an audience. Accommodating their belief in their own grandiosity is a necessary evil if you want to keep your name off their targeted “Narcissistic Rivalry” list.
However, those who claim to love and feel for HPDs and report being socially or sexually attracted to them tend to have innately low self-esteem, to feel comfortable in the company of people who constantly demean and socially devalue them, and who feel like they are somehow better than other humans because they are successfully able to maintain the status of pet.
Needless to say, if a person feeds their desire to caretake another by making around the clock personal and lifestyle accommodations to those with “colorful” personalities, they tend to end up emotionally and psychologically exhausted, financially harmed, and suffering from Stockholm Syndrome inspired Cognitive Dissonance about their Abuser as well as the co-creative role they themselves play in their own abusing.
Toxic Accommodations for a person with ASPD
Ah, the Sociopath. Or Psychopath, depending on the nurtured culture of an ASPD person’s family.
The Sociopath is Grumpy Dwarf, constantly unable to be pleased. The Psychopath is all the rage, metaphorically as well as literally speaking.
The longest APSD people tend to go without creating dramatic incidents of abuse and forced abuse toleration at home seems to be quarterly. Those with extreme personality disorders may strive to manufacture chaos daily, but for the most part, many more seem to enjoy the game of lulling a targeted victim into a sense of emotional, personal, physical, or financial safety, then to pull the rug out from under their feet. At least once a quarter, boredom seems to overtake the emotional sensations of people with Anti-Social Personality Disorder on a biochemical level.
As their neurology shifts cyclically and varies according to things like diet, age, hormonal pattern, sleep deprivation or abundance, physical fitness level, et cetera, the more these unique vertical thinkers tend to strive to provoke adrenal stimulation by attention-seeking in the most bizarre ways most human beings could possibly imagine.
Have a bad day at work? Come home and boil your child’s pet fish while they watch.
Mad dinner was not served at 7 even though you walked in the house an hour early, unexpectedly, and were hungry at 6? Start screaming, yelling, and raging at your romantic partner, perhaps smacking them around or choking them out a little bit.
Finally get to a place where you can see the light with regard to family finance issues clearing up? Drain a bank account and blow the money on a hooker. Or forge a name and start maxing out a family member’s credit card, knowing full well if they fail to pay the bill or complain to the credit card company, the credit organization will be forced to prosecute.
Make sure that the person you robbed loves you dearly and would be too terrified to risk the wrath you would foist on them for telling anyone about the robbery and identity theft.
Or even better! Wait until you have nearly bankrupted the family and exhausted all finances then get yourself arrested or amass a bunch of traffic tickets. For speeding and reckless driving. To nowhere. For no reason. Or drive drunk. Or get in a fistfight and get hauled off to jail.
Then, blame your partner, your co-workers, your friends, your love interest(s), your children, your dog, your wife’s cat, your bad daddy, or worse — your toxic mom. Blameshift as much personal responsibility for your private, wholly attention-demanding, and utterly selfish actions onto someone completely innocent and utterly powerless to control your own attitudes, actions, and behaviors.
Heck — blame the ex while you are at it! After all, that bitch deserves some random, out of the blue abuse for rejecting you as a suitor, right? Right?!? Or take out a bunch of credit cards and loans using a variety of aliases that track back to your family members or marriage partner — run them all up, then welch on payment and disappear.
Vanish in the middle of the night. Or the day. Whatever.
Have multiple affairs, telling the paramours that you are single, estranged, or that you are being abused by your marriage partner — but make sure the actual husband or wife has NO EARTHLY IDEA that there is any problem whatsoever with the relationship. In fact, the more you cheat, the cozier you should try to make yourself appear to be in private with the victimized spouse… and more you should be simultaneously bad-mouthing that same person to your secondary and tertiary Love Fraud victims.
Or forge documents and signatures from a corporate partner, doing things like hiring, firing, changing company protocol, or taking loans out in the business name or opening new lines of credit without the knowledge or permission of other controlling or impacted parties and agents.
Then, start fleecing customers — billing for hours of service not provided or taking large sum cash deposit for things like down-payment or parts and disappearing with them.
Take loans out from friends and family members — personal loans. Then file bankruptcy and list the claims in order to lawfully avoid the obligation to repay.
Hide your romantic partner’s car keys or do something to the engine or tires to disable the car in some way just before he or she is ready to head out to take that big exam, to meet an old friend who will only be in town for a day, or to that big job interview or important board meeting.
Pretend to help them and watch them dishevel, all the while feigning innocence and knowingly deriving pleasure from sabotaging.
Find the hidden keys or fix the deliberately damaged vehicle just as soon as it’s physically impossible for your partner to succeed in being on time, attending the event at all, or to allow them the emotional time to decompress and share time with a person who matters to them in some way that is personally comforting or would have helped them in some way to succeed that day in some way personally, spiritually, or professionally.
Make grand promises to a child that you will be there for them for a visitation or to attend an event, then fail to appear.
Leave the co-parent not only with the child and without a sitter, but handling 100% of the emotional, psychological, and physical cleanup of the child’s emotions and related psychological physical drama. Ensure the co-parent is ridiculed and left wholly unsupported while training the child to gravitate towards trauma bonding rather than healthful civic functioning.
Make promises you have no intention of keeping in order to get your way in the moment, then hurl verbal assaults at any person or peer who expresses they are disconcerted or have been harmed by neglectful action or willful, deliberate, and purposeful breach of social contract.
After all, if you lie to a victim and they believe you are telling the truth, it’s their own fault for being naive or taking your word for something without doing their own work with regard to due diligence in pursuit of fact checkable source summary and credibility of citation.
We realize full well that behaving in such manners sounds not only pragmatically dysfunctional and wholly illogical but like they could not possibly be true. But that’s the allure of being personally or professionally involved with “accommodating” an ASPD person. You never know when the other shoe will drop when it comes to real-life sabotage.
If your Abuser fits the pattern of love bombing followed by devaluing, damage or discard, and post-disaster such up while striving to hoover and subsequently honeymoon until such a time they start getting themselves psychologically and arguably sexually off over the thought of doing things like secretly conning and harming you — but you choose to remain socially enmeshed — understand that Adrenal Addiction is a real thing.
While the Abuser choreographs the grand upsets, it’s those who show up for the dance who are actually addicted (rather than neurologically compromised and impulsive).
Stop attending the party to watch.
And, when and if you finally begin to realize that there are far better ways to juice your adrenals than by associating with toxic people, when the party invite comes, you will be able to successfully RSVP with a “no thank you” when and if the Sociopath or Psychopath feels the need to try to attention seek.
If you make the same accommodation in your lifestyle routine for any person who requires your tandem participation to have their own needs met, chances are you are simply an accommodating person. That’s a positive trait reflecting a horizontal thinking nature and ultimately is a major poker tell for all people who happen to be pro-social characters.
However, if you seek to help an abusive person in order to prevent them from throwing a temper tantrum? That’s being an ENABLER (even if and when that person happens to be an actual child or physical toddler).
Choose wisely, people. We’re all who we decide to be and that means choosing our peer groups wisely.
Neither an Abuser nor an Enabler be. For everything else, there’s AirBnB.