Have you ever tried to help someone that refused to accept your assistance? It seems to be in our good nature to be drawn into counselling those around us that are down and help them see optimism. As much as logic tells you that it wouldn’t make sense for them to decline your helping hand, it is more than common that those you offer help to refuse it. If you’re someone that loves a “quick-fix”, the learning curve for you may be steeper when they don’t want your “fix-it” personality.
We never want to let it go though. We don’t want to feel like we’ve given up on them before trying to help.
The missing piece of the puzzle is for the other person to want help and at no point can we force upon them our own beliefs no matter how right we think we are. Admitting to having problems is upsetting but change can be horrifying. Before you feel utterly disappointed in them for not realizing they need help, understand that we all like to think we are capable of managing our own problems (before it gets out of hand and desperation ensues). Once we become obsessed with idea of being at the bottom of the well, we don’t bother to figure out where the light is coming from at the opening –let alone build motivation to get out.
While there is no “quick-fix” answer to helping those that don’t want your help… there are certainly things you could avoid saying to those in a panicked/anxious state of being:
- “Calm down.” Take action instead of telling them this. Being unaware of their anxiety will make their issue worse.
- “I’ll just leave you for a minute.” Does it ever trouble you when you’re left alone with negative thoughts? Try distracting them with a story.
- “Stop overreacting.” While we accept that physically falling causes pain and an upsetting reaction, we should also acknowledge that the stress of anxiety is in the mind and equally painful.
When you’re trying to help the person that doesn’t want your help, they don’t see it as a favor, in fact, they may become defensive as if you are accusing them of living their life wrong. For those of you that want to help and be there for others: When at first you give suggestions and then push them to heal they may become stubborn and overreact… you can let them know you care but sometimes they need to realize their problems on their own.
Frustrating as it is –you can’t help someone that won’t let you help. Don’t be angry.