Viewpoint: For The People That Don’t Want Your Help

viewpoint

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.

— itsfruitcakeweather.

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2 thoughts on “Viewpoint: For The People That Don’t Want Your Help

  1. Thank you for this post. I’ve had a friend that has social anxiety and refuses to face it head on. I used to be just like her, so of course I thought it would be great if I can help her by paralleling my own experience. I want to get her to join me and talk to people, even if just on Skype – get her to practice real-world communication to get a foundation of actual speech in public, and get comfortable with it. However, she refuses to even try, and attempts to take it upon herself because she wants to solve it on her own and make it her ‘personal victory’.

    Her strict ‘no help’ personality makes her a hermit and a staunch ‘no-person’, rejecting every social activity offered to her unless it involves her family. She claims that she is improving mentally and she will speak with others when she is ready, but it has already been two years since I met her and heard this story. I have seen little improvement.

    Basically, all I wanted was to help her get comfortable with talking to other people slowly via Skype. But she still refuses, and in fact recently snapped when I invited her to a Skype call where I was having an interesting conversation she would love to be a part of. She made a simple statement that she’s ‘not up for it’. When I asked her why, it was the same thing as always: “I’m just not. Maybe in the future when I get comfortable with talking to others?”

    I then started a serious talk with her, telling her this needs to stop. I want to help her dive head straight into the deep end, time is moving on and it’s better to tackle this so that she can thrive as a person and not have to linger on this issue for the rest of her life. But she refuses my help. She wants a personal victory. She is a lone ranger.

    After that discussion and rejection, I was incredibly upset, immediately cutting my communication with her. But I read your post and I understand where I may have come off as wrong. You make a good point. If they refuse our help, that’s on them. We shouldn’t be busy bodies, let people solve their own problems, until and if they ever need us. Being there as support is the best we can do as friends, as opposed to being the villain and further nurturing pride.

    • I’m so glad you were able to relate to this! It is never easy when you know the person is trying to make up excuses to avoid addressing the problem. But I have to assure you that when they become more rational, it will be much more clear to them that the purpose of their excuses has only fooled themselves. Falling into the ‘poor me’ trap is easy but getting out is not.

      It used to be difficult for me to comprehend why people refused my help because for all I know, they make it quite clear that they are aware they are in need of it… they are never just ‘ready’ for it. At some point though, there isn’t anything else to be said and then what do you do right? The fact of the matter is: there is nothing you can do. Perhaps the biggest comfort to them will be the fact that you never left them. Their irrational days will be tough to work through but there will be better days when they decide to step out of the trap.

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