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.
You’re miserable. You claim that today is just “one of those days”.
On occasion you feel like you’ve reached a dead-end. Just you and your sad desk lunch at work –day-in, day-out. There you are loving the city you live in, but it’s producing bills you can’t afford. You’re thankful for the fact that you aren’t unemployed, but your current job is taking you nowhere. You’re frustrated but you stay put.
What do you blame? The circumstances? The economy? How about yourself?
Blaming yourself is perhaps the worst. While it seems to be appealing as a result of having no physical demands –it drains you. Mentally you’ve all been programmed by social norms to take disappointment hard and reflect on mistakes. Emotionally you want reassurance that you’re headed the right direction. It’s one thing to reflect upon mistakes but another to dwell on bad memories.
The self-inflicted pain needs to stop before anything else. You don’t have to look for something to blame. Certainly not yourself. Because in reality, does it really matter so much how your circumstances came to be when your misery is being prolonged?
So if you’re having “one of those days” consider this the sign you’ve been looking for. I hear your distress and want to help make your day better.
Before you know it “one of those days” will become “one of those weeks”, “one of those months”, “one of those years”. No one ever says it because we realize our time is limited. The thought of having “one of those years” is too overwhelming to bear. There just aren’t that many years.
So be honest with yourself. Having “one of those days” is for your recovery, not mulling over the bad memories and extending your own misery.
Here is the initial: On Making Today A Little Better For Yourself
- Take the long route home today. Make a stop by the park to people watch in the evening. Sometimes we all need a few minutes to slow down and clear out negative thoughts. Maybe you’ll even develop a new habit of taking walks.
- Purchase something that smells good. Perhaps this sounds weird at first, but air freshener and the occasional scented candle may really help on your sad days. Not to mention help you fall asleep if you happen to be a night owl!
- Break a social norm. Why is it that we feel obligated to tell people we’re doing well when they ask how we are? Tell the truth when they ask today. You may be amused to find that you’ve caught them off guard as a result of not replying with: “I’m doing great! How are you?”
- … I realize that the above can be somewhat out of your comfort zone. But fear not! Just have a friend break a social norm as a you observe. (I guarantee to you’ll get a kick out of it!)
- Watch the TV show that everyone has been raving over for the last couple of months. I know you might want to refuse to believe it’s as good as they all make it seem… or that you’d be disappointed after you watch! But come on, you’re kind of not getting any of the jokes these days.
- Clear out your closet. If you compulsively hoard items such as clothing (much like myself) I highly suggest trying one! You pretty much know you’re never going to wear those items again so chuck them out with your negative thoughts.