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.
The same irrational thoughts plague your mind when you’re on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Rationally speaking, we all know that typically we’re the only ones that can help ourselves but we wish for the quick fix from someone else. We want the band-aid.
Of course, this isn’t something any of us can change overnight.
We hear of the success stories; the people that overcame this battle.
We feel inspired to overcome our own problems ourselves. Unfortunately, this inspiration doesn’t even last throughout the day.
When we’re hurting so much, its so difficult to believe this too shall pass. I have yet to be able to say I’ve been able to work through this myself. The worse possible outcome I had imagined in the first place is going to become a reality. How can we lift this weight off our shoulders and move on with our lives?
Writing this, I’m not trying to make you believe I’ve always been happy or that… I’m even happy right now. In fact, I am not. However, I do believe that taking some steps back and removing yourself from such plaguing thoughts will be promising to you. At least temporarily.
- Watch your favourite movie. Trust me, you need that laugh. For me, I find this to be a wonderful temporary escape. I laugh and cry with the characters as if for 120 minutes of that day I too lived in their world. And why not? Because you certainly wouldn’t want to be spending that 120 minutes of your day continuing to plague yourself with the same frustrating thoughts pushing you towards a nervous breakdown.
- Make a list of things you would want to do if you had unlimited resources. I think many people (myself included) tend to hesitate when being asked what their goals are… or what they would like to achieve in the next year or so because we feel limited in our power and the resources we can attain. We receive enough negativity from others as it is. Don’t be beating yourself down. Once your write these things down you’ll be able to better envision them for your future. Dare to dream.
- Learn to say no. Chances are when you’re under such high emotional stress, you may not want to be around everyone. Know that its alright to say no to things and make time for yourself. When we take too much time to consider what others may think of us, we may lose sight of what our priorities are. Your priority for today is to keep the depressing thoughts away and give yourself time.
- Don’t expect everyone to understand. We know ourselves the best. As much as we would love someone to come along and be able to make everything better… know that can help yourself the best. I’m writing this today because I believe we share similar challenges in our lives but we may never understand each others’ problems, specific circumstances, struggles etc. Know that even though I don’t completely understand you situation –we’re still in the same boat and I still care.
- Be sad when you need to be. While I speak of ways to remove yourself from the verge of breakdown, I’m not saying you must try to be happy all day everyday. You’re allowed to be sad. It doesn’t make you weak for having emotions, its only one part of the battle.