How To Help Someone Who Does Not Want To Be Helped

I bet that everyone of us tried to "help" someone who was engaged in some type of destructive behaviour , but in majority of cases our goodwill did not have any effect if person refused to receive help.

So, is it possible to help someone who does not want it, is there any trick you can really do?

1. If you do not live with person who has problem that bothers you, the answer is -

"NO", because everyone has free will that should be respected. If you want to help to someone who really doesn´t want it, you are actually selfish - you do not respect free choice of other person - and free choice can be also "wrong" one (actually, what is happening to this person is wrong only in your eyes - this person needs exactly that experience to learn some life-lessons) This person has good reason to behave on the way he/she behaves and good reason why is he/she refusing your help. That reasons should be respected.

The best you can do and you are obliged to do is to clearly explain the other person what will happen in case she/he continues with destructive behaviour and what are positive options of possible change. Just do not put a lot of pressure, neither insist, because people so often became destructive because they do not want to follow somebodie`s rules and suggestions on the first place. In the root of destructive behaviour is most often instinctive wish to oppose to some authority in the life (very often parental), so your wise advices could very easily miss the target, if person starts to project on you destructive energies he has towards authorities in the life. Whenever we give advices, we are seen as some kind of authority in the eyes of the person who is listening what we are saying. Instead of pressuring, say what you need to say, start to keep distance, while believing that sooner or later this person will somehow change on the better. Your positive approach while remaining distant, and inner belief that this person will one day choose right path, can do more good then when you are directly forcing someone who is grown up to change on the way YOU want him to change and WHEN you want it. Many people need a lot of time too change, some of them never change on better in this life. It is very important not to stick with him/her while he/she is doing what you consider that is not good especially if one´s behaviour has negative influence on your inner peace...

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2. Of course, situation is very different if you are closely involved with person who is destructive especially if you live with him or her, because in that case this negative behaviour is directly influencing you and your well being and can cause you a lot of troubles in the future, very often much worse then you can imagine. If we have close relationship with someone, we do share positive and negative energies and influence each other on very deep way and that cannot be avoided.

In that case you have every right to politely insist on change, as soon as you spot destructive behaviour and explain why change is invitable - but do not stay in illusion that you are helping to the other person - you are primarly helping to yourself and saving yourself, what can have, in case you succeed, positive impact on the life of both of you. If you do not succeed, if the person you love really does not want to change (what you will find out sooner then you think), the only way is to end up mutual suffering and relationship. If someone says "NO" it means "NO". Even when somebody is constantly giving false promisses - this means "NO".

There are many teachings who say "that unconditional love should tolerate everything, good or bad" and that you are the only person who should change , and that you never should try to change somebody else, but this is only partially correct.

In every relationship every person should gradually adjust to the relationship- and change to the level that relationship becomes constructive and progressing. Nobody needs to become perfect, on the contrary, ideal of perfection can kill relationship very quickly. But - if it is not possible that both people change to the level that relationship can progress because someone´s destructive behaviour you try to tolerate for years, the best is to separate before then later. Whenever you tolerate destructive behaviour, you are supporting it - so it is like you are doing the same. Many people spend years waiting for miracle that never happens, do not be one of them.

Copyright:

Tatiana Michaela Pribic

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Comments 46 comments

Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

Hi Tatjana - it's so tough to do but also so necessary in some relationships! What is a wake up call is your statement that if you tolerate destructive behaviour, you are supporting it.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

I am glad we agree about topic, yes it is so tough to do!

Thank you very much for the visit and comment, Shalini.


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 6 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Tatjana: I am a helper, I guess a lot of women are, especially if we are spiritually focused, but, I have learned to not be an enabler. Have had ralationships and friendships where I realized "helping" or staying in the interaction was not for our mutual good.

This stood out for me, you are right on!

" Whenever you tolerate destructive behaviour, you are supporting it - so it is like you are doing the same. Many people spend years waiting for miracle that never happens, do not be one of them."

Thumbs up on this well thought out and wise article!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

I had to come back to read! Marie - I love the distinction you've made between being a helper and being an enabler!


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 6 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Shalini: Thanks! Experience taught me this. Guess, life is the best teacher, if we are willing to learn from it!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

You are right though. Ultimately, the person has got to want help. Until that time, they will block everything else out.


viking305 profile image

viking305 6 years ago from Ireland

A very thought provoking subject here and as you say everyone is different in their approach


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Hehe Mary, women have "helping code" in nature...so we all need to learn how to use it on wise way. They are never easy lessons... and we fill much better after learning them....

A lots of Love and light


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you Christoph I could not agree more with you. Glad to see you here.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you very much Viking for your visit and comment.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

A very thought provoking hub and well written. Thank you. Life is definitely the best teacher but it can destroy you.


pjk_artist profile image

pjk_artist 6 years ago from Turkey Point, ON

Hi Tat. I read something recently that asserted the impossibility of communicating with someone holding the opposite emotion of yours. For example, when you're really happy and somebody else is really angry, they won't listen to anything you say. If you want to communicate with this person you have to be on the same "frequency" so you have only two choices. Either you get angry too (then any communication will work...but will still be non-productive) or you wait until this person is happy.

-Peter


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Thank you again for a wise Hub that offers very mature advice. I too agree "if you tolerate destructive behaviour, you are supporting it."!! It's easier to get over the guilt when you look at it that way.


CHEMISTRYOFLIFE 6 years ago

I totally agree with you,there are certain people in our life who are very close to us and would never change their vicious behavior, they really need help......only God can help them.And if we are tolerating their behavior, they would never realize how much wrong they are .....


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

It is possible that one aspect is that our wish to help those we love, such as our children, can sometimes appear stifling and counter productive to them because we cannot see things from their point of view.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Cannot agree more with you Helo Helo. Thanks for visit and comment.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you so much Pjk-artist, what you mentioned about opposite emotions and communication is precious info for everybody. And is very correct.

I hope everyone reads your comment.

Thank you again.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you GL.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Brilliant comment, Chemistryoflife, thank you.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Yes - Dimitris, that`s it! We can see the others only through our own eyes... only if we make big effort while using empathy and try to see the situation whith the eyes of others and feel their feelings, we can change our attitude.

Thank you so much for your wise comment.


gg.zaino profile image

gg.zaino 6 years ago from L'America

Yes Tatjana, very good advice... So many times, as you pointed out, people attempt to help others and are truly only being selfish and helping themselves.

voted "UP" :] peace my friend...


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you so much GGZ. Peace with you as well, my friend.


chicoandtheman 6 years ago

as we are all individuals, we all come from different back grounds and behavior, it's what we were taught from our parents and our surroundings and past relationships,we all have choices ,and when we lack the emotional intelligence or look for ways to find our selves,having someone tell you what you should do to fix it, is the last thing you want to hear,but as most helper's they can't help themselves, if you want to defuse a person use humor or smile, if and when they trust you, they will come, it's time and patients and be supportive as much as you can.

every one has their own time, treat others as you would want to be treated, and if they can't move on!

great hub !!!!


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you very much Chico, I cannot agree more with you.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

It can be very difficult when you see someone you love on a path toward self destruction. And, as you said, advise will be rejected as they see you as putting yourself in authority over them. But avoiding them does not help either. They just see you as someone else who is against them. It is a terrible conundrum. Whatever you do seems wrong.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Yes Dolores, is very painful, but simple believing that this person will find way out one day helped to many. This works like you open the door and set up new path for him or her, one will choose when ready.

Thank you Dolores.


pmccray profile image

pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

Item 2 - was displayed on Dr. Phil yesterday. He counseled a pair of parents who have been wrestling with daughters suffering eating disorders.

Both have struggled with the mental illness for 10 years both weigh about 73 lbs. Skin and bone, the families were counseled to let the girls own their disease. It was sad to see how this mental disease affected the family structure and dynamic. Neither of the young women wanted help, one left the rehab center where she'd been placed.

Both had been warned that death was imminent if they did not seek help. It was so sad, neither claimed they wanted to die, but seem unable to brake the train wreck that's coming. The parents are left with no alternative except to wait for they're pending demise.

Not even the fear of death or the emotional toll on the family made a difference. When a person is that stubborn, be it a mental illness or addiction, bottom line if they don't want help it's difficult to dissuade an adult.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Well. sometimes death seems easier and more promissing then life in the family where these girls live. Unfortunately, on TV is not presented what is really wrong with this family. My Hub: http://hubpages.com/health/eliminate-energy-drains

If the both girls have been starving themselves for years, they have reason for that,anorexia is caused by deep emotional pain, but now is, obviously too late to change anything.

Thank you so much for the visit and comment, pmccray.


HackTheSocialCode profile image

HackTheSocialCode 6 years ago

I usually say to help only those who seek it, but it can't hurt to explain to them ONCE the dangers of their ways. But only do it ONCE or you become a nag, and the person just digs their heels deeper into their boots.

Another thing I've done in these situations is simply refer them to sources where they can get help. Hotlines, websites, etc. Other than that, all you can do is step back and let them live their own life, and face the consequences on their own. (I'm referring to things that don't involve anything illegal, etc.)

-Jessy

www.HackTheSocialCode.com (Unwritten social rules EXPLAINED.)


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Excellent Jessy, thank you for your valuable comment.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

Hi, very good points here, I had a friend who was an alcoholic, I tried for years to help her, but in the end I had to give up trying, I realised that she didn't want any help, cheers nell


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Hehe Nell, everyone of us has such experience(s).Many thanks for visit and comment.


ptosis profile image

ptosis 6 years ago from Arizona

I felt pity when I saw an addict whore dressed in only a shirt walking down the street because I knew if I called 911 the ambulance could not make her go to the hospital if she is 'coherent' and refuses. :(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(


Doc Snow profile image

Doc Snow 6 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

Good advice, Tatjana-Mihaela. Perhaps not always easy to follow, though!

But of course that is true of much of the best advice.


Cassandra  6 years ago

Wow that is a great article. I really enjoyed what you had to say. I agree that you cannot make someone change and they have to live their life and make their mistakes and learn a lesson from what they are living. It is hard as friends to sit by and watch the destructive behaviour but at the end of the day the person will learn and move on, or they will stay in the relationship for a while before they can move on.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

I completely understand your point of view Ptosis...


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

I know what you mean, Doc Snow, many good advices are not easy to follow. Thanks for visit and comment.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you so much Cassandra for your valuable comment.


Jasmine JellyBaby 6 years ago

oh I never bother with someone like that.. My brother refuses to take advise or even hear me speak so I gave up. I find that if someone has decided not be helped then leave them be until they wake up and seek help themselves. Interesting hub


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

You certainly learned your lesson, Jasmine.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 5 years ago from Long Island, NY

I enjoyed reading your hub. I have a couple of friends who I have tried to help who don't want to listen. I see them continually making their lives worse, dragging themselves deeper and deeper into a rut. And after a while I realize there is nothing I can do to help. Your hub was very enlightening to explain why sometimes it's impossible. Well written! Thanks.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 5 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you Glenn, I wish you all the best.


KimberlyAnn26 profile image

KimberlyAnn26 5 years ago

Great Hub. This is a tough situation. I have learned is all you can do is love them and be an example to them.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 5 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

It seems that you learned your lesson well, as the rest of us here, thank you Kimberly for the visit and comment.


Craig Suits profile image

Craig Suits 5 years ago from Florida

Hiya kiddo...

Just now getting around to reading some of your hubs I got behind on this year. This one makes a great deal of sence (as usual).I know, my wife of 18 years had agoraphobia for 12 which eventually led to out seperation. No amount of care, concern, effort, love, or anything else had any effect what so ever. Like you said, I believe these people have a deep seeded reason to keep the affliction and no matter what you say or do, has no effect. Just like the two daughters in the above comment with the eating disorder. very sad.

My own daughter, who lives with her mom, now had agoraphobia as well. An educated girl with a masters degree that can't seem to utilize her intellect to cure the problem. And, true to your assesment, attempts to help her from dozens of people including myself and professional courses, all fail for some reason. It looks like she doesn't want help from anyone even though she see's her life wasting away day after day.

I directed her to your hub on panic attacks. I'll let you know how she reacts.Seeya and take care. Hub Pages wouldn't be the same without you.


Craig Suits profile image

Craig Suits 5 years ago from Florida

Love the frog pic. Especially his cool little feet. But don't be decieved, cute or not he's an accomplished killer. His big mouth isn't for just singing at night. It's for catching and eating just about anything that moves.

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