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How To Help Someone Who Does Not Want To Be Helped

Updated on February 23, 2011

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...


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.


Tatiana Michaela Pribic



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