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you can’t help people if they won’t help themselves

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Recently I’ve been talking to a few friends about some issues that they have. As with all such conversations, it’s not really clear if people want to vent or they want help.

It doesn’t really matter either way, because, as it happens, none of these people are interested in changing themselves or their actions. They want other people or circumstances around them to change. In some cases, they’re probably right; it would be fairer if other people changed. But it so isn’t going to happen.

It’s made me think, that I’m kind of doing the same thing. I can’t help them if they (by their actions) won’t help themselves. And I can’t expect them to stop asking for help, I need to change my reactions to them. I probably need to stop offering ideas or solutions, and just listen, empathise and move on.

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2 comments for “you can’t help people if they won’t help themselves”

  1. If they don’t seem interested in positive suggestions, then you’re probably taking the right route.

    Posted by Mrs. Micah | November 19, 2007, 12:15 pm
  2. I find this incredibly frustrating too. This lack of desire to change has actually made me distance myself from some friends - you know the type, they just want to complain and that’s all they want to do. Other friends, I totally understand the need to vent, and I try not to take it personally when they’re not interested in suggestions. Like you said, I think that’s important for my own sense of peace!

    Posted by Chief Family Officer | November 19, 2007, 6:27 pm

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