Not everyone wants to change. No matter how much you wish to help them, you can’t make people change, and you can’t solve their problems if they don’t cooperate.
Of course, it’s hard to look on and do nothing when a loved person is struggling with a difficult problem. Naturally, you feel the need to help them and make life easier for them. You want to solve their problems and alleviate their suffering.
Trying to keep a loved one away from all that is bad is a wonderful thing. However, it is almost impossible to achieve when they don’t want your help.
What to do in this situation?
1. Identify the aspects that are under your control and those that are not
We tend to believe that the problems that affect us in some way must be solved by ourselves. For example, if your partner leaves their job, that is not your problem if you don’t have joint finances or don’t depend on each other financially. On the other hand, if you are on a common budget, debts start growing and you are no longer able to keep up with payments of bills, then this is an issue that affects you as well.
2. Remember that most of the time you end up doing more harm than good when trying to help without being asked
Not only is it almost impossible to solve other people’s problems, but you may also inadvertently cause a number of other problems on top when you try to help people who do not want to change.
You have no way of knowing what someone else really needs. Your efforts to help can actually send a detrimental message: “I know how to solve your problems better than you do. I don’t trust your judgment or your abilities. You are too weak; you get overwhelmed by every little thing. You can’t manage without me.”
Why it is not good to try to solve other people’s problems?
– Offering unwanted advice inadvertently leads to more stress and unnecessary arguments, and it has a negative impact on the relationship;
– When you try to repair, change or save someone, you make the assumption that you know what is best for them. You may appear to have an air of superiority, and you can act wrong;
– Making decisions for other people deprives them of the opportunity to learn important life lessons and to grow as a result;
– You are distracted from focusing on and finding a solution to your own problems. For some reason it always seems easier to solve other people’s problems and postpone solving personal problems;
– You prevent others from living their own lives.
How do you stop trying to fix or change other people and to solve their problems?
Before you venture out and try to solve a problem that has nothing to do with you, try to answer honestly the following questions:
– Is it my problem or is it another person’s problem? Does it affect me directly in any way?
– Is this a problem that I can fix or change?
– Do I have enough control to change this situation?
– Do I have any influence over the person whom I am trying to help?
– Was I asked for help?
– Do I force my own solutions to solve the situation?
– Am I truly helpful or I may cause harm inadvertently?
– What is my motivation for trying to solve this problem?
– Is this, in fact, an attempt to manage my fears and anxiety?