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When Trying to Help Only Gets in the Way

WE HAVE PROBABLY ALL WATCHED SOMEONE WE CARE ABOUT STRUGGLING WITH SOMETHING, SUFFERING EMOTIONALLY, AND WANTED NOTHING MORE THAN TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. IN HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS WE PROVIDE THIS FOR EACH OTHER. THIS IS EMPATHY AND DEMONSTRATED LOVE. IT IS COMPASSION. IT IS HUMANNESS AT ITS FINEST.


SOMETIMES, TRYING TO HELP SOMEONE CAN JUST MAKE IT WORSE.


OUR BEST EFFORTS OFTEN INCLUDE:

MAKING SUGGESTIONS

OFFERING UNSOLICITED ADVICE

TALKING ABOUT HOW WE HANDLED SOMETHING SIMILAR OR PERHAPS


THE LEAST HELPFUL: TRYING TO CONVINCE SOMEONE NOT TO FEEL WHATEVER IT IS THEY ARE FEELING.

CERTAINLY, THERE ARE TIMES THAT SUGGESTIONS, ADVICE, OR SHARING YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES CAN BE HELPFUL. OFTEN, THOSE EFFORTS COMPLETELY MISS THE MARK. UNFORTUNATELY, IT CAN MAKE MATTERS WORSE AND WE MAY NOT EVEN BE AWARE.


ALICE IN WONDERLAND SAID: “WHEN YOU CAN’T LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE, I WILL SIT WITH YOU IN THE DARK.”


SIMPLY BEING BESIDE SOMEONE IN A DIFFICULT TIME OR ‘JUST’ LISTENING IS INVALUABLE AND OFTEN THE GREATEST GIFT YOU CAN OFFER TO SOMEONE.

SOMETIMES, THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO OR SAY TO MAKE THINGS BETTER.

SO HOW CAN YOU HELP?


AS THE SAYING GOES “THE WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE” IS KEY HERE. SOMETIMES YOU JUST KNOW. A SIMPLE, HOW CAN I HELP YOU WITH THIS? MIGHT MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. THINK ABOUT WHAT MIGHT BE MOST HELPFUL TO YOU IF THE TABLE WAS TURNED.


SOMETIMES, PEOPLE NEED TO SIT WITH WHATEVER THEY ARE FEELING UNTIL THEY DON’T. SOMETIMES PEOPLE NEED TO BE IN THAT SPACE IN ORDER TO FIND ANSWERS AND THEIR OWN WAY OUT. AT THESE TIMES, THEY MAY JUST NEED A HAND TO HOLD, A COMPANION ON A DARK, UNCOMFORTABLE JOURNEY.


IN THE PROCESS, IT MAY BE HELPFUL FOR YOU TO BE AWARE OF YOUR OWN FEELINGS THAT MAY GET IN THE WAY OF BEING AS HELPFUL AS YOU’D LIKE TO BE, IF YOU LET THEM.


BEING AWARE OF YOUR OWN FEELINGS WILL HELP YOU TO DELIBERATELY CHOOSE HELPFUL RESPONSES RATHER THAN REACTING TO YOUR OWN INTERNAL FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS.


ARE YOU FEELING HELPLESS?

ARE YOU FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO TOLERATE THE UNCOMFORTABLE OR STRONG FEELINGS?

ARE YOU FEELING AS THOUGH “JUST” LISTENENING ISNT ENOUGH WHEN OFTEN IT’S EVERYTHING?

DO YOU THINK YOU NEED TO “FIX” THIS?

IF YOU EXPERIENCE ANY OF THESE, IT’S NOT WRONG, IT’S HUMAN. ITS BECAUSE YOU CARE. DON’T JUDGE YOUR FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS. JUST DON’T ALLOW THEM TO DRIVE YOU TO DO SOME OF THOSE UNHELPFUL THINGS IN AN EFFORT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. BE THOUGHTFUL AND DELIBERATE IN YOUR CHOICES.


AND SOMETIMES, WHEN SOMEONE YOU CARE ABOUT NEEDS YOUR HELP,

BE ALICE IN WONDERLAND

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