Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Helping people who don't really want help

This will likely be perceived as a rant. It is more of a comment about some of the people I have met in the course of my work. (Mind you if I think about it, I am probably thought of the same way by the diet centre that I go to.)

Lately, I have been frustrated by people who say they want your help. They say "I need A". You say, I can't give you A exactly, but I can give you "a". They say no, I want it this way.

or.. They say I need help. We (medical team) tell them to improve health do this. They say ok!! and don't do it. And then later say that we didn't do anything to help them. It seems that there are 2 issues here with this.

1. A saying that is taken from my years of Psychology training, "You can't help people unless they want to be helped." You can't "fix" anyone, or assist people in self-improvement unless they are willing to change.

2. Some people want to change, but find it difficult to do the work. (Me as example with diet centre. It IS too hard. I know what I have to do and I want to, but the choices get boring. and I don't really have time to plan ahead... excuses excuses.) So some people want the "instant coffee" or "fast food" result. This means they say "this is my order" and it's given to them. Someone else does the work. And then they eat the junk food and wonder why things aren't working the way that they thought.

I empathize both of these types of people. Mostly the 2nd. It IS hard to change. It is hard to be sick and to feel like doing work when we are sick, physically or emotionally, or otherwise. It is hard to maintain the determination that is needed to get the results that we desire. And in some cases, try as we might we have to accept the fact that for all the effort we put in, things will not or CAN not go back to how it was. Life has changed in either the circumstances, or we have been changed in the process. We aren't the people we were when we started this journey and in some cases, thank God for that. Hopefully we are better people for it.

There are those who try and try to improve themselves, their emotional, intellectual or physical status, but in some area or another are hit time and time again with the difficulties of life, be it illness, (multiple factors), financial or just life's circumstances.

Still there are those who are stuck and want to get out of the hole, but aren't able to find the energy or the ability to get out of it. Then there are those who want to stay in the hole while thinking they are entitled to more, but not wishing to earn things.

It is difficult to discern who is which person, and to see the blind spot in our lives. It is also difficult to point this out to others. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, to make someone angry at something that isn't my fault even though I am just telling the truth... shoot the messenger syndrome. I hate it, and I try to avoid it when possible.

These people are my clients, friends or associates, either way, it is hard to see this happen and feel powerless to "help" those who say they want it.

1 comment:

Katherine said...

Hello Kathryn.
Great post... Just discovered you and will call again.
I once read somewhere - specifically with reference to diet and overweight people, but perhaps could be extrapolated to other circumstances: "Many people would rather DIE than change". Hard-hitting, but true.