Helping Someone Stuck? Listen and Love

bearhug_smDo you have a friend or family member who struggles, seems stuck, and sometimes even asks for advice but then doesn’t take it?  You feel for the person, want to help, but eventually might feel tired and frustrated not seeing any progress despite your efforts and concern for them.

Remember every experience aligns perfectly with what each person wants to master as a soul, both you and the person you want to help.  That means the stuck person learns from their situation while you learn from your response to it.  The person shall remain stuck until they get unstuck on their own personal perfect timing which may seem uncomfortably long and unnecessary to you.  Remind yourself internal shifts may not show themselves immediately.

Love the person in the midst of their human difficulty.  Stuck people suffer and when someone tells them how they can get out of it, implying if they’d just act on the advice they’d liberate themselves, it increases their suffering.  Love them, listen deeply, and assure them you have confidence they’ll work through this challenge.  Use your discernment around finding additional support and resources if the person exhibits high risk behaviors.

When someone you want to help won’t take your advice and you feel frustrated with them, you direct negative energy toward yourself as well.  You want to help!  Why can’t you get them to listen?  Underneath this lies your own sense of failure, your inability to relieve their suffering and to manage the situation including your own feelings.  So love yourself more deeply, forgive yourself for your limited impact on the situation, and give yourself tender care.  Managing your own discomfort around the person’s dilemma can help discharge some of the intense energy you both feel which often helps them more than any advice you could give.

When you feel stuck, what kind of help do you want from family and friends?  Does advice make you feel better or worse?

8 comments

  1. Interesting perspective regarding our “limited impact” on others. At some point, we must let the other person travel his/her path without imposing our timelines. Hard to watch…Thanks for the insightful post, Christy 🙂

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    • Hi Joanne,
      I love your line about allowing others traveling their own path, well said! While it *is* hard to watch, at some point it becomes harder on both parties to give/receive unheeded advice repeatedly. Sometimes listening and loving work the magic our minds cannot – that and yielding to divine timing.

      Thanks for your interest and comment, I always appreciate it!

      Warmly,
      Christy

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  2. Your advice, “Love them, listen deeply, and assure them you have confidence they’ll work through this challenge” is very different from “Give advice, remind them of their shortcomings,” and tell them what they should do to fix the problem. When I experience stuckedness, I appreciate when a loving listener asks good questions such as “What are your options?” and “How can I help?” This kind of sensitivity allows the hurting individual to explore options without judgement and in a safe environment. Thank you for this wonderful post!

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    • Hi Julie,
      I love your comment, thank you! Fixing does carry the weight of judgment more often than not, unfortunately. A loving listener with great questions, nothing could be better than that!

      You’re welcome and thank *you* for adding your insights.

      Best wishes,
      Christy

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  3. Christy,

    Insightful points and conversation. Loving them is essential. Letting them resolve the challenge is also essential, knowing that support is available if they choose to use it. It seems, though, at times it may take a “push” to let someone take the steps forward. By push, I mean certain boundaries of what is acceptable behavior are drawn. If this cannot be maintained, then they need to understand this and then move forward from there. I guess some may call it “tough love” but that seems to be an oversimplification.

    Thanks for your insight! Jon

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    • Hi Jon,
      Thanks for sharing your perspective, you bring up many valid points. Acceptable behavior and boundaries are a must. For example, we can’t continue to employ people who don’t show up for work, tolerate renters who don’t respect our property, or enable others who don’t fulfill their responsibilities in some way – regardless of whether they are friends or family. “Tough love” may indeed resolve some of these situations or else the person may just continue the behaviors elsewhere, but in either case the helper must discern what’s in the highest good of all concerned as best they can. Definitely a life challenge!
      All the best,
      Christy

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  4. Christy,
    Thank you deeply for your wise words. This resonates with me intensely. I will be reading and re-reading this as I let go of the need to help (fix) people who share their problems with me. LISTENING!
    Kindly,
    Lori

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    • Lori,
      You’re welcome and thank you for commenting! You nailed it when you connected help and “fix” since the desire to fix someone is where it often becomes a problem for both parties. While I do believe the mantra “love is the answer,” I feel listening to ourselves and others is a huge component also. I’d say our listening demonstrates our love. May you hear well and be heard deeply!
      Warmly,
      Christy

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