“Real magic in relationships means an absence of judgment of others.”
You know how there are certain things people don’t talk about around the dinner table? Like, alcoholism? Not a particularly awesome topic while wine is being served.
I remember we were talking about a woman who’d been drinking almost every day for the past decade. Usually heavily. Fortunately she wasn’t present at the dinner so we spoke freely.
Now, I’m the kind of person who sees a problem, acknowledges that it’s shit and then asks: “So what do we do about it?”
Some of the others had tried to help her for quite some time but had more or less given up.
Believing that there’s always something more that you could try I pressed and suggested different ways we could help her.
Finally one of the others screamed at me: “Don’t you get it? There is nothing we can do! She doesn’t want to change!”
I think she was the one taking it the hardest. To be honest I wasn’t that close to her so I might’ve done well in having a cup of shut the fuck up.
Wanting to help people is worth admiring but how often do we really ask ourselves: “Does the person actually want help?”
If I’m really honest with myself I tend to ignore it when people tell me that they don’t really want my help. It’s this kind of “Don’t you see that if you do this then you’ll…?”–mentality.
It’s probably because I project a younger version of myself onto some people. Thinking that I see something I recognize that might not be what I think it is.
When I was trying to put my life back together at 22–23 I got tremendous help. At times I felt like I didn’t deserve it.
I even started pushing people away because I thought I was going to end up disappointing them. The last thing I wanted was that kind of pressure.
What I slowly began to realize was that no matter how badly I behaved they were still there for me. Ready to lend me a helping hand whenever I was ready for it. They believed that I wanted to do better for myself but that I just had to see it.
No amount of them pushing or forcing me to do better would’ve helped. In fact, it could’ve lead me to rebel against that even more. Perhaps to the point where I did some serious damage to myself or others.
They didn’t judge me. And that’s the difference. I judged that woman. I judged her as if she didn’t understand what was in her best interest. Instead I should’ve tried to understand her, accept her and been one of those people ready to help should she want it.
I was younger, I had my own issues and the matter didn’t concern me that much since she was kind of in the periphery.
A couple of years later I heard that she had passed due to her alcoholism. She decided to never reach out or accept the help offered.
Things like these are really hard to accept and I still don’t know how to come to terms with them. But that’s something I need to work on and figure out.
Atleast what I’ve figured out is that there’s no magic “Presto-Chango!” that’ll make people change.
That requires consent.
Have you had similar experiences? How did you find a way to handle them?
Let me know in the comments and hit me up on Twitter.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!