When a friend or family member is in need, many of us want to offer our sincere help. But what happens if they adamantly refuse your help? It’s possible that they may be taking steps to help themselves and may not need your help, however if this clearly isn’t the case, you need to somehow find a way of convincing them into accepting your help. Here are just a few strategies that could work in such a situation.
Help simply by listening
Some people just need an ear to voice their concerns to. Rather than trying to offer advice or schedule support, simply offer to act as a counsellor – listen to everything they and don’t pass judgement. Listening often builds trust that may then lead to them accepting more hands-on help.
Offer to find support together
Rather than telling them how to get support or arranging support for them, why not consider looking into forms of support together. You won’t be leaving it all to them, nor will you be taking away their independence. This could include researching into rehab centres together, going to a support group together or even going through recovery together if it’s a problem that you both share (perhaps you both drink a lot of alcohol – they may have an addiction whereas you may not, but you could offer to quit the booze for a month with them out of solidarity).
Ask them for help
Asking them to help you can help to give them a sense of power. This makes them more willing to accept help from you by making them feel useful rather than a burden. Think of a way in which they could genuinely help you – whether it’s helping to cook a meal, doing some home DIY for you or even something as simple as recommending a movie.
Know when to step things up a gear
If their life is in danger and they’re still refusing help from you, it may be time to take more drastic action. You may have to offer more constant surveillance and possibly get professionals involved. In the case of a drug relapse, you may want to stage an intervention, whilst a partial hospitalization program may be required for an attempted suicide relapse. Forcing help upon them may be necessary at this stage.
Understand when you’re not the right person to help
If you find that you’re unable to negotiate with them and that you’re both losing your temper with each other, you may have to accept that you’re not the right person to help. Consider whether another friend or family member would be better suited. Perhaps there is someone that they open up to more – ask this person whether they can help for you.