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Confused and need a second opinion

KFPDW
Community Member
There's something I have been wondering, if you know someone is in need of help or is going through a hard time but they are horrible to you and don't listen and give you a hard time, should you still do what you can to help? Because what they are doing to you isn't ok. It's something I have been wondering about for some time. Going off past experiences and see it happen to others and in media. I'm confused by what I see in media. I see character being a difficult situation, trying to fix things but is so headstrong and doesn't listen when someone offers help and is trying to be kind. They act horrible towards the person who is just trying to be nice. And no one calls this character out for his actions. I get they are in a terrible situation but that doesn't make it ok to be horrible to others. Especially if they mean well.
13 Replies 13

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion
Dear KFPDW~

I guess it depends on the circumstances and the relationship you have with the person who is in need of help.

As an example, when my PTSD, depression and anxiety was at its worst I was very difficult to live with. My mind was fully occupied by these and as a result any member of my family approaching me was liable to be met with resentment or bad temper. I locked people out and was not open to suggestions of what I needed, or even inquiries about how I felt.

This was not a reflection of my relationship; it was the symptoms of my condition -not something I could control at the time. My partner eventually found out from my psych why I was behaving as I was and became a huge support, though it was extremely hard on her.

Later, with time, therapy and that support I improved to the stage things are pretty good.

So in this case calling me out would not have done anything productive, simply driven me further away, and made me feel even more guilty in the process.

That was just my experience. I'm sure in other circumstances being horrible to the person offering help may not be just a symptom, and as such may not be tolerated.

It is hard to know, even for the person concerned. I did not realise how I was behaving, just wanted to be left alone.

I do know, from reading your previous posts that you are a sensitive person (your reaction to that YouTube movie point to that) and it would be especially difficult for you if you offered help and it was badly rejected.

May I ask if this question relates to something you are trying to do for another now?

Croix

sbella02
Community Champion
Community Champion

KFPDW,

Thank you for sharing your experience, and I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through.

Croix has made some excellent points, particularly that it depends on your relationship with the person and that often, people who are going through something themselves may find it difficult to see their treatment of others objectively. I know that if I'm having an emotional outburst or something akin to a mental breakdown, it becomes incredibly difficult for me to empathise with those around me and see how I may be affecting them. In those moments of emotional vulnerability and overwhelm, I find that I am so focused on what's going on in my head that I forget (or sometimes neglect to see) how my actions may impact the people around me, or that others may be going through their own struggles.

Although this kind of context may help to explain their behaviour, it does not excuse it or justify it by any means.

I have another question to ask: has this person been like this since towards you since you have known them, or are their personal struggles the probable cause for their behaviour?

While it is important to support others who may need it, it is equally as important to prioritise your own mental health too. If you feel that your relationship with this person is damaging for your own feelings, you may find that you'd like to give this person some space for a while, which allows them to process their own emotions and heal in their own time, but also gives you the opportunity to distance yourself from harmful behaviour.

I hope this is helpful, please feel free to continue chatting with us in this thread, we're here to support you in this situation.

SB

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello KFPDW, not an easy question to answer, because the personalities of each person does matter on how determined they are, but we have to appreciate that someone suffering from any type of depression can be quite distance and not agree with what someone has to say to them.

The person trying to help needs to be of strong character and realise that the person they are trying to help is not well and may behave awkwardly and unexpectedly, completely different than their usual self.

If they want to try and help this person, then perhaps they need to take a step backwards and just listen to what they want to say, without any judgement being made, so that a connection can be made between the two of you.

When this happens after a while, then you can slowly talk with them, but edge off when they become perturbed so wait for another day.

It's about getting the trust between the two of you before anything can be done, sometimes this can be done, while other times you might have to approach it from another angle.

Geoff.

Jeremy_1
Community Member

Hi KFPDW,

As people have said, I think context plays a huge part in finding your answer. One of the things I find useful in situations like this is to consider what the other persons recent experiences may have been, what is it they may have been going through, and how could that possibly be affecting them. We won't always have the full picture of that, because we aren't that person, so we can only ever have our own interpretation of what might have been going on, and we may be right or we may be wrong.

One of the things we do know is that anger and irritability are usually a response to fear, we don't feel safe and we want to protect ourselves. Those are natural human responses to try to do just that, protect ourselves. The issue is that the threat we feel isn't always a tangible thing like a big bear or tiger, instead it's a situation or our ideas about a situation that can lead to our feelings of concern. Even people on TV or in the news who display anger and irritability are usually doing it because they feel threatened in some way.

Often the best thing we can do when someone is acting in this way is to give them space and time. I've found that when we can understand where anger and irritability are coming from and put ourselves in the other persons situation, see the human being in them, then we find that we can reduce the impact of the persons anger or irritability on us, allowing us to communicate with them in a more compassionate way, even though it sounds like that is what you are trying to do, it can be hard to do if you are feeling threatened as well.

Sometimes help is just about listening to the other person, allowing them to express whatever they need to express in whatever way they do. So we can offer people help but give them the space to decide if they want our help, and when people can see that we are doing that then often they start to feel more able to accept help, less irritable, less angry.

But there are exceptions: If we are physically in danger then walk away or report it (depending on context), if other people are in danger then report that to people who can help. If the person is in danger then report that to people who can help.

All of this is very much dependent on context, which we don't really have access to, but I hope that has helped.

Jeremy

Petal22
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi KFPDW,

I believe this behaviour is a reflection of the person and what they are currently going through.

Maybe on the inside they can feel confused and angry or scared because they don’t know how to deal with what is happening to them.

With the person that’s trying to help they can only try to be understanding towards the person who is acting this way and just leave on open door to the person to allow them to talk to you when they are ready.

KFPDW
Community Member

Hi Everyone,

I've had a long hard think about what everyone has said. Trying to take it all in and it has made me feel much better. What everyone had said makes complete sense. And it made me realise that what else that was bugging me on top of the fact that whatever is happening, if a person is going through a bad time or not, it was also the fact that it feels like the other person has power over me. I have been in enough situations where I try to help but it's like everyone has power over me, what they said dragged me down and I felt like nothing I could say or do could improve the situation. They were right and I was always wrong. They were right to put me down and I couldn't say anything because of the situation they were facing. I would feel guilty if there was any chance I would make the situation worse. What they say goes. I guess that's why it was hard to walk away from those kind of situations (mind you, half the time it wasn't possible for me to walk away). So yeah, everything you have all said makes sense and I understand. But in terms of my own experiences. That's what it has felt like. Like I'm powerless and what the other person say goes if that makes sense.

Petal22
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi KFPDW,

Sorry you are feeling this way and thanks for reaching out.

No one has power over you…….. unless you allow them to…..

You are your own person and you get to decide how to react to something…….. this is where your power is……..

Choose your reaction wisely because your reaction is what affects you internally.

KFPDW
Community Member

Hi Petal,

Thanks for responding to my latest post. What you said helps a lot and I will keep that in mind.

Petal22
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi KFPDW,

No worries 😊 I’m happy to help you.

Ive written a thread in Staying Well on this forum that you may be interested in reading.

It’s called “How to find your inner calm “

You may find some of the tips helpful to you.