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People trying to help


Atron

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Recently I have been getting frustrated with various people who think they can help when in fact they are not helping at all, how do I tell them to stop without hurting feelings. Some are from work colleagues and some are from family, I want them to leave me alone and whilst I appreciate them trying, it doesn't help but I want to avoid upsetting them.

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I hate those people who act condescending or all-knowing when dealing with someone who's depressed. Listening and understanding is way more helpful than pushing advice on people. By all means, tell them to stop. This can be hard and you might think that you are going to upset them, but just remember, whatever they are feeling, you are feeling ten times worse. It's nice of you to worry about how they might react to this, but focusing on yourself is going to make you feel a lot better. 

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Thank them for their interest, perhaps, and remind them that you're possibly better for working through it yourself.

Or, alternatively, you could send them a link ;) Maybe don't do that.

Is it help you don't like or just their particular version of it?

 

 

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So its better to be up front about it? I suppose its not so bad with people at work or friends but different with family, my mum is the problem at home but she is controlling and takes offence at anything, I don't think its is the best way to go about it with her. Any suggestions for talking to her about it?

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In my case, I would just be honest. I think we can all be honest and not outright rude at the same time. I would say: "I appreciate the fact that you want to help but I think I would like to deal with this by myself" or something similar to that. It may sound a bit cold, but I think most people would understand without being offended. 

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It is more the way they go about it, I only need someone to listen to me and not much else, I get annoyed when they start saying things like 'if you think positive then you won't be so angry/depressed/anxious'.

4 minutes ago, Gisele said:

Thank them for their interest, perhaps, and remind them that you're possibly better for working through it yourself.

Or, alternatively, you could send them a link ;) Maybe don't do that.

Is it help you don't like or just their particular version of it?

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Atron said:

It is more the way they go about it, I only need someone to listen to me and not much else, I get annoyed when they start saying things like 'if you think positive then you won't be so angry/depressed/anxious'.

 

I agree. Cheer up. Snap out of it. Just be grateful. The worst part for me is that on the surface my life is great and I'm not "supposed" to be feeling this low and empty. People just don't get it - are not able to get it - if they haven't been through it themselves. Instead of helping, their attempts to cheer you up just shut you down and make you feel guilty. You desperately crave connection yet you want to be left alone. Do you relate to that?

I wrote an article about the experience of being depressed and the inability for others to reach you with empathy, rather than sympathy (which is closer to pity). 

I'd recommend talking to people who have been there before and who will just listen and hold space. I'm actually collecting stories on depression for research and a social campaign and would be happy to listen to yours. PM me if you are keen to chat.

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My best friend would always try to "fix" things or try to be really positive and point out all the good things going on.  Her heart was in the right place, and in theory that kind of thinking should work, but for me the depressed person it was just like one more thing I wasn't good enough at.  Here were all these things to be happy about and why couldn't I see it?  I finally had to tell her point blank that all I really needed was for someone to be there, listen and to validate whatever feelings I was having, even if they didn't really make sense or came out of left field.  

 

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