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Thread: Losing the ability to help people, Advice?

  1. #1

    Default Losing the ability to help people, Advice?

    Hello everyone!

    This is my first post in forever but I felt it was necessary to talk about a problem I've encountered over the years

    In my circle of friends and family I've always been seen as the person they can all go to for advice on anything that could be causing a problem in their lives and I've always been able to give solid advice and solve dire solutions for everyone.

    But recently it seems like my help can only go so far and I'm slowly losing the ability to help my friends, family and loved ones when they need me

    So what do I do ADISC? it's 'causing me a lot of grief and sadness because it's like watching everyone around me slowly lose hope in everything and I'm just there watching helplessly with not being able to do anything :/

  2. #2

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    Why, are you loosing touch, are the issues getting too complicated, or are people just not able to appreciate your reasoning now?
    It sounds as though maybe you've wrapped a little too much of your self efficacy in your ability to intervene for others.
    Sometimes we can't solve all the problems around us.

  3. #3

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by bvb123 View Post
    Hello everyone!

    This is my first post in forever but I felt it was necessary to talk about a problem I've encountered over the years

    In my circle of friends and family I've always been seen as the person they can all go to for advice on anything that could be causing a problem in their lives and I've always been able to give solid advice and solve dire solutions for everyone.

    But recently it seems like my help can only go so far and I'm slowly losing the ability to help my friends, family and loved ones when they need me

    So what do I do ADISC? it's 'causing me a lot of grief and sadness because it's like watching everyone around me slowly lose hope in everything and I'm just there watching helplessly with not being able to do anything :/
    Well,

    Without knowing you or your exact circumstances I can only give a limited bit of advice... just keep that in mind.

    Throughout life we all will be in different situations, places, etc... life means change, constant change.
    And whilst at times these changes are so subtle we hardly notice them, they none the less have an impact on the bigger picture.
    Helping others is a good thing, but you also have to leave room for others to help yourself. Helping others often puts you in a position where you feel utterly needed and that creates a dependency, co-dependency more accurately.
    The other party relies on your help and you rely on the fact of being needed to give help.
    Now when for one your help is either no longer needed, or worse you are are out of your depth with problems at hand then you will create a "loop-hole" in that co-dependency that can lead to all sorts of feelings / emotions, ups-/downs... etc..

    Then there is a difference in just being there for your friends and family and thinking of being an anchor-point, the calm amidst a heavy storm. The later often is not as true as most people would like to believe. Harsh as this sounds, reality from an outside perspective often in those perceived situations looks dramatically different. But this is something most humans are "guilty" from at one or more points throughout life: self-deception by creating a self-image of ones self that is not in tune with reality. It does sound far worse than it is... it's pretty normal to some degree.
    Now when the outside world changes to a degree where the self-created image of your own self is not able to exist anymore without some serious adaption it is often time for turmoil within.

    As I've said, you have given very little insight into your actual situation, and what kind of help you were providing in the past and think you can no longer provide.

    So I suggest it is about time to do some serious soul-searching on your own, try to analyze what has been, what is and what has changed. Is it that the situation outside doesn't call for your help? Is it that you yourself are in a spot where actually you need some help (we all have been there)? Is it that you have over-rated your rock-like status within your inner-circle of people? etc. I am not really suggesting one or the other - merely hinting at the bigger picture and the possibilities behind the finer lines.

    Last but not least let me venture into a metaphorical survey of the predicament at hand:
    Batman. Yes - the VERY one and only batman (aka Bruce Wayne) ... Let this fictional character stand here and ponder on a few problems:
    Now what I have always liked about this "hero" is that he is "Human" (aside from being filthy rich ) - he doesn't come with any special powers - and that is what makes him more likable in my book...
    And if you have been an avid reader of comic books (or movies) you know that the batman is being called upon for by switching on that silly bat-shaped light that goes on whenever there is some serious need for the batman to come and undo evil.
    Now imagine a Gotham City where that light suddenly would no longer be switched on, maybe because the police is finally doing a good job. What happens with the batman? Well if he is any bit wise, he will shelve the costume, close the batcave... do the occasional maintenance but return to being bruce wayne, having a family, getting that girl, etc...
    Or alternatively, he can put on the mask and cape and sulk in the batcave waxing the batmobile night after night, hoping for his signal to go alight once more so he can be the hero, save gotham city and be the batman.

    Sorry for the "graphic" description... but I guess it nicely draws a picture of what can happen if your major role over years has been the one of the "helping hand" the one who's always there to be relied upon, to - and quoting you verbatim here - "can all go to for advice on anything that could be causing a problem in their lives and I've always been able to give solid advice and solve dire solutions for everyone."... But you are "just" human yourself...

    It might be the turn of the tides, the time where you can redefine a part of your identity, find out who of your close friends is true to you - stands by you.
    I am definitely not saying your should burn the bat-mobile... that would be silly... but it is not your predominant role in life.

    Cheers.
    Eric.

  4. #4

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    Just to highlight a different angle: Being someone's support system is draining. When you offer someone support, advice, comfort, and the like, you are in fact giving of yourself. One could almost think of it like putting money in the charity bucket-it's a great thing to do, and you should feel good for having done it. But, if the only thing you do is put money into the charity bucket day after day after day, eventually you will not be able to put more money into the charity bucket because you ran out of money.

    Could you be reaching a point where you simply no longer have the reserves to keep offering support/advice to everyone? Occasionally we as humans need our own support, our own influx of personal capital, as it were, just as surely as we need our own occasional influx of actual capital. It's not shameful to be in a position where you have to step back, rest, recover, and recharge. If anything, it's better to acknowledge the need to do so and do it. I think of it like this: If you can't take care of yourself, how can you possibly take care of anyone else? How can you (royal you, not specific) take care of a child if you can't afford to pay your own rent and buy your own groceries? Likewise, how can you help someone in the depths of depression if you yourself can barely muster the energy to get out of bed? How are you going to carry someone from a burning building if you can't yourself even move?

    Now, don't take any of that to suggest that you should stop being charitable or free with your advice, support, or other resources. Charity is a laudable act. Do take it as a reminder that you (specific you) need to take care of yourself too.

  5. #5

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    OTE=ozbub;1175185]Why, are you loosing touch, are the issues getting too complicated, or are people just not able to appreciate your reasoning now?
    It sounds as though maybe you've wrapped a little too much of your self efficacy in your ability to intervene others.
    Sometimes we can't solve all the problems around us.[/QUOTE]

    I'm not quite sure to be honest Ozbub, it's more like the people I try to help get more and more deeper with their problems and when I try to help them they always seem to find away around my advice and it leaves me feeling very low and helpless although you are right when you say not all problems can be solved by man alone so that's probably just the case here.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by bvb123 View Post
    OTE=ozbub;1175185]Why, are you loosing touch, are the issues getting too complicated, or are people just not able to appreciate your reasoning now?
    It sounds as though maybe you've wrapped a little too much of your self efficacy in your ability to intervene others.
    Sometimes we can't solve all the problems around us.
    I'm not quite sure to be honest Ozbub, it's more like the people I try to help get more and more deeper with their problems and when I try to help them they always seem to find away around my advice and it leaves me feeling very low and helpless although you are right when you say not all problems can be solved by man alone so that's probably just the case here.[/QUOTE]

    Remember that you are "only" 22 - whilst it is my believe that age alone does not directly correlate with either experience or wisdom - you can not have all the answers.... and there's no shame or fail in that.
    you try to help, you do your best and you can be proud of this, as so many people out there just look the other way... but to quote an old (82 years) friend and mentor of mine when I asked him about something that was troubling me last year in the hope for some wisdom.... he chuckled, looked at me and said: "lad, do you really think only because I'm a geezer I have all the answers? Wish I had... but sorry, you've got to figure out this one on your own"... makes me smile every time I think about it...

    Do your best, be there for the people who are close to you, don't be afraid to confide in your friends when it comes to your own problems, have an open talk... and there's nothing to feel low and helpless about!
    I believe struggle is an essential part of the human nature... it is probably crucial to our evolution as a species as without challenges there would be not "growing".

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by bvb123 View Post
    Hello everyone!

    This is my first post in forever but I felt it was necessary to talk about a problem I've encountered over the years

    In my circle of friends and family I've always been seen as the person they can all go to for advice on anything that could be causing a problem in their lives and I've always been able to give solid advice and solve dire solutions for everyone.

    But recently it seems like my help can only go so far and I'm slowly losing the ability to help my friends, family and loved ones when they need me

    So what do I do ADISC? it's 'causing me a lot of grief and sadness because it's like watching everyone around me slowly lose hope in everything and I'm just there watching helplessly with not being able to do anything :/
    I myself am being faced with a similiar problem right now actually. The only advice I can give you on this is that first take care of yourself before other's usually. I have a history of being reckless with my own physical and mental health and it has costed me permanently. I would have been able to handle things in the future a lot better if I took it easy on myself and now that I am so badly damaged I have lost some ability to help other's because of it. I would suggest talking to your therapist about this if you have one already or get one even if you think you don't need one. If you don't think you need one well it can do no harm to get one. At worst you get out of that is nothing for seeing a therapist. At best you can get something useful out of it and just not realize it yet actually. I know it can be painful to feel helpless but in order to take care of other's one must first take care of themselves as well. It is not selfishness to necessarily focus on yourself for a while because last I checked individuals can better take care of other's if they take care of themselves first. I wish I could be more helpful but I hope that saying this will make you feel better.

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