by Marc Hardy, Ph.D.
Foster Independence, not Dependence
If the person we are helping keeps making the same bad choices and mistakes, then asks us to bail them out again and again, or help them just one more last time –again, they are creating a dependence on you and your good nature. It is easier for them to take advantage of your tender heart than to make the difficult changes necessary in their own life. So instead, they find it easier to burden you and make your lives difficult. This does nothing to help them create a better life and does everything to make your life worse. Instead of helping them transcend to a new level, they simply add weight to your life and drag you down with them. When we refuse to them help, they lay guilt trips on us and try to foist the responsibility for own their happiness on us. Forcing them to take responsibility for the things they can and do control is the ONLY way to help them take control of their life and forge a more promising future. This is why sharing fire is not always about nurturing; sometimes it’s about the tough love of letting the other person know that you care deeply for them but that our commitment to their betterment has to matched by their own commitment.