“Save yourself.” That’s what a friend told me after we discussed a predicament involving a mutual acquaintance.
Sometimes it’s best not to get involved in situations we cannot control even though we may think we can be of assistance. It’s difficult to allow others to make their own (bad) choices and allow them to figure out the predicament themselves, but occasionally we may need to. Often, it’s best to back away, bite your tongue and save your sanity.
There are people who seem to attract drama and difficult circumstances. Getting tangled up in a web of stories and scandals can often cause a muddled mess. It’s taken me decades to realize that there are situations in life over which I have no control, (like my husband’s wardrobe choices). It’s better to pick and choose your battles instead of trying to win them all. If you offer your opinion on every controversy or topic, it comes across as nagging and as if you are a know-it-all. And who likes a know-it-all? We silently cringe when people constantly add their ideas and perspective to every little thing. It may also be the case that those people actually try to provoke others, attempting to create a condition where they feel superior.
Do you know someone who constantly asks for help but does their own thing anyway and ignores smart advice?
Getting involved in the conflicts of others is like having just one potato chip. You might have good intentions, but sooner or later you’ll wind up eating the whole bag. Having boundaries with people who seem to be surrounded by a dizzying level of chaos is a healthier choice. There will always be family members and friends who ask, “What would you do?” Instead of offering our guidance, sometimes the best response is just to say, “What is your gut feeling?”
Although we can clearly see a light at the end of the tunnel for others, their journey in life might be to figure out those trying situations for themselves. Instinctively, we want to be helpful and whether we admit it or not, it feels good when someone asks our opinion.
Knowing which crises we should step into and which we should walk away from is challenging. Look at the person instead of the situation.
Before diving into someone else’s conflict, ask yourself: a). In the past, does this person seem to be surrounded with an abundance of tribulations? b). Do they consistently make bad choices that create unfortunate outcomes? c). Do they ignore intelligent advice? d). Do they surround themselves with an unhealthy environment, i.e., excessive smoking, drinking, gambling, etc…If so, professional help may be necessary.
As we dig ourselves deeper and deeper into the helping hole, we can wind up unable to find a way out for ourselves. Especially if we are emotionally tied to that person as a close friend or family member.
Of course, there are definitely times in all of our lives when we need the guidance of people we trust to have our backs in good times and bad. But when bad vibes are more prevalent than good ones, the best approach is to save yourself and bow out of the battle gracefully.
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