5 Ways to Help Someone Turn Their Life Around

When someone we care about reaches a point of crisis, our natural impulse is to drop everything to help them. We want to enable them to make changes for the better without judging or criticizing them and that can be a fine line to walk. Of course, it’s important to remember that the decision to turn their life around has to come from the individual themselves. Forcing people to make changes they are not ready for will ultimately end badly. You can give them options and offer your support, but the choice has to be theirs. Having said that, there are 5 ways you can frame your support and your attitude which can help them on their journey.

1. Encourage Accountability

In some cases, they may have made bad decisions which have consequences, e.g. they have committed a crime and are facing charges. People struggling with substance abuse issues or are socializing with people who use or distribute drugs may well find themselves under scrutiny from the police or even prosecuted for importing drugs or similar. While you obviously want the best outcome and can help them find the best defense possible, if there is music to face, it is best they take responsibility for their actions.

2. Accept Their Faults

We are all human with faults and imperfections, each of us going through our own unique experiences, so no one is any position to cast judgement on choices made by someone else — even if you do not agree with actions they have taken. When they talk about what they see as a fault or failure in themselves, don’t deny that it exists or that everything will work out on its own. Acknowledge that there is a problem, but that it can be resolved.

3. Put Your Emotional Baggage Aside

You are likely feeling emotions of your own when watching your loved one struggle — you might be angry, shocked, guilty — but you need to keep those feelings separate from them. You should talk about your emotions with another friend or relative who is not connected to the situation so that you can process what you’re going through, but they also need space to work through their own state of mind.

4. Be There to Listen

It may be difficult to see the situation from your loved one’s point of view — particularly if their choices and actions are completely alien to your way of life. To be able to help them, you need to listen, ask occasional questions and avoid adding your own opinions. You don’t have to agree with their thought process, but you should try to understand it. If they do or say something which upsets you, tell them how their behavior makes you feel, rather than accuse them of being nasty or rude.

5. Show Them Patience and Love

Whatever they have done, they deserve to feel loved and cared for. Make it clear that even in the difficult times, you are there for them. The process of lasting change is likely to take time and there may be setbacks along the road. Look out for small steps in the right direction and be there to pick them up when they trip.

Thanks to Ana

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