That Fine Line…


When you love somebody, you want to see them happy and healthy.

If you see your loved one struggling or making poor choices, what do you do?

Do you leave them alone and hope they figure it out?

Do you try to guide, encourage?  …which probably looks like nagging and controlling…

Do you give them information (pamphlets, links to websites, etc.) and hope they’ll make some changes?

How do you stop yourself from trying to help? Or should you?

If you stop trying to help, will they interpret that as meaning you don’t care?

Don’t you want her/him to know you’re fighting for them?

Does their behavior cause you unhealthy stress and drag you down?

Where is that fine line between helping and hurting ourselves and others?


16 thoughts on “That Fine Line…

  1. Very tricky. I have gently suggested and acknowledged things with loved ones but I then back off. Most of the time, loved ones are the last to listen to us. I only demanded changes once with a loved one due to drug use. Unfortunately, it got the best of them. Great post. Something to think about.


    • I’m sorry… It’s so painful to see the people we love make poor choices.
      I love this… “I have gently suggested and acknowledged things with loved ones but I then back off.”
      I think the backing off part is important but so hard. 🙂


  2. This is what every parent faces and dreads. When the children are little, you can just intervene. But when they are old enough to make their own decisions, I think you offer your advice – once – then let them decide what they want to do. Often, it’s not what you advised, but then they learn. Rather they learn when they’re younger than when they’re older and the choices have more serious consequences. Good post!


  3. When you get the answers to these questions, please be sure to post them and let me know! I ask myself the same ones on a daily basis. My children are adults, and now there are grandchildren to be worried about! We see them come too close to the cliff and are afraid to yell at them for fear they will slip and fall over, yet offering that rope to hang on to in case they do fall is often rejected as being intrusive. Maybe the answer is a case by case basis?


  4. Also think about if you are imposing your values on them. Some people would rather be poor and do what they loves and others would rather be financially stable. If it’s not important to them, it’s going to much more difficult for them to change. If they want to, but don’t know how, that is when someone else’s support is most valued.


    • Good point! 🙂
      And I think it’s key what you said… “If they want to (change), but don’t know how, that is when someone else’s support is most valued.”


  5. I guess there is no fine line. When it comes to our loved ones, it’s kind of blurry and, figuratively speaking, we’ll have to squint or widen our eyes to be able to see it, step back and take a moment to examine ourselves before we cross the line…


  6. This is probably one of the hardest and thought provoking problems any one of will ever be faced with when a loved one is hurting themselves. I have found that it is never the same answer. it changes from day to day and choice to choice. But when you love someone and listen to your heart, it usually works out in the end.


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