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Ideas & Opinions How to stop caring...

Auri

🎸🎼Metal Star🎼🎸
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#1
... or how to help a friend who doesn't want to be helped? Two options. I don't mean someone who refuses any sort of solution or believes they are doomed no matter what. I mean... someone who doesn't even know or accepts they're unhappy. Someone who's in complete denial of their own feelings and desires. Someone who has never lived, never felt real emotions. Someone who refuses to feel the positive emotions for fear of missing them, and the negative ones for fear of facing them.

The reason I'm writing all this is because this is a wonderful friend of mine, with a beautiful heart, and this affects me much more than it should. It will be a pretty self-centered post. This friend knows I care a lot about this/them, but what I would never tell them is how much, hence I'm writing this. It makes me sad every time we talk, but also when we don't. I get depressed over it, I cry, I get more frustrated than about my own problems, because it isn't my life, I cannot choose to change it, I have no control. I am powerless and not allowed to claim any power. I tried and tried and tried... We "argued" a few times (disagreed), but it's unfair of me. They have never hurt me or asked anything from me, I could as well disappear. They deny all their feelings anyway so they'd be as "fine" as they are. Yet I feel like the only person who cares about what happens to them, their wellbeing and their happiness. Their family doesn't care, they don't even care themselves. At all! Only a couple of times I've felt a tiny glimmer of hope when I thought they did, but it was an illusion, or quickly washed away by their extreme detachment.

I don't know what to do... I cannot control how much I want them to get better, I'll never be okay with their emotionless neutral bullsh*t state, I just can't. It's like watching someone torturing themselves for absolutely no reason, not even to feel something. I cannot control how it affects me, how it hurts, though deep down I don't want to stop caring either, I guess. I keep thinking that we can't be friends anymore, because if nothing changes, I'll always think and feel all of this, but apparently it's not so easy to stop a friendship that matters to both of us. At best they will get sick of hearing me and leave.
 

Ash600

Of dust and shadows
SF Creative
SF Supporter
#2
From one point of view, telling them how you feel and how much pain it's causing you can be construed as a form of emotional blackmail. Granted, it's blackmail,but with an intended positive outcome. However, all you can do is keep on trying and hoping to make a break through. But inevitably, it's really up to them. Despite your best intentions, at times the end result will be down to them as they are the one who needs to take hold of the lifeline you're throwing out to them. It's painful I know
as I've been there myself and seen people slip away, feeling powerless to do anything to prevent it.

All I can offer is to perhaps keep the channels open for your friend, do what you can and so at the very least take solace that come what may, you did all that you could. No one's superhuman, no one at the click off a finger can always ensure that the sun won't set on someone you hold close to your heart.
 

JDot

1 Peter 5:7
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
#3
I think the best thing to do is be present. Let this person know you're there for them. But for right now I wouldn't push them. Let them come to you. If you step back and give them some breathing room, they might feel free to discuss these things after a while.
 

Callousgirl

Semper Occultus
#4
Everyone has issues they wish they can correct, but they resign to their fate because they would just replace one set of negative issues of their life for a new set of negative issues with a altered lifestyle. One factor that people want other people to change their lifestyle would be to lose weight. Yes, if someone loses 50 pounds, they could increase their lifespan. But, has the person really made long term plans to live a lifestyle with a longer lifespan: because they can be in poverty in old age and have new negative issues.

This is the thought experiment I do with people. What is their current age, and project their lifestyle behavior to project their lifespan should be. Look, very few people in their early 20's decide to make lifestyle choices to live to be in their 90's and the income to live to be out of poverty into their 90's. You can be critical of your friends lifestyle, but, they can say the same about you as well.

I think your friend has resigned to the lifestyle choice they want, and changing it has to be their personal choice.
 

Witty⭐️Sarcasm ⭐️

Renegade banshee
SF Supporter
#5
I've been through this before, and in the end, there's nothing you really can do. You can give them all the solutions and advice in the world, but they are the only one who can really change whatever is going on in their lives. In the end, you have to think about how this effects you and if it's worth continuing the friendship. Or like what I do with friends like this, just don't say much when they keep bringing up the same stuff that bothers them. To me, that seems easier than giving the same advice you've given them a million times before that they refuse to take.
 

Auri

🎸🎼Metal Star🎼🎸
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#6
From one point of view, telling them how you feel and how much pain it's causing you can be construed as a form of emotional blackmail. Granted, it's blackmail, but with an intended positive outcome.
Yeah, there is no point in me saying any of it, apart from making them feel bad. They know my opinion very well and that I truly care, but I make sure not to make it about my emotions there.
you did all that you could
I mean, it's not about what I can do. I can only be a friend and I know that. But it's the whole lying to themselves and not feeling part, that's the issue.
I think the best thing to do is be present. Let this person know you're there for them. But for right now I wouldn't push them. Let them come to you. If you step back and give them some breathing room, they might feel free to discuss these things after a while.
It's not exactly like that. I am always there and they know it, but they won't come to me because they (believe they) have no reason to. Nothing's gotten better in a very long time, on the contrary, they become more and more careless and okay with how things are. I won't even mention my anxieties about their future mental health or when they do accept their feelings.
 

Ash600

Of dust and shadows
SF Creative
SF Supporter
#7
Auri, despite all your efforts, they can be like a brick wall. To break it down, they need to themselves hold the sledgehammer.
 

Auri

🎸🎼Metal Star🎼🎸
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#8
Everyone has issues they wish they can correct, but they resign to their fate because they would just replace one set of negative issues of their life for a new set of negative issues with a altered lifestyle. One factor that people want other people to change their lifestyle would be to lose weight. Yes, if someone loses 50 pounds, they could increase their lifespan. But, has the person really made long term plans to live a lifestyle with a longer lifespan: because they can be in poverty in old age and have new negative issues.

This is the thought experiment I do with people. What is their current age, and project their lifestyle behavior to project their lifespan should be. Look, very few people in their early 20's decide to make lifestyle choices to live to be in their 90's and the income to live to be out of poverty into their 90's. You can be critical of your friends lifestyle, but, they can say the same about you as well.

I think your friend has resigned to the lifestyle choice they want, and changing it has to be their personal choice.
Of course it's their personal choice and not mine. Although I think any friend ""criticizes"" their friend's lifestyle if they see them suffering and they love them and care, and yes, I'm pretty sure they do the same with me. In fact, they make me do a few little things that are good for me and that I stopped caring about. But it's just caring about someone, not pushing them into a certain lifestyle we believe is best for them. It's pretentious to say that I know what's best for someone, I try not to do that because I've never been in anyone else's shoes. But I assure you if someone you care about has been suppressing or avoiding any kind of feeling their whole life and they tell you that's how it will be forever, your empathy would naturally make you feel sad. They're older than me and I would probably react differently if they were in their twenties, but age is not very relevant here. They'll keep getting worse, I'm the only one who cares and I'll just have to accept and "watch".

I've been through this before, and in the end, there's nothing you really can do. You can give them all the solutions and advice in the world, but they are the only one who can really change whatever is going on in their lives. In the end, you have to think about how this effects you and if it's worth continuing the friendship. Or like what I do with friends like this, just don't say much when they keep bringing up the same stuff that bothers them. To me, that seems easier than giving the same advice you've given them a million times before that they refuse to take.
I think I've been a little misunderstood. I don't give them advice or solutions, and they never tell me about any problem or things that bother them because nothing bothers them. They believe they are okay, they make me believe they are okay, and they don't want any change. They don't want anything for them, they don't care about themselves. I've never met anyone like that, irl or on SF. But I got too attached to just stop caring and accept that's how it's gonna be. Not one positive feeling. Nothing.
 

Auri

🎸🎼Metal Star🎼🎸
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#9
Auri, despite all your efforts, they can be like a brick wall. To break it down, they need to themselves hold the sledgehammer.
Yes, they are a brick wall, but I don't make much effort. It's not even about my efforts, I know I'm not the one who can change anything, that's okay and understood. But how do I accept that they won't either, and that they'll keep getting worse? Not ever feeling anything positive? Knowing that they are a friend I love and care about, not some stranger.
 

JDot

1 Peter 5:7
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
#10
You don't have to accept it. If this is affecting you mentally, you may need to cut off contact. It's hard to do but sometimes it's necessary. You need to think about how this is affecting you more than how it's affecting her.
 

Ash600

Of dust and shadows
SF Creative
SF Supporter
#11
Yes, they are a brick wall, but I don't make much effort. It's not even about my efforts, I know I'm not the one who can change anything, that's okay and understood. But how do I accept that they won't either, and that they'll keep getting worse? Not ever feeling anything positive? Knowing that they are a friend I love and care about, not some stranger.
I understand it, the pain and frustration at not being able to alter the self destructive course which someone has set for themselves and not willing to change tack or to even look at the compass to see where they're headed.
 

Callousgirl

Semper Occultus
#12
But I assure you if someone you care about has been suppressing or avoiding any kind of feeling their whole life and they tell you that's how it will be forever, your empathy would naturally make you feel sad. They're older than me and I would probably react differently if they were in their twenties, but age is not very relevant here. They'll keep getting worse, I'm the only one who cares and I'll just have to accept and "watch".

They believe they are okay, they make me believe they are okay, and they don't want any change. They don't want anything for them, they don't care about themselves. I've never met anyone like that, irl or on SF. But I got too attached to just stop caring and accept that's how it's gonna be. Not one positive feeling. Nothing.
One of the major areas I am very critical with is education: as education alters your viewpoints, your values of global history, culture, social accepting of foreign values. The education you get, sets your values until your death. There is a ideology about education: teach according to need. When I was in the 9th grade in High School, my political science teacher was explaining why attendance was so important to be judged. He explained his argument, and explained that when we get into the real world we will be punching time cards and attendance is very important with a work ethic. That made me upset, because my teacher only believed that any student he had or will have until his retirement, is only good enough of a student to find employment with a time card. That got me into the university level with the educational argument of teach according to need.

You say they do not want to have these types of feelings, or, a belief they need to have something. This boils down to the education they gotten, and their families beliefs this is the education they needed. What you are saying, they have a basic and simple lifestyle with basic and simple beliefs systems. It boils down to their education, as a society is still going to need to have a family unit with simple wants and simple needs.

Teach according to need. I could be a teacher, and be with other teachers, and we all give our students a education that places them inline to have the same level of education out of High School to get a PhD. If the majority of the students do not get a PhD, is it moral and ethical to give them such a fine level of education in the first place. With this couple your talking about, when they were in school their teachers asked them what they wanted in life. If he said he wanted to be a simple worker and she said she wanted to be a house wife: do they need a education to be equal to a student wanting to have a PhD.

You are going against the grain with the lifestyle choices that were designed for them, that was designed a long time ago.
 

MisterBGone

o O Oo oO oOo O ooo..!;)~
SF Supporter
#13
This is what I would likely do: note, I am not you! ;) I’d express to them my feelings about how our differences in opinion over how they conduct their lives, from a philosophical sense, is destructive to my overall health. I’d explain that I understand they do not do this with intent. Feel free to use some of the language you’ve used above but have perhaps saved from them in the past—for their own good.

Nonetheless, things cannot continue for while they may (in their eyes) be of no harm to them, it is absolutely annihilating my conscience—or something a little more delicate; yet direct & to the point.

You know the issue at best at hand, and without some context or examples, it’s tough to try and process it in such a way that I can do the same. Because I am not smart enough, and things are sure to get lost in translation.

I often am too truthful in friendships—thinking they’ll appreciate my candid comments. My logic has bitten me before more than I’d care to share because I think that they want to know the truth (for self improvement). When in fact they could much rather do without my commentary! Ha.:)

It sounds like in the absence of a radical, complete change in mindset (they don’t see what you see; therefore where one sees a problem the other does not) you’re heading down a path that is all too familiar: in the sense that you can see what lies ahead.

I realize I am being anything but enlightening, and that this is much easier for me being on the outside looking in: I’m terrible when forced to act on my own! :D But I’ve been consumed by others’ ways before of whom I cared deeply, terribly, and so on and so forth

What’s particularly hard is that right now you’re in the storm of the relationship and that makes it difficult to detach and view things without the wave of emotion that comes along with it. Were you to call things off, for the good of your own health (& perhaps theirs...were they to reevaluate their perspective with the void created), in time you’d look back on this and think if not differently; feel differently.

i generally hurt a lot less after the end of some relationships once the sting of the closeness previously felt has faded. But that’s just me! And I am an idiot.

In conclusion, I’d give them the opportunity to change before walking. That way they’d have some control or accountability over the resolution and etc of the situation.

Or you can keep on suffering, endlessly, like me.:) I like to do things the hard way. And then learn from them. Before failing to correct the same mistakes repeated in the future; again & again & again & again.
 

Auri

🎸🎼Metal Star🎼🎸
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#14
I feel like one of my replies here disappeared... Anyway. I feel bad today again, because I haven't talked to this person in 4 days perhaps, and I do miss them. Also worried that they think I don't care anymore, but that's clearly not true, huh.

You don't have to accept it. If this is affecting you mentally, you may need to cut off contact. It's hard to do but sometimes it's necessary. You need to think about how this is affecting you more than how it's affecting her.
They haven't done anything wrong or hurt me in any way, on the contrary. I think they would get over it faster than me because of their emotional shield. For me it feels awful, so not sure it would become easier with time. I don't normally abandon friends.
 

BlueGreen

Well-Known Member
#15
I feel like one of my replies here disappeared... Anyway. I feel bad today again, because I haven't talked to this person in 4 days perhaps, and I do miss them. Also worried that they think I don't care anymore, but that's clearly not true, huh.


They haven't done anything wrong or hurt me in any way, on the contrary. I think they would get over it faster than me because of their emotional shield. For me it feels awful, so not sure it would become easier with time. I don't normally abandon friends.
Auri, it sounds like that is their coping mechanism. Is it a situation that they are trapped in, is that the problem? What would happen if they were to suddenly realise, or to let down their defences? Would their whole world come crashing down? Maybe you are looking at the situation too subjectively? It's hard without knowing the details but is it even possible for them to change? It seems like you have to protect yourself and and find some way of distancing yourself emotionally but let them know you are always there if they need you. Sorry, it sounds so painful to watch them hurting.
 

Auri

🎸🎼Metal Star🎼🎸
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#16
One of the major areas I am very critical with is education: as education alters your viewpoints, your values of global history, culture, social accepting of foreign values. The education you get, sets your values until your death. There is a ideology about education: teach according to need. When I was in the 9th grade in High School, my political science teacher was explaining why attendance was so important to be judged. He explained his argument, and explained that when we get into the real world we will be punching time cards and attendance is very important with a work ethic. That made me upset, because my teacher only believed that any student he had or will have until his retirement, is only good enough of a student to find employment with a time card. That got me into the university level with the educational argument of teach according to need.

You say they do not want to have these types of feelings, or, a belief they need to have something. This boils down to the education they gotten, and their families beliefs this is the education they needed. What you are saying, they have a basic and simple lifestyle with basic and simple beliefs systems. It boils down to their education, as a society is still going to need to have a family unit with simple wants and simple needs.

Teach according to need. I could be a teacher, and be with other teachers, and we all give our students a education that places them inline to have the same level of education out of High School to get a PhD. If the majority of the students do not get a PhD, is it moral and ethical to give them such a fine level of education in the first place. With this couple your talking about, when they were in school their teachers asked them what they wanted in life. If he said he wanted to be a simple worker and she said she wanted to be a house wife: do they need a education to be equal to a student wanting to have a PhD.

You are going against the grain with the lifestyle choices that were designed for them, that was designed a long time ago.
No, it's got nothing to do with education or a belief system or different values. I wouldn't care if they chose to be a simple worker or to have a family. I'm also talking about one person, not a couple. This wasn't designed for them and it's not a choice of lifestyle. They know it's not a lifestyle at all, they just choose not to feel anything and consequently, not to care about anything. They aren't happy either.
 

Callousgirl

Semper Occultus
#17
No, it's got nothing to do with education or a belief system or different values. I wouldn't care if they chose to be a simple worker or to have a family. I'm also talking about one person, not a couple. This wasn't designed for them and it's not a choice of lifestyle. They know it's not a lifestyle at all, they just choose not to feel anything and consequently, not to care about anything. They aren't happy either.
It looks like the person is and has resigned to this fate you feel this person feels unhappy with their life. It kinda reminds me of a Russian who gave a interview to a western media about his parents. The parents understood the Soviet Union was gone, but they were resigned to their fate because they felt they were old and had nothing they could do about it. It looks to be there was something that happened to this person that you do not know about in their personal history. If you cannot discover the reason, I do not see how your going to help.
 

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