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When Should You Give Up On a Friend Who's Unwilling To Change?

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Friend' started by Rainman, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. LostmySis

    LostmySis Senior Contributor

    Your title answered your question. He is UNWILLING to change. Getting closer to someone who is unwilling to change will drive you completely insane. And why is it selfish for someone to want to help but stay away? He does not want your help, nor anyone's. He flat out said it. If you keep pushing, you will see him walk out of your life. Addicts in full blown addiction are selfish. He is never going to think "Oh wow, I need to stop drinking because my friend doesn't like it". That is not how addicts think, not until they hit rock bottom and need to change. Protect yourself. Be there if he wants help, but don't get involved if he doesn't.
  2. GenevB

    GenevB Community Champion

    First of all, if he was a real friend to you you should be a real friend to him. Do not give up until you're sure you tried everything and you think that you hit the rock bottom. If he makes it sure that he doesn't want a change, you just tell him you think you both should go your separate ways in life.
  3. XiaoDre

    XiaoDre Active Contributor

    I think you should give up on a friend when it becomes too much for you. Me personally, I am the type of friend who cares a lot for people who have problems with alcohol because I was once that same person. People would stay by my side even though I have lashed out at them while drinking and some have turned their backs on me. I appreciate the ones who stood by me and I am not mad at the ones who turned their backs on me because I was too much for them. You can be there for a person but when you have had enough, you have to step back and let them learn the hard way. You have a choice to deal with whatever you choose to deal with in life. If a friend's problem is becoming a problem in your life then maybe it is time to walk away.
  4. WAVWirmer

    WAVWirmer Member

    I think its never right to give up on anyone who has such a serious addiction, especially if you call them a friend or loved one and you really care about the person. I know it can get very difficult to deal with some people and the personality they develop as an addict. There are many ways to get someone to seek help and it all depends on someone helping them to do so, because some never realize they have a problem and others realize when its too late to do anything because they have developed some other very serious health issues or worse.
  5. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I know how hard it is to deal with such kind of friend cause I also have a friend who seems no plans of changing for the better. If you can stick beside him and continue trying to make him think there are better ways, you can do so. But if it's exhausting you already, you can just think that you did all you can do already for him. Better to ask for some help like if there are some support group in there.
  6. MrsJones

    MrsJones Community Listener Community Listener

    I have to say that I have given up on a family member who had a drinking problem and still does to this day but the love is still there. We were very close. It was a very hard decision for me to let go. At that time I don't think that I was trying to help her with her problem we were young. As we grew older I knew she had a problem. I knew what caused her to continue drinking. I saw her personality change. She had a good head between her shoulders, good looks, very personable and funny but got defensive very easily. I'll never forget the first time I said 'no' to her and she asked 'why'. I told her it just wasn't a good idea. She kept asking and I kept repeating. It hurt. I think she just wanted to hear me say the words. When we see each other we hug and catch up on things but it still hurts.

    Sometimes we encourage people to do what we think is the right thing to do, but maybe it's someone else that is called to do it.
  7. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    This is a good question. I think the individual has to be willing. Some people are content with their addiction. There is not too much to do about it. The only thing that try to do is keep a good relationship with them and occasionally say something that is related to their problem. Some people go further into addiction when you try to get them to stop. This is a self-control issue, they don't like to be told what to do. So, its tricky. I think it is just good to be present and in good spirits with them. Someone like this rock bottom is their only hope. I say this because that is what some people need to have happen to wake them up.
  8. rainbowguard

    rainbowguard Senior Contributor

    If I was in your situation, I would stay by his side and give him the encouragements that you normally give. I know you might think what you are doing is futile but in his life there are other people who do the same things to him as well. From his perspective, all of those will accumulate into a supportive environment for him.

    However, I do agree that there should be a point when you have to give up on him and that's when his addiction starts to ruin your life as well. I'd say you can continue to support him as long as it doesn't cost you anything if it only costs you something that you don't mind losing.
  9. fliktor7

    fliktor7 Member

    I'm sorry about your friend situation, but that's his option, he must be mentalized, if that's not the case, well...It's his life. So don't give up, try to encourage hem and make him see the things with your eyes, but don't expect too much if he isn't willing to change.
  10. wander_n_wonder

    wander_n_wonder Active Contributor

    I personally think that if a person is not listening to you, you must also learn to step back a bit sometimes in order to protect yourself. You're not being selfish anymore by doing that. You've exerted every effort already. Also, you would not want to hurt yourself as well, in a way that you personally become depressed because of the situation. Overall, if a person refuses to change, you have to hand him over to a professional, who may have more knowledge on how to handle extreme cases such as this.
  11. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    Rainman, some time has passed since your opening post and I am wondering how things are progressing with your friend.I am a firm believer in never giving up. "There exist a friend sticking closer than a brother" and you could well be that friend.

    Athenao2, rightly said that a lot of times "it takes a single event for people to realize that they need to change" and I couldn't agree more.

    I would also hasten to add that they will also be times we need to simply take a few steps back. Far enough not to lose the person completely. I wish you and your friend well.
  12. Rodrigo1337

    Rodrigo1337 Member

    My personal opinion, based off of my personal experience, is to let him be. It does not matter how far YOU'RE willing to go to help someone if THEY'RE not willing to change. The only way for someone to change is if they're willing to do so themselves, otherwise it is just a waste of time for both parties. In this case, he'll continue down this road until he himself realizes that there needs to be a change in his life(usually this occurs after something really bad happens), or he will continue walking down this path to his own demise. I know it's harsh, but like I said, it's just based off of what I've seen first hand. That said, good luck with whatever choice you decide on and I truly hope he gets better.