Helping you get through tough times

When a friend pushes you away

When someone’s going through a tough time, they can act angry or withdrawn. If you try to help, they might push you away. Park bench by Nikki

Although it may feel as if they’re taking it out on you, they’re probably just having a hard time managing their feelings.

It’s difficult not to get upset when someone you care about seems to be shutting you out. It can feel like their anger or lack of interest is aimed at you.

Try not to take it personally

Chances are they’d appreciate some support but might not be ready to accept it.

It might help to let them know you’re around if they want to talk.

Sometimes just knowing that someone’s there can be help enough.

Important things to remember

It’s not your fault

If you try to help someone and they’re not accepting it, it’s not your fault.

All you can do is offer support. You can’t force anyone to take your help.

This may be hard to deal with, especially if they don’t even acknowledge your effort to help.

Have patience

Chances are they don’t know how to handle whatever’s bothering them.

It will definitely take patience, particularly if they challenge your help.

This is the time they need your support most. Sometimes it can just take a while for them to come around.

You don’t need to take abuse

Sometimes, while trying to help someone, they can become very angry.

They might even start yelling and being verbally abusive towards you.

While you may want to be there for them, that doesn’t mean you need to accept abuse.

Keep an open line of communication

Chances are, if you’re worried about someone, you care about them very much.

If someone’s pushing you away when you’re trying to help, it can be very frustrating.

Try and stay calm and keep an open line of communication.

Looking after yourself

Helping somebody may mean you’re giving up on some of your needs.

Remember to look after yourself too. It’s OK to get frustrated and need time out for yourself.

If you’re experiencing stress, try and mind your mental health, making sure you have somebody to talk to.

Worried about someone’s safety?

If you’re concerned about a friend’s safety, be sure to talk to someone you trust.

This could be a friend or family member or somebody outside of the situation.

There’s plenty of online and telephone, or professional face-to-face help.

Maybe talk to your friend first and let them know you’re worried.

If they wanted you could always accompany them to see somebody.

In an emergency you can speak to the Gardaí (dial 999 in Ireland).

This article was last reviewed on 07 June 2017

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