How to Deal When People You Care About Make Bad Choices



Photo by trail on Unsplash

When dealing with someone who is resistant to what you want, no matter what it is, it’s important to just let it go and let the person “come” to the decision (or not) in his or her own time.

Whether it’s to be a good parent, be a committed loving partner, be healthier, be a helpful friend or simply make good choices for him or herself, it’s difficult to sit back and watch someone be “stuck” in his or her way of thinking.

For example:

-Your friend wants to keep dating an abusive guy– you wish for her to be free.

-Your love interest is amazing and the two of you click– but she is resistant to committing.

-Your co-parent is absent from your kids’ lives, and you want him to be available.

Your family member is sick and not caring for his health– and you’re worried for him.

What’s the common factor in these scenarios?

You want someone to do something, yet the person is resisting what you want.

It’s frustrating as hell, watching someone hurt him/herself or making a choice that’s keeping the person from being happy in the long run.

The hardest part in all of this is accepting that you can’t change your loved ones or people that matter to those you love.

So, what can you do?

When it comes down to it– give them what they want!

Let them do what they want to do because nothing you can do will change their actions.

You keep providing your friend with a safe haven or options to get her out of hell, but she wants to be with an abusive person.

You keep trying to convince your sexy and magnetic love interest that being together will be awesome, but she wants to avoid any sort of commitment. She wants to be alone or with many people.

So, just let them be who they are. Let your friend stay in the situation. Let your interest sow her oats.

You can’t make the horse drink the water, even when you know that the abused woman would be happier free, your love interest is fearful and missing out on a good thing, and your co-parent will miss out on your kids’ lives, etc.

If they think they know what’s best, let them discover that they were wrong.

People don’t change until they want to.

Allow the person to do what he or she wants and when this person is ready for change, it’ll happen.

The harder you try, the more they will resist anyway.

They’ve decided they have the answers.

She knows her “man” is fine.

She knows committing is lame.

He is more interested in other things than being a parent.

Your diabetic parent is not ready to give up sweets even at expense of his/her own healthy because he/she loves sweets.

The more you push your ideas, the more they will resist.

Let someone find out he/she is making the wrong move– and if that happens, be there as support.

Don’t say “I told you so,” just say– I’m glad you are ready to change or, I’m willing to help you or be here for you. Or, I am glad you feel this way.

Ultimately, this person needs to discover what is good for him or her. It may take days, months or years, but if this person has made up his/her mind, accept it and hope for the best.

One day, maybe you’ll get a thank you for those “ideas” you had. You never know how you’re planting the seeds for someone but at the end of the day, it’s up to that person to take a leap of faith and change.

At Peace,








9 thoughts on “How to Deal When People You Care About Make Bad Choices

  1. CoffeeMamma says:

    I’m at a point in my life where accepting these things is still challenging for me. But the more and more I read this article or am told this by my loved ones the closer I am to coming to terms with this and just letting it all be. This was a great read and I love how you used multiple examples. Very relatable. Thanks for sharing.

      • CoffeeMamma says:

        I think one of the reasons I’m struggling with it is because I relate most to the absent parent. My daughter’s father is in and out meanwhile I’m here dealing with all the repercussions and confusion my daughter is going through. And just when she starts feeling and behaving better he comes back into her life and screws it all up again. Than of course I deal with all the hate and being told I’m the bad guy the entire time he’s here and not here too. I’m just the “crazy bitch” the days are long and challenging but I keep doing my best to see the light at the end of the road.

      • frommtvtomommy says:

        I can relate very much. You’re her safe person. And because of that, you will always get the brunt of her frustrations. It’s tough. Try to get her to talk as much as possible and find ways to communicate her feelings in a healthy way. Drawing. Taking a walk. Breathing. Writing. Whatever it is. It’s not easy. You’re doing the best you can, I’m sure!

      • CoffeeMamma says:

        She’s barely 2 years old so there’s only so much I can do. I’ve signed myself up for some coping with toddler behaviour classes which I’m praying will be of extra assistance but I also try to let her feel her feelings and let her know it’s okay to feel things like anger and frustration instead of scolding her for freaking out. Because even though to me it may seem small to her it’s so much more.

      • frommtvtomommy says:

        You can still show her ways to freak out at this age like. Instead of throwing a toy, hug your doll. Instead of yelling, ask mommy for a hug. There are a lot of great ideas for toddlers. Play therapy is fantastic too but she may need to be 3. I’m not sure. Don’t worry— you’re doing your best. Just be consistent. It’s ok for her to have bad feelings but even at 2 learning to cope with them is good.

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