How to fix people who aren’t ready to be fixed

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” — Teddy Roosevelt

We all have people in our life that we want to help. And, sometimes we find that helping those people causes nothing but frustration.

Maybe in your life it’s a spouse, child, friend, or even coworker who you can give a different perspective about their life and actions to, but you’re met with the glass-eyed, blank stare. And, your advice, your help falls on deaf ears.

Luckily, a process to help you when helping others exists. It’s called Intrinsic Validation, and is a core element of the book “Today I Begin a New Life” by Dave Blanchard.

The Process of Helping Others

  1. Recognize that everyone has a wall of resistance.
  2. Step into their world.
  3. Ask empathetic questions.
  4. Recognize when the time is right to offer advice.
  5. Be prepared to begin the process over.

We all have unhealthy habits of thinking, and sometimes it takes an outsider to point that out to us. So, try the following steps to help others along their, and your, journey:

  1. Recognize that everyone has a wall of resistance. Their resistance could be towards a change that causes disruption in their daily lives, even if they know what your offering is better for them. It may be to protect themselves after being hurt in the past, or it may have to do with comfort.
  2. Step into their world. You have to put aside what you think and begin to see things from their perspective. In order to bring down their wall of resistance, that person has to feel safe and understood. Try to connect with them and make them feel safe and understood, that you’re not trying to fix them. But I can tell you that as a health coach, when that person feels safe and is ready to make a change, that is the most rewarding part of my job.
  3. Ask empathetic questions. A key question is, “Tell me more about that”. Then you have to listen to understand. Don’t listen to answer or try to solve the problem, this is not the time for that. 
  4. You have to recognize when the time is right to offer advice. Look for nonverbal cues to make sure they are comfortable and their walls are down. When their walls are down, then you can say, “If I was in your shoes, I would…” 
  5. Be prepared to take several steps back. If they’re not ready, then you will have to go back into intrinsic validation mode. As a health coach, I have to assess whether someone has a strong enough reason to work toward. In my life, I took my health back because my grandson was my reason why I had to work toward being an active grandfather. 

Intrinsic Validation has a major effect on you — it changes you to have empathy. But it also cna be incredibly rewarding: The amount of satisfaction you have as the confidant, guide, or helper in this journey is through the roof. 

If you have people in your life who you want to help but are frustrating you by not receiving your advice, just know that you can work to get to the place where their wall comes down and they will accept your help.