Sometimes it’s hard to be supportive of friends, family, clients or coworkers who seem to refuse to change or take action even when they themselves know it’s necessary. How to have patience in the face of stubborn frustration? Take a look at why someone’s not changing and try to remember that there may be underlying issues that the person’s not aware of, or can’t find a way to work around. They probably don’t want anyone to know about the issue, and it’s possible that they have blocked it from themselves.

Like Lindsay Lohan and Daniel Baldwin. They seem to be unrelentingly self-destructive and faking their progress of recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. It’s kind of funny in a sad way that Daniel Baldwin was on this morning’s Today Show giving advice to Lindsay. Hopefully, especially now that his girlfriend is pregnant with their first child and his fourth, he’ll be able to stay away from cocaine.

Underneath the bravado, the attempts to regain work and career, are he and Lindsay and Britney Spears healing the underlying issues that drove them to hurt themselves while trying not to feel the original pain? I hope they’re getting there.

If you’re dealing with a friend or loved one who has you banging your head against the wall, wondering why they won’t change, ask yourself two questions:

  1. What does this situation tell me about myself? eg: is there something similar in my life that I need to fix? It might be a different topic, but there’s usually something you need to work on, too, that your friend’s situation will remind you of. The process of trying to help a friend may also help you to realize your style — how you help others often reflects how you help yourself, and it’s of course good to help yourself with gentleness, too!
  2. What does your friend feel when you ask about the situation? What do they feel as they give an excuse? Remember that feelings can be just as telling as factual data.

For instance, someone who avoids going to the dentist may have been sexually abused and the idea of a person in power putting their hands in their mouth is horrifying. Someone who was beaten and humiliated as a child, as Daniel Baldwin has inferred he was, may use drugs as a way to block out an overwhelming of fear of being found inferior.

Keep in mind that many people who block painful memories do it so well that they are entirely unaware of the influence of those experiences on their current feelings and actions.

As you encourage and coach your friends towards healthy life choices, try to keep in mind the possible internal challenges they may be facing. Have patience with their current choices and use tenderness as your guide with them and with yourself.

For information on gentle healing methods like Reiki, EFT and TAT, see Peacock & Paisley. These methods work around and with mental and emotional defense systems to heal severe traumas and lightweight aggravations. They also heal physical and spiritual injuries.