This Is Us- Unwanted Help

This Is Us - Season 3 Episode 9 – From the Eyes of a Counselor 

Watching Jack try to help his little brother in this episode is painful. A drugged up and angry Nicky quite literally fights back when Jack offers to help him get clean. Jack’s frustration builds as his extensive efforts aren’t appreciated. So often this is the case when we offer unwanted help.

Whether it’s help overcoming depression, breaking the chains of addiction, or simply making more responsible choices with time or money - if people don’t want help, our efforts to bring about change are often futile. Witnessing loved ones get closer and closer to hitting rock bottom can be extremely uncomfortable, but in many scenarios it’s the best option. Continuing to rescue people from their poor decisions keeps them further from taking responsibility for getting healthy. Each time they’re rescued its like a band-aid is being put on the wound, giving them permission to ignore the problem. Unfortunately, people are motivated by pain or discomfort. The sooner the consequences of decisions are felt the closer people are to change. 

What Nicky needed most in this scenario was to feel the weight of his choices and experience the natural consequences the military had to offer. He was enabled to be irresponsible when his big brother came to the rescue. As difficult as it would have been it would have been more loving for Jack to let Nicky get to the point when he asked for help instead of forcing an outcome on him.

Some Things to Consider:

  1. Do you have a friend of family member who is making unhealthy decisions? How might you get out of the way and let them hit rock bottom sooner?

  2. How could you prepare to help once help is asked for instead of forcing your help on your friend or family member?