I had to disconnect from someone today, and it got me to thinking about a very important life lesson. Sometimes you need to just walk away.
Have you ever had someone in your life (real or virtual) that you like, but they obviously have some issues? You want to help them, but their head is so full of misinformation and they’re so busy defending that and compensating with other personal flaws, that even thinking of them sets your nerves on end. If you’re a good person you want to help them see the light, but sometimes, you just can’t.
It can be easier to help someone see reason in the real world, where you can sit down and look them in the eye, rest a hand on theirs or be more personal in your efforts. Online things can get skewed, ideas can be misinterpreted and others can butt in and derail your attempts. And of course, sometimes people are so mired in their broken-ness that they don’t think they need to be helped, or don’t want to be.
In real life and online too, sometimes the best thing you can do is walk away. Sometimes you’ve done all you can and it’s better to save yourself than to keep trying to help the other person. I’ve done it online and in real life many times. It can hurt, but sometimes beating your head on a brick wall would get more results and you have to accept that.
Most often in my experience I have to walk away from people who have a deep-seated victim mentality. No matter what’s going on and no matter if it’s actually directed at them or not, they’re sure someone’s out to get them. Someone’s trying to rain on their point of view or be mean to them or work against them. Even the most supportive people are seen as part of the grand conspiracy to keep them down and hurt them. My heart goes out to such broken people, but until they realize that they’re broken and become willing to accept help, there’s little anyone can do, so you walk away.
I never like to leave someone behind, but sometimes it has to be done. Cutting toxic personalities out of your life is sometimes the only reasonable choice. I do however keep the person in my heart and hope for their healing. Sometimes that’s all we can do, and we have to allow it to be enough.