Why You Need to Be Careful About Helping People Who Can’t Be Helped

Some people are just too far gone and will drag you down

Edward John
4 min readJan 29, 2022
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

“When people are really lost, sometimes they’re so lost that they can’t be found.” — Jordan Peterson.

Have you ever desperately tried to help someone but it’s ended up being a total failure? Yes, me too. Let’s take a look at what that’s all about.

I used to try to save people

In 2004, I went through a health crisis. After that, I was on a journey of self-improvement. This spilt over into also trying to help other people too, which was usually a mistake.

For example, I once had a girlfriend who had paranoid schizophrenia. I didn’t realise how bad she was when we first started dating. But by the time I did realise, I was in too deep.

I wasn’t equipped to help her. I’m not a doctor or even a psychotherapist. I didn’t know what I was doing, but my desire to help her overshadowed that. I tried so hard to help her out, but it almost destroyed me.

Another example was a male friend of mine. He had no confirmed mental illness diagnosis, but his life was a complete disaster. He seemed to have a total inability to deal with any of the normal aspects of adult life. I took up the slack by doing things for him that he seemed to be unable to do himself.

The problem was, this didn’t cause him to get better at being a functioning adult. Over time, it just caused me to become resentful that I was doing so much for him.

Be careful, says Jordan Peterson

“If someone who is sinking has their hands around your neck and is pulling you down, you are not obligated to drown with them.”

While I don’t agree with everything Jordan Peterson says, he’s 100% spot on about this. Here is the video clip that I took this quote from:



Edward John

Winnie the Pooh enthusiast. edwardjohnwritesATgmailDOTcom