Rejecting particular help vs giving up

Rejecting particular help vs giving up

Sometimes, when people observe a problem, they think they know the solution. And they think that’s the only possible solution, and that if you don’t want to do it, it’s because you’re either stupid, lazy, mentally incompetent, or giving up on yourself.

And then they pressure you really hard to adopt the solution. And if you don’t, they tell you that you’ve giving up on yourself.

And maybe they withdraw other support because they don’t think you’re worth it anymore.

Or maybe they try to force you into what they want. Maybe they threaten you. (With physical force. Or with confidences you’ve shared. Or anything else that might be available.)

But rejecting a particular course of action or kind of help isn’t actually the same as giving up.

People can have agency and problems at the same time.

Some examples:


  • I’ve gone through some serious emotional upheaval that’s caused relationship problems and other functioning problems.
  • I haven’t found therapy to be helpful for this.
  • In fact, I’ve often found it anti-helpful.
  • And if I pay for therapy, I can’t afford some of the things that do help me.
  • Numerous people have told me that I really have to go to therapy, because they hate to see me giving up on myself. Because they just want me to get better.
  • Even though I, in fact, work hard on improving things and have serious reasons to think that therapy would not be a good idea.


  • This happens all the time to people who reject particular treatments
  • That dynamic can make it dangerous to say no to things or to ask doctors questions.
  • Because there’s always the fear that if you say no to part of it, they won’t let you have treatment you *do* want and need.