One of the most important lessons to learn in life is to accept people for who they are. This is something that many people struggle with because sometimes it is hard to let people go. It is hard to see people do things that you do not agree with and when that happens, it is natural to want to try to change their minds. Unfortunately, it is impossible to force someone to change when they are not willing to do it on their own. People are who they are and you cannot expect them to change just because you think it would make them better.
So often, we try to help the people we care most about by attempting to give them advice. It is frustrating to watch someone you care about continue to do things that are potentially hurting their future. We've all seen our close friends and families do things that are destructive. In an attempt to help, we tell them what they "need" to do or what they need to "fix." Although we are just trying to help them, a person is not going to change if they are not ready or willing to.
Telling others what they are doing wrong is not going to help them in any case. It is going to cause them to become defensive and it may even push them away. The person may not even realize that they are doing anything wrong. Why is it that we put so much effort into a person when they don't even see the problem?
We put the effort in because we are the people who can see their potential. People can not always see their flaws or are not willing to make a change because they fear change. Something we need to understand, however, is that we can't make someone change who they are because we think it could make them a better person. Who are we to tell them right from wrong? What makes our way more right than theirs? And quite honestly, its not as easy to tell someone when we think they are doing something wrong.
I have personally faced many challenges when trying to help out a friend because they are simply not willing to accept what they are doing is wrong. But what do you do when that is the case? All you can do, as a person who loves and cares about them, is to let them know that you see a problem and show your support in an effort to help them. You cannot tell them that they "should" do something. You cannot force them to accept that they are wrong. You can only show them your perspective and let them do with it what they will. If they decide to listen to you and seek an alternative route, then you are lucky. But if not, you cannot feel bad about yourself and allow their problems and worries to become yours. You have done all you can.
It's hard to watch someone you love do something that you feel is destructive, so do not feel guilty if you feel you need to take a step away from the problem. Sometimes distancing yourself from the person will help you to accept the fact that they are not willing to change. It is never easy, but the only person you have control of is yourself.