Most people do things with good intentions, never meaning to hurt anyone or have their well intended actions or words backfire on them. Often our efforts can be rejected or unappreciated. It can be unexpected and it can hurt, leaving us with the need to back away and not want to offer ourselves up to the discomfort that trying can bring.
The person we’re trying to help should know that we only meant well, right? They should know we were only trying to help, improve things or offer good advice? Unfortunately, it’s not always the case. I know from personal experience that I've gone about my business doing what I thought was the right thing, done my best or made efforts to try for someone else and had it blow up, leaving me wondering why. Sometimes I had no idea what I actually did wrong.
Everybody has their own thing going on. We don't always know exactly what's happening in someone's mind or life and it's easy to assume that we understand and can fully appreciate what they're going through.
Most people are usually already aware of the things we point out to them. It's the discomfort of having it pointed out that gets the reaction. Being uncomfortable and being made to look at ourselves is good for us, we can't go through life being comfortable and have things made perfect for us all the time. The negative helps us grow and appreciate the positive. We do however have to be careful how we go about approaching someone that we think needs help or a changed behaviour.
That person also needs to know that you come from a good place and is not an order being directed at them, also that it comes from someone who genuinely cares and will support you with whatever you're going through. I don't want someone I don't care about or trust telling me I have a problem, using their absence as a threat to get me to do something. I also don't want a relative or friend I only see a few times a year or at Christmas spending that time picking at me and telling me to sort something out.
All of the above also applies to people that live in a severely cluttered, hoarded or squalid home. They're usually well aware of it. They don't tend to need anyone telling them that it's unacceptable, dirty, that there's too much stuff. They know. Often with that kind of environment comes shame, feeling stuck, not knowing where to start and needing help but not wanting anyone coming into the home to give it because of the state of it.
Can you imagine having a problem so severe that you don't know how to fix it and then being told by a well intended person to 'just clean it up' or threaten never to come over again because it's too much for them to handle, seeing you live that way, and that person thinking their words will get you to change your ways. Usually it won't and those so-called good intentions don't work. Perhaps they also see it as good intentions to come in and clean up for you, causing you to spiral afterwards and just bring more stuff into the house.
It's always a risk to put yourself out there and offer help, it's also a risk to take the help and hope things work out. Either way, no man is an island and sometimes a genuine good intention has the ability to make a difference, improve things and it can even change a life.