I read another thread where there was a discussion going on regarding whether to listen and support someone when they are trying to handle a a serious problem and allowing the individual to find their own way with gentle guidance?-- Or is it more useful to use tough love, lecturing them, pushing them, getting frustrated, angry, or even threatening them? Here is what Johan had to say. I certainly believe he's right here, but I believe there is a difference between abusing someone, and giving tough love. I always side on support. I'm not in a position to ever know what is in someone elses best interest. When people giving insight get to a point that they are invested in the outcome of someone elses issues - that they swear at people, and condscend to someone out of frustration... who - for whatever reason - is unable to handle a problem that appears from the outside looking in to be easy - that from my observation just drives most people into isolation. There are a select few who that I've met which are motivated by "tough love" but ultimately tough love from what I've observed has similar effects to using a drug, or temporarily giving a speed pill. It's an external drive that won't always be present. It may solve surface issues with losing weight, quiting a bad habit, playing a sport, but it doesn't solve biological illness, or past trauma, or other psychological dysfunction or irregularities that lead to the ongoing surface patterns and abnormal behavior or health problem. It doesn't ultimately solve the anylytical portion of the conflict nor provide any sound foundation of value. The odd thing about handling emotional and psychological problems is that it's as much an art and an esoteric process as it is an anylytic and systematic rational process. The rational systematic portion is most often non-spoken. It's something the listener uses to compartmentalize and organize and label the patterns and events they're hearing. It's not to be expressed to the person with immediacy. For example: You can have a real rational down to earth conversation with an alcoholic and provide all the sane anyalsis of why they should stop drinking, how to do it, what to do, where to go, when the most support would be available etc...the Who, What, When, Where, Why, How. The alcoholic may shake his head, agree, and even repeat to you that it's exactly what he's going to do. However - rarely if ever does a rationalization of Alcoholism with an alcoholic lead to anything but deeper conflict, and ongoing addiction. Most diseases of the mind have little to do with intelligence and understanding - thus one can't expect to fix or work out these issues by only approaching issues from a "Here is how to do it....so do it and if you don't do it you're just a weak ass whiney pussy who really doesn't want to get well." That's unprofessional in my opinion [whether you're a friend, or a specialist], it's ineffective, and it doesn't make for very good character either. Constant tough love only serves to build a house of cards. Plus the vast majority who give it are in the closet with their own mental illness or addictions or other dysfunction. Tough love ought to come from someone who has been there, done that and is now healthy of mind. If they're not, they just come off like a hypocrite to the person they are lecturing and the person just hears blah blah blah.... "Do as I say, not as I do." That's my point of view and my experience. As the reader: What would you rather have someone provide you if you came to them for help? Does having someone listen, and support, or have someone lecture you and push you - even if they have to call you names and put you down? Which is more effective from your perspective? Obviously sometimes both are necessary to an extent, but there is a fine line between tough love, and downright abuse/cutting someone down. When someone is forceful with me, not only do I put up walls, but I consciously push them away as well. I do expect people to be honest, and tactful, but when someone lectures me - nothing steams me faster than having someone repeat concepts I already know and arrogantly assuming that knowing the concept and implementing the concept are the same.